Duungidjawu body parts

Duungidjawu is the name of one of the languages spoken in the Upper Brisbane River Catchment, extending from Caboolture to Moore. There are shared words between Duungidjawu and neighbouring languages of Kabi Kabi to the east and Wakka Wakka to the west and north.

Much of what we know about Duungidjawu has been provided by Uncle Willie McKenzie, also known as Gaiarbau. L P Winterbotham interviewed Gaiarbau in the 1950s and his manuscript provided valuable cultural knowledge on Duungidjawu and neighbouring groups in the region.

As Aboriginal languages were oral-based, the spelling of Duungidjawu and Duungidjawu language may be different in historical documents and other sources; for example Duungidjawu has also been spelt djunggidjau, dungidau, dungidjau and dunggija.

The following list identifies parts of the body and their suggested pronunciation.

Aboriginal sounds

In pronouncing Aboriginal words, there are some sounds which are quite different to English and require practice.

'dh' is different to English - it is pronounced with the tongue at back of teeth.

'dj' is similar to English - it can be between ‘j’ and ‘ch’.

'ng' is one sound in Aboriginal languages and is different to the 'n' sound in English - it is closest to the 'ng' sound found in singer.

'nh' is different to English - it is pronounced with the tongue at back of teeth.

'ny' is one sound in Aboriginal languages and is different - it is closest to the 'n' sound found in onion.

'rr' is a rolled 'r' sound similar to a Scottish 'r'; at the end of a word it may sound like ‘d’.

Download Duungidjawu body parts  (PDF 62.0 KB)

Note: the following list should be seen as a guide only; there may be several variations in spelling and pronunciation. Check with local language speakers/custodians as to the preferred local pronunciation.

EnglishDuungidjawuPronunciation
Arm Gining Gin-ing
Blood Diyir Dee-year
Body Djam Jarm
Bone Giira Geer-ah
Ear Binung Bin-ung
Elbow Gulumur Goo-loom-or
Eye Miya Mii-ya
Face Nguwar Noo-wah
Finger Bii Bee
Foot Dinung Din-ung
Forehead Yiyim Yii-im
Hair Kabui Kar-boo-ee
Hand (left) Wadangir Wah-dun-ear
Hand (right) Djunim Jun-eem
Head Maa Mah
Knee Buhn Boon
Leg Djangar Jar-nah
Mouth Dambur Darm-boor
Neck Wanda Wan-dar
Nose Mii Mee
Shin/Calf Buyu Boo-yoo
Skin Bem Beam
Shoulder Walir Wah-leer
Stomach Muu Moo
Teeth Diyeng Dee-ang

Learn more about Duungidjawu!

Uncle Willie McKenzie stories were recorded and written – State Library has a copy of the Gaiarbau Story by L.P. Winterbotham as well as Uncle Willie McKenzie's Legends of the Goundir. The recordings and other research materials are held at Fryer Library, University of Queensland.

For items in the State Library relating to Duungidjawu, click here.

Further details

For further information on Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages at the State Library of Queensland, please contact:
kuril dhagun, State Library of Queensland
Stanley Place, South Brisbane Qld. 4101.
PO Box 3488, South Brisbane Qld. 4101.
t: (07) 3842 9836            f:   (07) 3842 9893

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