Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Yorgum - a large red flowering gum

Yorgum is "a Noongar name for a large red flowering gum tree with healing properties" and also the name adopted by the Yorgum Aboriginal Family Counselling service( an indigenous run service). Their introductory page contains the following words "yorgum a symbol of grandmother for the family tree", "dwott yorgum kwopping very good walbrininy healing".

I'm recording this as an example of what I was talking about in my previous post - of how the writing of Noongar is taking on a life of its own. Let me unpick some of the words here.

dwott is a word used for various eucalyptus trees. George Moore recorded its use in the 1840's, Moore spelt it twotta . Yorgum is probably derived from Yok(woman) and may also be a name for a specific tree. Large red flowering gum trees are not common on the west coast. The most likely candidate is Corymbia ilicifolia which is generally a small tree. It would be nice if someone could ask the service for me about the origin of this word. My intuition is that it may well find its way more generally into the language.

kwopping is a variant on kwop/gwab - here the -ing ending is used as an intensifier(very). Daisy Bates is enlightening on the variations of this common word in Noongar.

walbrininy is interesting. It's not recorded in any of the early word lists as far as I can tell. But is now quite common in the Perth area where it means 'healing'.

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Blogger McCabeandco said...

kaya nidja walbrininy, ngany kongk Cliff Humphries baal waarngk-nyanginy - baalang 'dictionaries' milli-milli-mai-bert...
Tim McCabe

Yey nidja Yorgum baal dwott, "York Gum'

7:47 pm  
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Blogger Spencer Collins said...

Isn't this terrible, Bob's blog comments section has been bombed by spam... Those bastards...

I think the red flowering gum that Bob was referring to here is Corymbia ficifolia, not Corymbia ilicifolia as stated.

Hope you enjoy this blog. It is now being hosted, along with all of Bob's online Noongar research, at kippleonline.
Just click on the menu item "Noongar Resources".

5:51 pm  

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