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Aboriginal House Names

Graham Gould in his book ‘House Names of Australia’ says ‘Studies have shown that before white settlement in Australia, there were some 300,000 Aborigines forming as many as 700 tribal groups. There have been many reports regarding the original number of Aboriginal languages. Figures range from 200 to in excess of 500. Now there are probably less than 150 languages currently in use and approximately 100 of these are facing extinction as the last of their elderly speakers dies.

‘Before European settlement, Australia appeared to be divided into sections. The northern half of the country with three major sectors was divided from the lower part which had considerably more sectors. In each of the sections were dozens of tribes with as many languages. There were, however, many similarities between the languages and individual words were often used in several of them. Translations by explorers and settlers were often quite liberal. Words were spelt as they sounded.

‘The following list of Aboriginal words is only a selection of possible house names. In this list you will notice several Aboriginal words with the same English translation. For example, the words Attunga, Binalong, Coolongolook, Coolongatta, Croajingalong, Ckoonwarra, Illawarra and Turramurra all mean high land. This is an indication of the range of Aboriginal languages.

‘Although many of their languages and dialects have now disappeared, the culture of Australia’s original inhabitants continues’.

Most of the names in this section come courtesy of Graham Gould from his book ‘House Names of Australia’ where you can also read about the fascinating names of Doo-Town. For more house name information and unique house nameplates visit www.grahamgould.com.

To draw your attention to some of the more interesting, even delightful house names, we’ve put some of our favourites in bold. Check them out. They may help you choose your house name.

