Diary of ten years eventful life of an early settler in Western Australia and also A descriptive vocabulary of the language of the aborigines/A descriptive vocabulary of the language in common use amongst the aborigines of Western Australia/Part 1/D

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N.B. The sounds of D and T are in so many instances used indiscriminately, or interchangeably, that it is frequently difficult to distinguish which sound predominates. The predominant sound varies in different districts. See Preface.

Da, s.—The mouth. See Dta.

Dabba,s.—A knife. See Tabba.

Dabardak—(K. G. S.) A species of fish.

Dadim, a.—South word for bad, Djul; applied to anything hard, dry, unpalatable.

Dadja, s.—An animal fit to eat; or the flesh of any such animal; animal food, as contra-distinguished from Maryn, vegetable food.

Dadjamaryn, s.—Food of all sorts, animal and vegetable.

Da-gangoon, v.—(Northern dialect.) To kill.

Daht, a.—Sly; cunning; noiseless.

Dakaruug—(Vasse.) To break.

Dalba, s.—Ashes; dust.

Dalbădă, a.—Whitened with flour or ashes.

Dalbitch—(K. G. S.) Dry.

Dalgăgădăk, s.—A sorcerer; perhaps as exercising a pretended power over the wind.

Dallar, s.—Flame; as Kalla dallar, flame of the fire.

Dallăgă, s.—A strong wind, good for hunting the kangaroo. The wind prevents this very timid creature exercising its acute sense of hearing. The hunter makes his approach against the wind, and screens his movements by a leafy bough which he carries before him, and so creeps within spear-throw of the unsuspecting animal.

Dalyar, s.—Raw, uncooked meat; green wood.

Dambarijow, v.—Pres. part., Dambarijowin ; past tense, Dambarijaga. To bury; to hide.

Dămmălăk, s.—A parrot.

Danda, a.—Angular; having corners like a square bottle.

Dăng-yl s.—A sweetish substance, white; found on certain trees and plants supposed to be some insect secretion, much prized by the natives. Colonially termed Manna. Birds feed upon it and are in excellent condition during the season when it abounds. See Waumilyar.

Danjal, a.—Shallow; not deep.

Danjo, ad.—Together; in company; Ngannildanjo, we two together.

Dappa, s.—The native knife, formed of sharp-edged pieces of quartz fastened on a short stick. See Tabba.

Daran, s.—North word for Dămmălăk, a parrot.

Daran—A name given to those people who live to the eastward.

Darăng-ăn, v.—Pres part., Darang-anwin; past tense, Darang-ănăga. To spill; to let water fall.

Darbal. s.—An estuary. They speak of some great estuary in the interior, at a long distance, which they know only from the report of those who come from that direction. In the neighbourhood of Shark's Bay Capt. Grey discovered a large tract of country which looked like a dried up lake or estuary, having raised lands like islands standing above the surface, and with rolled stones, coral, and shells on the bottom. He walked upon it twelve miles in an easterly course, and could not discern, even with his telescope, any termination to it in that direction. This tract had no visible communication with the sea to the westward, there being a range of high hills interposed between it and the coast.

Dărbălăng, s—A person living on the banks of an estuary.

Dărbow, v.—Pres. part., Darbowin; past tense, Darbăga; to dive; to pass through or under, as in creeping through bushes or juugle.

Dardăk, s.—White clay; lime; fuller's earth.

Dardăknăbbow, v.—To put on white clay as mourning.

Dărdăr, s.—Mourning for the death of anyone. A term applicable to females only, who assume the marks of sorrow by drawing a streak of white across the forehead, down the sides of the cheeks, round the chin, and round each eye. White clay or lime is used on these occasions. When a man puts on mourning, he is said to Murh-ro năbbow; which see.

Dardi, s.—Pudenda. A disease was lately introduced, which the men attributed to the witchcraft of the northern Boyl-yagadaks.

Dardun, a.—Uneven; as Budjor dardun, uneven ground.

Dardyn, s.—Whiting.

Dărgangăn, v.—Pres. part., Dărgangănnin; past tense, Darganănăga; to strike so as to stun or kill, as Nadjul nginni gori dărgangan, I'll settle you, put an end to you presently.

Darin, s.—Ægotheles; little goat-sucker.

Dărnavan, s.—Fear; fright; alarm; terror.

Darnavanijow, v.—To alarm; frighten; to startle; to terrify.

Dărnavănmidi, a.—Anything which frightens or startles a person.

Darrajăn, ad.—Superfluously; beyond what is required or expected; as Darrajănwănga, to speak or talk beyond measure; Darrajăn yongow, to give over and above measure.

