As part of State Library’s commitment to the 2019 International Year of Indigenous Languages, we will be promoting a ‘word of the week’ from one of the 125+ Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages and dialects from across Queensland.
To coincide with Easter, Week 16’s word is bilby [pronounced bill-bee], from the Yuwaalayaay language of South-West Queensland and North-West NSW– meaning ‘Bilby or Rabbit-eared bandicoot’. It has become very popular in recent times as an alternative to the Easter bunny!
This week’s word is sourced from a community dictionary of Yuwaalayaay compiled in 1998 by John Giacon and Ian Sim drawing on the knowledge of language speakers, including Mrs G. Rose, Willie Willis, Greg Fields and Mrs West. Yuwaalayaay was spoken along the Queensland-NSW border, including Goodooga and Walgett and extending into South-West Queensland.
- Category: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages
- Thematic area: Promotion
- Call topics: Intergenerational transmission
- Major objective: Thematic areas: Promotion
- Area of intervention: Increasing understanding, reconciliation and international cooperation