House name Meaning
Adina pleasant, good
Adnamira flowing water
Adori sweet
Akoonah flowing water
Akora dwelling
Akuna flowing water
Alawoona place of hot winds
Alkira bright, sunny
Allara daylight
Allawah stay here, rest, sit down
Alleena we
Allira girl
Allombo you and I
Allunga the sun
Alpilya two
Alukea pine tree
Alumuna our home
Amaroo lovely or beautiful place
Aminya quiet
Anakie twin peaks
Anembo quiet place
Anuna we
Anunaka ours
Apanina come here
Apari father
Apurla white man's camp
Aquiaie pink water lily
Arakoola in front
Arakoon echo
Araluen plenty of water
Arama bailer shell
Aranga grandfather
Ararama to select
Arika blue water lily
Arltunga water hole
Arlunya the sun
Aroona running water
Arralumba echo
Arrolla the ground
Aruma happy
Arura camp
Attunga high place
Balaka content
Balanada white man's settlement
Ballaarat resting place
Ballook blue gum
Balyarta resting place
Balyata firm, fixed
Bambara forest
Bambra mushroom
Bangalla low hill
Bangalow low hill
Banyandah home on the water
Banyula many trees
Barakee place of stone
Barellan meeting of the waters
Barkala bush shades
Barmah meeting place
Barooga my home
Baroona place far away
Barribinda to sit
Beelagur river people
Bega big camping place
Bellara good
Bembooka high peak
Benbullen high, quiet place
Benwerrin long hill
Bimbadeen good view
Bimbimbie place of many birds
Binalong towards a high place
Binowee green place
Binya mountain
Birubi the Southern Cross
Boanyoo outlook
Boolaroo many flies
Booligal windy place
Boolyia those two
Boonal plentiful grass
Boonkuna growing
Booral large
Boorrang fog, mist
Brigalow wattle
Broula place of trickling water
Bucaan running stream
Bulgana beef
Bullarrto place of plenty
Bullowa flower
Bulwarra high, lofty
Bundala large person
Bundaleer among the trees
Bungana elderly
Bungaree my country
Burmpa running water
Buronga daylight
Burragah meeting place
Burrambin eternal
Burrana to fly
Burremah come, bring
Cabarita by the water
Cabbaga garden
Cadgee very good
Calca stars
Callemondah many hills
Callyung patch of wattle
Caloundra beautiful headland
Cambervarra House on a hill
Camira wind
Canberra meeting place
Canowindra home
Carara clear ground
Carawatha place of pine trees
Carbethon cheerful
Carinya cheerful
Carramar shade of trees
Ceduna waterhole
Chucullba Southern Cross
Cobradah place on a hill
Cohuna native companion
Colliup watering place
Comaroo species of acacia
Connewarre fresh lake
Cooba willow
Cooinda happy place
Coolarn bubble-gum tree
Cooloon tea-tree
Cooloongatta fine view
Coolowyn beech tree
Coombah baby boy
Cooragook stop, pause
Coorumbene pretty place
Corandirk good place to live
Coryule hill by the sea
Cowar staghorn ferns
Cowarie the west
Culgoa river running through
Cullenya here it is
Culmara ferns
Cumboogie sweet-scented gum
Currumbin species of pine tree
Dalpura calm
Dandaloo pretty
Dandarbong very pretty
Dandenong high
Dargo high
Deribong high, lofty
Derribong green tree
Derrilin falling stars
Dewrang high, lofty
Dilkara rainbow
Dirigeree willy wagtail
Doonkami to rise
Dowcan land; to walk
Dulili together
Dumbulli place for a dance
Dungle water hole
Dungog clear hills
Dunoon ridge
Dyrarba sandhills
Echuca meeting of the waters
Echunga close
Edibegebege plenty of fleas
Eerawai mirage
Elanora home by the sea
Eleebana sweet, fragrant
Ellimatta our home
Ellimeek my home
Elouera pleasant place
Ettamogah to have a drink
Eumeralla valley of plenty
Eumminbung good luck
Eungai singing creek
Eurabbie blue gum
Euroa joyful, happy
Eurobin lagoon at foot of mountain
Euroka sun, sunlit corner
Geebung native plum
Geeringgeerindah the place of grey hairs
Giaginye glad to see you, welcome
Giba grass
Gilgandra long water hole
Gillamagong house of the big (rich) white man
Girrahween place of flowers
Givinganna lookout
Gnoorong place of abode
Goline good shelter
Goolara moonlight
Goombul to give
Goondooloo Southern Cross
Goonoo Goonoo place of good water
Goorari place of tall pine trees
Gowayoo wait a bit
Gumbirra by and by
Gumbuya meeting place
Gundaroo big water hole
Guntawang meeting place
Gunya shelter hut
Gunyah place of shelter
Gwandalan rest, peace
Harah the sky
Hipmilta mirage
Illabunda place of swallows
Illalangi home on a hill
Illawarra high place near the sea
Illawong view of the water
Illira shelter hut
Illoura pleasant place
Illowra beautiful place
Iluka near the sea
Inglegar place of sick people
Jaanga hut
Jabbarup plenty of grass
Jerendine a big hullo
Jingai the moon
Jingella green bank
Jumbunna to talk together
Junee speak to me
Kalang beautiful
Kalimna beautiful
Kalinya good
Kalkari to wait
Kallara tea-tree
Kamarooka wait awhile
