Posted by: jemma90 | September 28, 2009

Darwin English

Hi everybody! Piers asked me to write a short blog about the incorporation of Aboriginal words into Darwin English. So here it goes…

The incorporation of Aboriginal words is used mostly for teenage slang in the 13 – 18 age bracket. Being used by teenagers some of the words are rude, so if you are offended I apologise in advance!

Budju is a commonly used word for somebody who is good looking. Nuff can be used interchangeblywith budju  but can also mean ‘cool’ if describing inanimate objects: “There’s a nuff car, look.” The use of look at the end of the sentence provides emphasis, not actually indicating for the individual to look at the car. Yakka means ‘no’, differing from the Australian use of yakka to mean ‘hard work’.

Gumma means girl, budda can mean either brother or son, bruss can be used in a similar way to budda – but can also mean friend. Muligah means boyfriend and cudjak means sex. A noonga is a stupid person and is used both as an insult and in a joking way between friends. Like Papua New Guinea, the use of gammin is still prominant in the Northern Territory. The use of nglah is very interesting. Used more as an expression of sound, rather than a word, it’s used to indicate a joke and the sound can often replace laughter.

The use of Indigenous words into Australian English was first seen amongst half-caste Indigenous teenagers and is now in use by teenagers of varying ethnicities. It is very informal and is rarely used past the age of 18 as it can be viewed as rude by older generations.



  1. I saw this blog about Aboriginal words:

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