Datta, a.—Dried up; in a place where water has been, as Ngura datta, a dried up lake.

Dedam, s.—A name given to two stars, one male, the other female, of which the following story is told:–Dedam the man speared Dedam the woman, because she let his brother's two children stray away. The children are represented by two small stars at some distance higher in the heavens. The spear is represented by two stars standing one on each side of the woman's body.

Deidung, v.—(Vasse.) To cut.

Dendang, v.—Pres. part, Dengang-win; past tense, Dendang-ăgga; to climb; to mount; to ascend. They climb the tallest trees by cutting small notches, in which they insert the great toe, helping themselves up by leaning with the hand on the handle of the hammer, which they strike into the soft bark like a spike.

Deni, s.—Brothers-in-law, or sisters-in-law. The brothers of the wife are to the husband Deni; but his brothers are to her Kardomăn, marriageable relatives; because when a man dies his next brother takes his widow to wife, as a matter of course.

Derer, a.—Dry; withered; applied to leaves in autumn.

Didarăl, a.—Deep; deep water in the middle of a river.

Didarok.—Proper name of one of the principal families among the aborigines; they are Matta Gyn, with the Djikok and Nogonyak. See Ballarok.

Didi, s.—Small sort of fish; colonially termed silver fish, or silver herring.

Didin, v.—Pres. part, Didinin or Didinwin; past tense, Didinăgga; to close; to shut.

Didin Wanjo, c.—To close a door or gate after one.

Dil, s.—(Vasse.) The cray-fish found in swamps.

Dilbi, s.—A leaf.

Dil-yurdu, s.—Circus; the marsh harrier bird.

Dinang, v.—Pres. part., Dinangwin; past tense, Dinang-ăgga; to carry on the shoulders. This is the way they carry wounded or sick persons, sitting with the legs pressing against their sides in front.

Dingar—(K. G. S.) The seed of a common shrub at King George's Sound, which bears a blue flower.

Dinyt, s.—The lions.

Djaat, s.—(K. G. S.) The sun.

Djabbun, v.—(North word.) Pres. part., Djabbunin; past tense, Djabbunaga; to pick up; to take up.

Djakat, s.—A small root eaten by the natives; in season in the months of September and October.

Djallam, a.—Acrid; bitter; salt. Much of the soil of the colony is strongly inpregnated with salt, so that many of the lakes and stagnant waters, and pools in river beds, are intensely salt in summer. In many places the salt is dug up from the bottom of shallow waters, or scraped from the earth where the water has been evaporated, and is found excellent for all purposes of culinary or domestic use. Salt can be procured in great abundance also from the lakes in the interior of Rottnest Island; but it should be boiled before use, as it is said to have a bitter flavour without that preparation, probably from the commixture of some extraneous ingredient.

Djalyup.—(K. G. S.) A species of paroquet.

Djam, s.—Water.

Djănbar, s.—The same as the Madja; an edible root; a coarse kind of Bohn.

Djăndga, s.—The dead. The reappearance of deceased persons. A term applied to Europeans, who are supposed to be aborigines, under another colour, restored to the land of their nativity. This idea prevails equally on the eastern as on the western coasts of Australia, in places 2000 miles apart from each other. It has taken its rise most likely from the supposition that none but those who were already acquainted with the country would or could find their way to it. Europeans are frequently claimed as relatives by old people, who think, or pretend, that they are sure of their identity, and who treat them according to the love they formerly bore to the individual supposed to be recognised.

Djăng-găng, s.—Anthochæra Lewinii; the wattle bird.

Djănja, s.—A species of Hakea tree.

Djanjarak, s.—Himantopus; long-tailed plover.

Djanni, s.—The bark of the Banksia and Hakea trees. This bark is used by the aborigines for two purposes: 1st, for pointing wood or sticks, as the Wanna, or digging staff of the women, and the Dowak, or throwing-sticks; these implements having been charred in the fire, are then rasped to a point with the Djanni. 2ndly, it serves them as a means of warming themselves when moving about. In cold weather, every native, male or female, may be seen carrying a piece of lighted bark, which burns like touchwood, under their cloaks, and with which, and a few withered leaves and dry sticks, a fire, if required, is soon kindled. A great part of the fires that take place in the country arise from this practice of carrying about lighted Djanni. In the valleys, even in summer, the air is chill before sunrise. The half-clad native starts with the lighted bark; as the day advances, the warmth of the sun renders artificial heat unnecessary; the bark is discarded without regard to where it may fall, perhaps into a thick bush, or among high grass. A breeze comes, the smouldering embers are blown into a flame, and the whole country is shortly in a blaze.

