|Coolibah and jumbuck|
Since this is an Australian site, this question should be right up your alley.|
A variety of or perhaps all kinds of eucalyptus trees are also known as coolibah trees. A jumbuck is a sheep. These words are found in Waltzing Matilda.
Does anyone know which specific languages coolibah and jumbuck come from? Merriam-Webster doesn't have either word; Chambers just says "Aboriginal" and "origin unknown"; and the OED is equally unhelpful. Unfortunately, I don't have a copy of the Macquerie Dict.
Thanks Ad. |
As a result of checking around on that site, I reduced my count of languages that English has borrowed words from by one. A while back I posted a link to an article I wrote for Word Ways on this topic. One of the languages was Yolngu, from which didgeridoo was borrowed from. Well, the Australian National Dict. now says that didgeridoo is not borrowed but just an imitative word. The on-line M-W agrees, so I added a note to my page.
Those who missed the link, it's at http://www.nwlink.com/~dtilque/BorrowedEnglish.html
I think I could increase the count by one or two with some of the other words on that site. But those words are not in M-W. I'll have to think about it.