A guide which steps you through the process of finding the English meaning of an Aboriginal word.
1. Try to establish who used the word - that is, the name of the tribe that used the word.
3. If the word you are searching for is a place name, check to see if there are any other places in Australia with the same name. The word may be derived from a different place with the same name. You can do this by entering a place name into Geoscience Australia place name search.
5. Search the further resources tab in this guide.
6. Check general reference sources such as Macquarie Aboriginal words.
a) Is it the correct spelling of the word?
b) Where is the word recorded in the first instance? i.e. council building, street name?
c) Would there be archives explaining the reason the word was used? (for example, council minutes).
Please note that the Victorian Aboriginal Corporations for Languages advises: 'If you would like to use Indigenous words to name a public place, facility or program it is protocol to use words from the Indigenous language of the land where the place to be named stands, or where the program is run. It is then appropriate to seek permission from the Traditional Owners of that language area to use their words in the name.'
In line with the stage 3 restrictions announced by the Premier, State Library Victoria closed on Thursday 9 July.
We will advise when there is any update to this situation.
Our Ask A Librarian reference service is still available to assist with your research inquiries.