Macquarie Dictionary Blog
The Sydney Language (Dharug & Eora)
Jan 28, 2019
The Sydney Language is the name given to the Australian Aboriginal language that was spoken in the greater Sydney area, comprising Dharug and Eora. The names Dharug and Eora were given by linguists to refer to the inland and coastal dialects of the language.
Dharug (also Dharuk, Darug, Daruk) is the traditional language of the Australian Aboriginal people in the inland areas of greater Sydney. The name Dharug was not recorded by Europeans until late in the 19th century, when it was applied, not entirely clearly, to people who had lived around what are now Camden, Campbelltown, Liverpool and Penrith, possibly extending up to the Hawkesbury River and east to the Sydney coast.
Dharug and Eora should probably be regarded as dialects of a single language. It is this language which gave English many of its earliest Australian borrowings.
Here are some names of common Australian animals and plants which come from Dharug:
bettong from Dharug badang
boobook from Dharug bug-bug or bubug, of imitative origin
dingo from Dharug din-gu
koala from Dharug gulawang
wallaby from Dharug walaba
waratah Dharug warata red-flowering tree
wombat from Dharug wambad
Do you know of any other great Dharug or Eora words? Let us know in the comments section below!
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