Djărdal-ya, s.—The wiry-feathered creeper.

Djărdăm, s.—Blade-bone of the shoulder.

Djarjilya, s.—Malurus pectoralis; blue-bird.

Djarryl, s.—Eucalyptus robusta; mahogany tree. This tree has its bark disposed in longitudinal slips, running with the grain of the wood, straight, waved, or spiral as the grain runs. It is an excellent timber for building, as the white ants do not attack it, and it works well for leaves of tables and other articles of furniture. It grows in sandy districts, and on poor soil in the hills.

Djărrylbărdang, s.—Platycercus ; blue-bellied parrot.

Djerral, s.—The north.

Djerrung—(K. G. S.) Fat; handsome; greasy,

Djibbal, s.—The young of the Gurh-ra, brush kangaroo.

Djidal, a.—White; grey. Kattadjidal, grey-headed.

Djidar, s.—Dawn of morning; daylight.

Djidarra, a.—Browned; spoken of meat roasting as being sufficiently cooked.

Djidik, s.—Cooked meat; the opposite to Dal-yar, raw meat. The aborigines always roast their food; they have no means of boiling, except when they procure the service of an old European saucepan or tin pot.

Djidji, s.—Semen.

Djidong, s.—(Upper Swan dialect.) Limestone. It is not yet ascertained whether any limestone belonging to the coal formation exists in the colony. Recent limestone is abundant near the sea-coast, but has rarely been found to the eastward of the hills. Much of the limestone contains no trace of organic matter, but that which is found at Koombana Bay and the Vasse river has many small shells, and is of a compact nature.

Djijalla, s.—Clay. Strong red and white clays good for pottery and brick-making are abundant in some districts.

Djijinak,s.—Xama, little gull.

Djikok, s.—Name of one of the principal native families. See Ballarok.

Djillak, s.—Coronaria Strepera; the white-vented crow.

Djil-yur, s.—A small field-mouse, eaten by the natives.

Djinbenongerra.—A species of duck. The Ngotaks formerly belonged to this class of birds, before they were changed into men, according to fabulous tradition.

Djindalo, s.—A flat headed fish of the cobbler species.

Djin-gan, v.—Pres. part., Djinganin; past tense, Djinganaga; to sharpen or point wood, by first charring, and then rubbing or rasping it with bark. It is the only means the natives have among themselves of pointing large sticks; the small ones they scrape with quartz or glass.

Djingun.—A star; one of the wives of Wurdytch.

Djingjing.—The spears carried by lads before using the Miro; a coarse sort of spindle in the shape of a small cross, used by the native men in spinning the human and the opossum hair for their girdles.

Djinnăng, v.—Pres. part., Djinnăng; past tense, Djinnăng; to see, to look.

Djirang, v.—Pres. part., Djirang; past tense, Djirang; to scratch.

Djirdowin, s.—A. small kind of mouse, supposed to be marsupial.

Djiri, s.—Scabs; as Matta djiri, scabby legs—a term of reproach.

Djiriji, s.—Encephalartos spiralis; the Zamia tree. The body of this tree contains a farinaceous matter, which, when prepared, has been used as sago, but is dangerous without preparation.

Djirin, v.—Used only in composition, meaning to charge with or accuse; as Wulgar djirin, to accuse of murder; Ngagyndjirin, to accuse of theft.

Djirritmat, s.—A small species of frog.

Djitting, a.—Fair; light coloured; Catta-djitting, light-haired.

Djitto, a.—Fair; light-coloured.

Djow, s.—Water.

Djowen, s.—(North word.) Fur.

Dju, s.—Down; short hair on the body.

Djubăk, s.—An orchis, the root of which is the size and shape of a new potato, and is eaten by the natives. It is in season in the month of October. The flower is a pretty white blossom, scented like the heliotrope.

Djubărda, s.—A species of tea tree.

Djubo, s.—The kidney.

Djubobarrang, v.—To amuse; literally, to take or handle the kidney.

Djubodtan, v.—To tickle; literally to pierce the kidney.

Djudarran, s.—Cuculus; the cuckoo.

Djuko, f.—A sister.

Djul, a.—Bad.

Djulgo, a.—Bad.

Djulbidjulbang, s.—Acanthiza Tiemenensis; brown-tailed wren.

Djul-yyn, s.—The hip-joint.

Djunbar, s.—A sort of gum eaten by the natives.

