Nukunu Wordlist

This is a searchable wordlist. In the top right-hand corner you will see a search box. Try typing in an English word to find its meaning in Nukunu, for example ‘ snake’.

There are soundfiles available for every word to help with your pronunciation.

This wordlist is sorted in alphabetical order according to the Nukunu. 

These words come from the Nukunu Dictionary, published by Luise Hercus in 1992.

Nukunu
English
kaantu
yellow footed rock wallaby
kalma
centipede
kaaṛu
blood
kaaṛu-thatni
Red Sea (an inlet with red sand, probably near the Red Cliff)
Kakarru
the Great Serpent, the Rainbow Snake
kakarti
head
katarki parla-parla
bald
kakarti-marra
head-hair
kakarti-puthi
head-hair
kalpila
four
kalta
sleepy lizard
kaltitya
to listen
kampatya
to cook
kampatya mayi
to cook food
kampu
black snake
kanthi
thigh
kanturla
Tammar wallaby, female
kapartaki
south
kapmuna
grandfather, mother's father
Kapurinya
name of hill up from the waterfall (behind Pt Germein)
kaṛa
spear with two barbs
kaṛanya
arrogant, fancying oneself
Kaṛarru
name of one of the matrilineal moieties
kari
emu
Kari-yawi
name of a site in Nukunu country, 'emu-water', southwest of Mt Remarkable
karku
yellow ochre
karlu
testicles
karntu
storm
karntu-pirkinya
lightning
karnu
mallee
karrara
thunderstorm
karritya
to get up
kartinya
first child female birth order name
kartla
fire
kartla-yarlu
light from a fire, blaze
kartu
wife
katha
long waddy, yam stick
katli
wild or tame dog
katnu
frill-necked lizard
katnya
stone, rock
katnyini
grandmother, mother's mother
kawarna
uncle, mother's brother
kawi
water, rain
kawi-miina
spring, 'water eye'
kawi-piki
rain stone
kawi-wangkarta
waterhole
kawi-wawarda
rockhole
kinhi
this, this one
Kintyura
abode of the spirits of the dead, visualised as a distant place in the west
kulpi
cloud (general term)
kumarti
little
kumpu
urine
kunartu
third child female, birth order name
kunga
boy
kungapa
child
kungunya
baby
kungurti
baby
kuni
third child male, birth order name
kuntu
chest
kuntu-warlpu
breast-bone
kupa
corpse, also probably means 'white coloured'
Kupanga
Mt Mambray
kupmana
one
kupurlu
grog
kuraki
white cockatoo
kuranyi
rainbow
kuratya
to hit with a weapon
kurdi
phlegm
kuri
corroboree
kurntatya
to hit with one's hand, to beat
kurra
magpie
kurranha
thunder
kurru wantatya
to snore, lit 'to lie down snoring'
kurti
quandong
kurtlu
red kangaroo
kurukuku
diamond dove
kuti
swan
kutlu
louse
kutna
faeces
Kutnayi
name of a hill, probably in Nectar Brook country
kutnyu
white man, ghost
kutnyu-paarla
white woman
kutyu
other, different
kuulu
leaf, bough
kuurni
snot
kuya
fish
maama
father
maara
black duck
maku
cloud, high cloud
makuli
slate stone
Makuli-wartli
name of Crystal Brook 'Slate-Stone Camp'
malka
mark, spot
maly'awi
brackish water
maly'awi pintha
name of spring at Pt Germein
mampu
knee
mampurti
name of Mambray Creek
mangaranatya
to shiver
mangarti
grandmother (paternal)
mangkutya
to pick up in one's hand
mangkutya kuya
to fish
mangu
jaw
manha-thikatya
to run
manhaka
go away
manhatya
to go
mankarra
girl
mankwina
three
manu
name for Ngadjuri people 'inland people'
manuri
name for Ngadjuri people
manya
cold
maṛa
hand
maṛa pirrinya
fingernail
marti
bandicoot
maratya
to spill
maraty'awi
name of a big spring on the border of Nukunu and Warta-Pangkala country, north of Yadlamalka 'water pouring out'
maratyi
pour it out!
marna
many, a crowd, much
marnantara
big
marni
fat, grease
marni-marna
fat, in good condition
marnpi
bird: bronze pig pigeon
marnku
arm
marra
hair of head
marrarta kawi
mirage
marrirtaki
east
marritu
birth-order name: fifth child female
marriya
birth-order name: fifth child, male
martlaka
no
marti
bandicoot
maṛu
black, black ochre
matha
kneeball, kneecap
mathaṛi
name of one of the matrilineal moieties
matyilta
name of a person
mawanha
birth-order name: last child, male
mayi
vegetable food
mayi-wakanha
hungry, lit. 'lacking food'
mi(i)naaku
blind in both eyes
miina
eye
mikarla
close, near
milatu
birth-order name: eighth child, female
miliya
birth-order name: eighth child, male
milkapa
small
milthi
red ochre
mingka
bad, sick
minpara
name of a station
mint(r)i
navel
minupa
doctor
mirnu
wattle tree, resin
mirritya
to scratch
mirtyi
