Mary Jane Cain | State Library of New South Wales

Mary Jane Cain, "Reminiscences of Coonabarabran"

Displayed below is a 20th century vocabulary written by an Aboriginal woman and matriarch from the Coonabarabran region, Mary Jane Cain. This manuscript includes some of her reminiscences of growing up in the area around Coonabarabran in the 19th century and a word list of the language spoken by the Indigenous community in the region. The words consist mostly of regional place names and their meanings, as well as words that describe the natural environment.

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Transcription: Reminiscences of Coonabarabran, NSW and district, by Mary Jane Cain 1844-1926, ML Doc 2686

[Page 1]

No 2.

Bomera - is at the back
Nandi - the back of your head
Gundi - one stringybark tree alone
Bingrygrumble) - Cracking nuts
Binnaway - Wild peppermint tree mostly called woolybutt
Coolah - a junction also
Booya Murry) - A track on a rock
Merrygoen) - Dogs blood
Ramppadalls) - Rough teeth
Uliman) - Apple tree
Goungaramble) - large ants
Billi Billi) - Boiling spring
Yerrenin) - Large gum tree
Mucca Mucca) - Red iron bark tree
Burloo) - A swarm of flies
Weetallabah) - no wood
Bugaldi) - Blossoms destroyed by oppossums
Cyanbri) = Bequick child

[Page 2]

No. 3

Names - Meanings

Mumblebone - Wild turkeys Gobbilling
Nurrung - A Jew Lizzard
Toorawandi) -  A rowe of standing stones
Dureewandi) - Grass tree in bloom
Rocky Glen - (Native name Werribone) Ab. speared in the foot
Wagan  - A crow
Bando)  - Horse fly
Neabeer) - Brown snake
Mollayan - Eagle Hawk
Tooraweenah) - The home of snakes
Wallunberwong) - A heap of white stones like hail
Curban) - A large crack in the ground
Walleninini) - Ugly stones
Dunnedoo) - Small feet
Burra Bee Dee - flying mice
Ghoolendadi) - Eating dirt
Rockgeegil) - A place where they sharpened their stone tomahawks
Gunnungmanman) - (A long water hole) - ) A long liver
Mollywandi) - A scrub of stinted box timber
Purlewaugh) -  A lot of sparks
Wingadee) - My fire
(Goorebun) means curlew

[Page 3]

No. 4

Names of places - meanings

Dowan Dounwandi - small mountains of dirts
Ulandery) - A lot of fur skins
Mudgee - sharpening Stone
Walhallow) - An assortment of uncommon stone
Tellabri) - Long tongue
Trinky) - Broken thigh
Gowang) - A full moon
Jurindi) - Where fish breed
Timor) - A large rock
Dubbo) - A Ground grub.
Mea) -  Lightening
Gumin Gumin) - Wattle gum
Gooragilla) - Awakened by enmys
Gillabrowindi) - The rising moon   
Wingedgeon) - Dissappointed at lighting fires
Eringollin - Burt Burnt all his belongings
Coomao Coomao) - Wild gooseberry
Weemobah) - No fire

[Page 4]

Sept 28th.) By M.J. Cain (Queen (1920.

Names of places & their meanings in the native language

Coonabarabran (Town) - means an inquisitive person
Gooranawa (Station) - is an enmy coming
Coonamble – means, Dirty mud
Calga – means, land slip
Tirridgeree – means, rough bushes which grows in creeks
Bulloroara - means a crooked bend in a creek
Belar - means a lot of oak trees which grows in creeks or river banks
Borah - Where manhood is celebrated
Ulamambri - A place where oppossums breed
Garrawilla - Where a big battle had been fought
Mullally - One alone
Talbarea - A shoulder blade
Gunnedah - Motherless
Narrabri - A junction
Boggabri - A wild herb
Wee Waa - Oh its a fire
Pilliga - Oh its the creek