Djundal, a.—White.

Dju-nong—Called Djung-o to the north, and Djung at King George's Sound—A skewer made of the small bone of the kangaroo's leg, and used to drill holes with; in the butt end of the spear, to fit the hook of the Miro; in the boys' noses, to admit the Mul-yat when they arrive at years of puberty; in the kangaroo skins when sewing them together, in order to pass the stitches through; and sometimes it serves to extract teeth.

Dju-nongdtan, v.—To drill holes.

Djuo, s.—Short hair on the body; down either of birds or animals; fur.

Djuritch, s.—Cuculus metallicus; bronze cuckoo.

Djuto, s.—The knee.

Dok, s.—(K. G. S.) The eyelid.

Dolgar, s.—An edible gum of the Hakea.

Dol-gyt, s.—A marsupial animal allied to the kangaroo, except that it has no incisores or cutting teeth, and that the opening of the pouch is from below instead of from above. This seems to be a provision of nature suited to the habits of the animal, for the creature burrows in the ground, and it would be difficult for the young ones to seek shelter suddenly in a parent's pouch if it were otherwise formed, and which they can readily do now, though she should have entered her burrow; and, also, when she burrows, the earth would be thrown into the pouch, if the opening were in the usual position.

Dombart, .—Alone; one; single.

Dordăk, a.—Alive; convalescent.

Dordan-gal, a.—(Mount dialect.) Round; spherical; with a raised surface.

Dowak, s.—A short heavy stick, chiefly used by the natives for knocking down Walloby and birds. It is worn in the girdle as the Kyli also is worn, and is often flung with great dexterity and precision of aim.

Dowalman, a.—Pendent; hanging down.

Dowarn, s.—Platycercus zonarius, a parrot; colonially termed Twenty-eight, from the note it utters. It can be taught to whistle tunes and utter several words.

Dowir, ad.—Always; continually.

Dowire, a.—Loose; hanging loose; as Katta Mangara dowire, the hair of the head all hanging about the ears.

Dta, s.—The mouth; the lips; an opening. Used at K. G. S. figuratively, or perhaps corruptly, for To eat.

Dtăbăk, a.—Slow; lazy; inactive; sluggish.

Dtabbat, v.—Pres. part., Dtabbatin; past tense, Dtabbatăgă, to fall as rain; to set as the sun; to fall down.

Dtagat, s.—The windpipe.

Dtăllăjar, s.—The north-west wind.

Dtallăng, s.—The tongue.

Dtallăngiritch, v.—Pres. part., Dtallăngiritchie; past tense, Dtallăngiritchăgă, to order anyone away out of your presence.

Dtallăngyăk, a.—Jesting; joking; teasing (the act of).

Dtăllăp, s.—Flame—as Kalla dtallap, the flame of fire.

Dtallar, s.—Flame—as Kalladtallar, the flame of fire.

Dtal-yi, s.—Spittle; froth; foam.

Dtal-yil, s.—(K. G. S.) A small species of fungus eaten by the natives.

Dtalyili-yugow, v.—To lie; to tell lies. Fortunately for the ends of justice, when a native is accused of any crime, he often acknowledges his share in the transaction with perfect candour, generally inculpating others by way of exculpating himself. Were it not for this habit, there would be a total failure of justice in the great majority of cases of aggression committed by them against the white people.

Dtamel, s.—The countenance; literally the mouth and eyes.

Dtan, v.—Pres. part, Dtenin; past tense, Dtanaga. To pierce; to penetrate; to make an opening.

Dtanbarrang-ijow, v.—To dig up; to dig out. A compound word, signifying literally, pierce (the ground) take (it, whatever is dug up, in your hand), put (it on one side), this being an exact description of the native style of digging.

Dtandinit, v.—Pres. part., Dtaudidinwin; past tense, Dtandidinaga. To close; stop up a gap; to mend a hole.

Dtardytch, s.—The lowest of the vertebræ of the neck.

Dtarh-ra, s.—Small sort of knife; the barb of a spear.

Dta-wang, v.—Pres. part., Dtawang-goan; past tense, Dtawangăgga. To yawn.

Dtondarăp—Proper name of one of the great families into which the aborigines are divided. Matta Gyn, with the Ballarok and Waddarok. See Ballarok.

Dtowal, s.—The thigh.

Dtowalguorryn—The name of a dance among the Eastern natives, during which the muscles of the thigh are made to quiver in a very singular manner. A dance of this sort is common among the Malay girls.