hole
mitla
spear thrower, woomera
mityi
name
mityi wanhanga
what's your name
miya wantatya
to lie down sleeping
muka
egg
mukatha
short
muku
matrilineal clan
muniya
birth-order name: fourth child, male
murta
dirty
murtla
dried up, no good
murtlatya
to be dried out
murlku
flower, blossom
muru
ashes, cold
muṛupi
sand
mutlha
nose
mutyatya
club with knob
ngakarna
tree, little silver wattle full of gum
ngalkutya
to eat
ngalyara
skin, rug
ngalyuri
name of the people who lived south-east of Crystal Brook i.e. Ngadjuri
ngamatya
old woman
ngami
mother
ngana
who, what
ngangkayi
mother, alternative word ngami
nganha
bird: crane
nganta
right, right hand
nganya
me; object form of first person pronoun
ngarnta
face
ngarnta-wakanha
bad
ngarra-warlpu
forehead, bone of the forehead
ngathi-warlpu
leg
ngatli
we two
ngatyu
mine; possessive pronoun
ngayi
I, first person singular pronoun
nguntyi
liar
ngunyi
distant, 'that one some distance away'; deictic pronoun
ngupa
husband
nguṛatya
to let go, to hurl
ngurnti
neck
nguuya
seaweed
nhaalha
echidna
nhakula
whale
nhakutya
to look
nhantu
kangaroo, also used for horse
nhantu-wirra
name of a hill east of the township now so called 'kangaroo-scrub'
nhanyatu
bad
Nharangka
name of the people living in Yorke Peninsula
Nhatapilka
name of a creek in Nukunu country
nhiina
you; 2nd person sg. pronoun subject
nhawiratya
to fly around
Nhawiranha
name of a mountain, Devil's Peak, because that is where the Eaglehawk was flying around
nhayirri
sky
nhirti
hailstone
nhuki
snot
nhukunu
Nukunu, name of the people of the Southern Flinders,
nhungku
your; possessive pronoun second person singular
nyani
sheep
nyilka
dog
paarla
woman, female
papartaki
close by
piratyanga
place near Mt Kay
thapmurti
grandfather: father's father
thartu
hill, the Flinders Ranges in particular; this word was also an alternative term for 'head'
thartu-wilya
head-hair
thilawi
plant: old man saltbush
thulya
policeman
thupa
fly
wanityu
bat
warrartu
birth-order name: second child female
warrika
birth-order name: second child female
warriya
birth-order name: second child, male
warta
small marsupial
wartli-pampu
wood fork, used in making a humpy
wartli
home, camp
wartnitya
to fall down
watapa
track
watla
windbreak
watlha
Tammar wallaby
watlu-kupa
crested pigeon
watlyu
hole, opening
watna
boomerang
watnaratya
to chase
watnari
emu-bush
watnyi thuṛa
little people, mythical people that live in the hills
watnyi
little
wayi
fear
wayina
frightened
way(i)tpi
south wind
wiirna
white chalk, kopi
wiithanha
bullroarer
wilka
dog, dingo
wiltya
night
Wilyaṛu
name of the final stage of initiation involving cicatrisation
winta
barn owl
wipaṛu
whip snake
wipma
history time, dreamtime
wira
red gum
Wira-paṛi
name of Wirrabara Creek, 'Gum-tree Creek'
wiralya
tree-goanna
wirarti
club, waddy
wiṛi
shoulder blade, wing
wirltu
eaglehawk, also name of Devil's Peak
Wirltu-mukunha
person belonging to the Eaglehawk matrilineal clan
wirnta
spear, fighting spear
wirra
scrub
wirri
club
wirupa
cockatiel
wita
tree
Witalu
name of Black Hill
wititya
to strike with something, to shoot
witli
rib
witu
dillybag
yaarli
tongue
yaka
sister (elder)
yakarla
child
yakarla paarla
girl, little girl
yaku
gum from sandalwood tree
yanganyi
chin
yangka
beard
yapatya
to blow a fire, to breathe on something
yarinda
birth-order name: seventh child, girl
yariya
birth-order name: seventh child male
yarnuta
scorpion
yarta
ground, dry earth
yarta-purlpa
dusty, dirty 'ground-dust'
Yartalya
name of a well
Yartna-malka
name of two places, Yadlamalka near the border of Nukunu and Barngarla country and Andamooka in Kuyani country.
yartli
man, husband
yartna
back
yartna-warlpu
backbone
yartnayartna-malka
cicatrisation from the Wilyaṛu ceremony, 'marks on back'
yaṛu
whirlwind
yatha
directly, soon
Yatpara
name given at initiation to an uncle of Gilbert Bramfield, who was the senior Nukunu man of his generation
yiira
teeth
yipitya
to splash
yirityi
crab
yirka-multi
sky
yirta
bird, general term
yuku
canoe, large bark dish
yulya, var. thulya
policeman
yunga
brother, elder
yungkatya
to give
yurlku
heart
yuṛi
ears
yurtni
throat
yurtu
piece, piece of wood
yuru
euro
yuwatya
to stand
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