Kamekura wait till I return
Kameruka wait till I come
Kanandah land where the sun sets
Kanangra beautiful view
Kangoo bell birds
Karawatha place of pines
Karingal happy camp
Karinya peaceful home
Karnang low-lying place
Karobean together
Karrara high grass
Karrawa that will do
Karree by and by
Kembla abundant game
Kiah beautiful place
Kiarabilli good fishing spot
Kilbilli bed of grass
Killara always there
Killibinbin to shine. to be bright
Kindilan jolly, happy
Kinka laugh
Kinkuna laughing
Knamerilup great place for ferns
Koolkuna place of safety
Koomoorang hill of clouds
Koompartoo fresh start
Koora abundance, plenty
Koorakai white gum tree
Koorana bringing forth young
Kooranga blue gum tree
Kooringal home near the water
Koorong pine tree
Koorool that will do
Kooyong resting place
Krambruk sandy place
Kui (also cooee) come here, welcome
Kulmaren ferns
Kunanya rainbow
Kunari flat country
Kuriara husband and wife
Kurrajong tree
Kuttabul wonderful
Kyewong my home
Kyirrie the Milky Way
Kywong resting or camping place
Kywung resting or camping place
Lalirra sun
Lambruk a homestead
Langi dwelling place
Larnook habitation
Larundel camp
Lenkunyah beautiful
Leumeah here I rest
Lietelinna house on the side of a hill
Lorinya stranger
Lowanna beauty
Lumeah here I rest
Mallawa flat country
Malparara two friends
Maluka the boss
Mandurama water hole
Manilla winding river
Mantung white man's camp
Marakari to invite
Marapana animals grazing
Marlee elder tree
Maroong pine tree
Marroo pine tree
Merah left-handed people
Merindah beautiful
Mia mia camp, shelter
Midgee small grassy plain
Milleara to see at a distance
Milparinka all is forgiven
Milpera gathering of people
Mimosa place of wattle trees
Minbalup happy place
Mirambeena welcome
Mirrabooka Southern Cross
Mittagong small mountain
Monomeeth welcome
Moola shady place
Mooldup shady place
Moonya dwelling
Moonyah safe house
Moorabinda sound sleep
Moortangi shelter
Morang acacia
Mordialloc small tidal stream
Mrangalli stony ground
Mugimullen can't go to sleep
Mulawa shadow of trees
Mulgarnup cold place
Mullaya companion, friend, mate
Mullumbimby small round hill
Mundanup high hill
Mundook goddess or spirit of fertility
Munong at a great distance
Murruba beautiful
Murrumbidgee very good place
Murrumbong good place for game
Murrumbung very pleasant
Myamba strong wind
Mycumbene here we sit down
Myoora camp or resting place
Myrniong cooking place
Myuna clear water
Nambiac wild fig tree
Nambucca winding river
Nangana to see
Nangara to sleep; a spring
Nangare shelter
Narbethong cheerful place
Nardeeneen he is in love
Nariah bare place
Narmare spring of water
Narrah sea
Narran hungry place
Narribri meeting of waters
Narringa pelican
Narroowai mirage
Nayuka mine
Neerea rest
Nent Oura out of the way
Ngalla we two
Nganalak mine
Nimala billabong
Nindethana ours
Nioka green hill
Nirimba pelican
Nirripa the sea
Noamurra man and wife
Noogaleek belonging to me
Noonameena bush sleeping place
Nooree pine tree
Noorong place of abode
Nourani no rain here
Nowra you and me
Nukara my own
Nulang mist ascending
Nullegai we two
Nulungery clever man or medicine man
Numeralla valley of plenty
Nunkeri beautiful, excellent, pretty
Nunkuluthen running water
Nunyara made well again
Nyang to sit
Nyeena to sit
Nyendanni good, well, happy
Nyoonbi to sleep
Omaroo beautiful view
Omeo mountains
Ooldea meeting place where water is
Oompi bark shelter, hut
Ooranya rainbow
Oorla camp, hut, nest
Oorong camp
Orana welcome
Oronga sleep
Orroroo wind through the trees
Pallano the new moon
Panamuna ocean
Pankina be happy
Paruna stopping place
Patanga place of gum trees
Pelepe land
Pimbaacla plenty of pine trees
Pimble country, district
Pimpala native pine tree
Pindari high ground
Pinnaroo widely used term in South Australia for an old man, elder, or one with considerable status
Piralillia beautiful hill
Pirra moon
Pirramimma moon and the stars
Pityi cape, headland
Pootikkatikka wattle trees
Prahran partly surrounded by water
Pulyara long-nosed rat
Pyang to sit
Pyingerra pine tree
Quabin good camp
Quahlee wait for me
Quambaloo gum tree
Quambatook sleep
Quamby to camp, to settle down, rest
Quandong native peach tree
Quarbing good place
Quean very tall trees growing here
Queanbeyan beautiful lady
Quidong the place of the echo
Quindalup happy place
Quoak laughing jackass
Rangal tea-tree
Rupulle chief, landholder
Tabulum my native home
Takumuna house on a rise
Taldumande house, substantial house
Talia near water
Talkook very good
Tallagoong forest gum
Tallawalla forest country
Taloumbi windy place
Tambulam my native home
Tandara camp here