Dtul-ya, s.—Exocarpus cupressiformis. This with the By-yu and the Kolbogo, and a few other things deserving no better name than berries, of no particularly good flavour, are all that have been yet found in the country in the way of fruit.

Dubarda, s.—The flower of a species of Banksia which grows on the low grounds and comes into flower the latest of all these trees.

Dubyt, s.—A very venomous yellow-bellied snake, from five to six feet long, much dreaded, but eaten by the natives.

Dubta, s.—The seed-vessel of the white gum-tree.

Dukun, v.—Pres. part., Dukunin; past tense, Dukunăgga. To light the fire for the purpose of cooking; to be put on the fire to be cooked.

Dulbar, s.—Season of bad or wet weather—as Ngannil dulbar mya wyerowin, we build, or are building, huts in Dulbar.

Dulbo, s.—A fine farinaceous substance eaten by the natives, and this is the name sometimes given by them to our flour.

Dulgar, s.—The gum of the Hakea. Eaten by the natives.

Dulurdong, a.—Round; spherical; egg-shaped.

Dul-ya, s.—A fog; mist.

Dul-yang, v.—To visit distant tribes in search of articles required.

Dumbin, v.—Pres. part., Dumbinin; past tense, Dumbinăgga. To avert or turn aside the course of a spear, or other missile weapon, by shouting to it. Some individuals are supposed to be peculiarly qualified in this way. Also, to procure injury to any one by Boylya, or enchantment.

Dumbu, s.—The womb.

Dumbun, s.—A cave. The only vestige of antiquity or art which has yet been discovered, consists of a circular figure rudely cut or carved into the face of a rock, in a cavern near York, with several impressions of open hands formed on the stone around it. The natives can give no rational account of this. They tell some fables of the moon having visited the cave and executed the work. They have little curiosity regarding it, and pay it no respect in any way. In short it appears as if it did not concern them or belong to their people. Caves with well executed figures, done in different colours, are said to have been found on the north-west coast, when visited by Messrs. Grey and Lushington in 1838. This rude carving at York may possibly be the last trace of a greater degree of civilization proceeding from the north, and becoming gradually more faint as it spreads to the south, till it is almost entirely obliterated; or, again, it may be the only monument now left to speak of a former race, which has altogether passed away, and become superseded by another people.

Dumbung, s.—Xylomela occipentalis; the native pear-tree. It bears a hard solid woody substance, which has a most tantalising outward resemblance to a good fruit.

Dundăk, s.—The outskirts of a place.

Dunganin, s.—Adam's apple of the throat.

Dun-ngol, s.—A very short person; a dwarf.

Duranduran, s.—Ptilotis; white-eared honey-sucker.

D-yillak, s.—A sort of coarse grey granite.

Durda, s.—A dog. The native dog is a sneaking, cowardly animal, having the stealthy habits of a fox, and committing great depredations among the sheep and poultry. Some are partially domesticated by the natives; but as they do not bark, European dogs are much more valued, when persons are unwise enough to give them to the aborigines.

Durdip, s.—The seed-vessel of the Eucalypti, or gum-trees.

Durdong, a.—(K. G. S.) Green.

Durga, s.—The north-west wind accompanied by rain. It blows chiefly during the winter season of Western Australia, from May to September.

Durgul, a.—Straight; in a straight line.

Durrungur—(K. G. S.) To put in a bag.

Dwoy-a, s.—Dried leaves.

Dy-er, s—The skin of a wild dog's tail with the fur on, worn by the aborigines usually across the upper part of the forehead as an ornament.

D-yinda, s.—A species of opossum. Portions of the fur of this animal are worn by the aborigines among the hair as an ornament.

D-yuar, s.—The name applied to the mode of burial of the lowland tribes. They dig the grave east and west; the body is placed on its back, the head to the east, the face turned on one side, so as to look to the mid-day sun; the earth being thrown out in two heaps, the one at the head, the other at the foot. (For the mountain manner of burial, see Gotyt.) These two different modes of burial rigidly adhered to by a people who are now so rude, would point to either a descent from two different stocks originally, or the existence at some remote period of a very different state of society from that in which they are now found.

D-yular, s.—Cuculus; little cuckoo.

D-yulgyt—The name of the native dance among the eastern men.

D-yuna, s.—A short club used by the aborigines in their wars and contests.

D-yundo, s.—Kernel of the Zamia nut.

D-yunong, a.—Rounded in shape; convex; opposite to Yam pel.

D-yurangitch, s.—(K. G. S.) Left arm.

D-yuro, s.—Left arm.

D-yuwo—An exclamation of dissent; oh! no; not so.