Tanderra resting place
Taralga native companion
Tarana large waterhole
Tarebarre beautiful, sometimes usedin the sense of a 'pretty picture'
Taronga beautiful view
Tarrangower high hill
Tarrawalla to sit down
Tarrawonga meeting place for pigeons
Tathra beautiful country
Tatiara beautiful country
Tatura steadfast
Tatye rest
Taworri evening breeze
Terrabulla beautiful ground
Terranora small river
Terrara place of shrubs
Terrigal place of little birds
Thalme bay
Thammi seashore
Thandwalla gum-tree on the river edge
Thoopara native pear tree
Thooruna together
Thrumari cape, point of land
Thumelin green
Tingha flat, level
Tingira the sea
Tirranna running water
Toolain brown wattle
Toolangatta many kurrajong trees
Toongabbie place near the water
Toorak swamp with tea-tree
Toowacka camp in which to sleep
Torana to fly
Tour-ur-rong good grass
Towang go away
Towong go away
Tumbarumba place of big trees
Tumbeelluwa evergreen
Turuga falling star
Tyabb tea-tree
Tyagarah open grass country
Tyalla eucalyptus
Tyintin remain in one place
Udelewar we two
Ukamirra sunset
Ulaka flowers
Ulinga to fly
Ullamulla white gum trees
Umbellditta orange tree
Umina to rest
Undurra silver wattle
Uralba home between the hills
Uralla house on a hill
Urambi sleep
Urara lemon scented gum tree
Urimbirra to take care of, to preserve
Uringa long beach
Utinga place of big trees
Wahratta camping place
Wahroonga our home, my home
Wallara joyous
Wallawa stop here
Wallenbeen stony hill
Wallowa broom wattle
Wallunwong give me a drink
Wambiri sea coast
Wambool place of a river
Wanbanalong place where kangaroos are found
Wanda beach sandhills
Wandana see far away
Wandandian home of the lost lovers
Wandarrah meeting place
Wandin running creek
Wangara west wind
Wangarie pretty face
Wangi Wangi evergreen tree
Warandoo pelican
Waranyukbeal large gum tree
Warara long way off
Warawara far away
Warrain belonging to the sea
Warralong side of a hill
Warrambucca warm place
Warranyah my house
Warrawee come here, rest awhile
Warrawong side of hill
Warreen home near the sea
Warrina place of rest
Warringa the sea
Warrnambool place of plenty
Warruga good view
Wattle a twig or flexible rod, interwoven twigs
Weegerak resting place
Weemala distant view
Weemilah good view
Weenga to rest
Weerona resting place
Weerong place of rest
Weeroona resting place
Werona quiet
Whyalla place of water
Wilga willow tree
Wilima running water
Willawa stop here
Wilparina carried by the wind
Wiltja hut, shelter
Winga to sit down, to live
Wingara spring of water
Winninnie meeting of the clans
Wirrack to climb
Wirraminna wattle trees
Wirrawa dance
Wirrelyerna level ground
Wirrimbirra to keep, to preserve
Wirrinya sleep
Wirruna sunset
Wiruna sunset
Withamango to laugh
Wogadong everlasting flowers
Wolbah hill
Wollomai look around you, keep your eyes open, look out
Wollumbin high mountain
Wompa hill
Wompinie sheltered from the sun
Wongabeena our home
Wongaburra our home
Woolahra the moon
Wooleroo the moon
Woollahra look-out
Woonan home
Woongarra sleeping place
Woonona to sleep
Woorarra mountainous place
Wooreen the sun
Woorill to sit
Woorilla to sit
Woorinyan love, affection
Wunmullun stretch out the hands
Wurinyan to love
Wurley hut, shelter
Wurrawana haunted
Wyong running water
Wyuna clear water
Yabboine sister
Yabbra runaway
Yaldeenie come back
Yalla go away quickly
Yallambee to dwell at ease
Yallaroo beautiful flowers
Yallembee to stay
Yallowa to sit down
Yaltara sparkling
Yalumba all the country around
Yamba bark shelter, hut
Yan Yean unmarried
Yanagin green growing trees
Yandembah the home of ghosts
Yandiah camp where their is lively gossip
Yangoora stringybark tree
Yappulun enter
Yaraan white gum tree
Yaraandoo place of the white gum tree
Yaraka unmarried man
Yaralla dwelling
Yareenumba our
Yareing high up
Yaringa near the sea
Yarra hiding place, swift motion
Yarrabee many gum trees
Yarraking to run, to go quickly
Yarraluma formerly Arralumla meaning echo
Yarrunga large trees
Yartamin stretch out the hand to receive
Yatama good
Yawoma come back
Yawung pathway
Yelgun the sun
Yellagong rejoice
Yellanjurong plenty of food
Yeltukka new place
Yengarie sleepy place
Yera joyful
Yeraberi flat-topped mountain
Yiddah to recover from sickness
Yindarra thunder
Yinkanie yours
Yirgella morning star
Yoogali to rejoice
Yoolarai satisfied
Yoorala affection
Yoorana loving
Yoorooga my home
Yoothapina good fortune
Yuarruanna loving
Yumbunga camp
Yungala pelican
Yungarup hills by the sea
Yurana loving
Yurara extensive east view
Yurnga extensive view
Yurrah plenty of trees
Yuruga extensive view

 

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