Last changed 6 October 2020

Note: This page is just a pointer to some of the main resources on Wiradjuri language

See also Wiradjuri entries in The World Wide Web Virtual Library : Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Languages, edited by David Nathan.


ISO 639-3 · wrh | Glottolcode · wiral1262 | AIATSIS · D10

Modern published vocabulary and grammar

A new Wiradjuri dictionary, compiled by Stan Grant (Senr) and Dr John Rudder. 2010. O'Connor, ACT: Restoration House. * * Note: publisher is out of business

A first Wiradjuri dictionary, compiled by Stan Grant (Senr) and Dr John Rudder. 2005. O'Connor, ACT: Restoration House. * * Note: publisher is out of business

Macquarie Aboriginal Words cover'Wiradjuri', by Sally McNicol and Dianne Hosking. Chapter 5 in  Macquarie Aboriginal Words: a dictionary of words of Australian Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander languages, ed. by N Thieberger & W Macgregor, 1994. The Macquarie Library Pty Ltd *
= ASEDA item 0536

19th century sources

There are numerous 19th century vocabularies, some substantial, as listed in the AIATSIS Library's Selected Bibliography.
Here I detail the two main early sources:

Horatio Hale with the Rev. William Watson

Hale, Horatio. Ethnology and Philology [including 'Wiradurei'], pp. 479-531 in Narrative of the U.S. Exploring Expedition, Volume 1 by Charles Wilkes. Philadelphia: C. Sherman, 1846 *
2.4MB in the Virtual Sourcebook for Aboriginal Studies in the Hunter Region Guide * another scan of the same pages is at * another version is in the Smithsonian Institution Libraries Digital Collection

writings of the Rev. James William (Jakob Wilhelm) Günther (father of William James Gunther)

Archdeacon Günther's 'Grammar and vocabulary of the Aboriginal dialect called the Wirradhuri', Appendix D. Sydney: Charles Potter, Govt. Printer, 1892. * at the The Virtual Coquun - Hunter River Project 5MB PDF  *

CY Reel 980, frames 586-615
Supplement to a Vocabulary of the Native Dialect called Wirradhurrei. 1840. [title page is numbered 281]
ML B 505
James Günther. Australian Aborigines. Wirradurri dialect, 1837-1840
Mitchell Library, Sydney

Vocabulary of the Aboriginal dialect called Wirradhurri [sic] spoken in the Wellington District, etc., etc. of New Holland collected by James Günther, 1839
[and] A few prefactory remarks to the following grammar, James Günther, St John’s Parsonage, Mudgee, 24th August 1871.
[and] An attempt of a grammar of the Wirradhurri [sic] dialect compiled & revised by J.G., 1840.
[iv], [336] pp. 19 x 12 cm
The 1839 manuscript was microfilmed in 2000 by Academic Microforms, Caithness, Scotland, and is held at AIATSIS Library Local call number MF 266 (1 reel ; 35 mm., pos.)

Vocabulary of the Native Dialect Wirradurri spoken in the Wellington District &c &c &c
by Rev Jas. James Günther
ML C136, Mitchell Library, Sydney
digitised : colour scans

monochrome microfilm : CY reel 936, frames 350–515 (C 136)

some other relevant resources

Nash, David. 2014. Comitative placenames in central NSW,  Chapter 2, pages 11-37 in Indigenous and Minority Place Names – Australian and International Perspectives edited by Ian Clark, Luise Hercus, and Laura Kostanski. Canberra: ANU Press & Aboriginal History Inc. (Aboriginal History Monograph) ISBN 9781925021622 (Print version), ISBN 9781925021639 (Online) * whole volume, chapter * from 1974 essay
correction: page 27 Note G: fighting with the meaning ‘fighting’ > fitting with the meaning ‘fighting’

additions: Parish of Julandery -32 54 24, 146 44 11
Parish of Merrimarotherie -33 16, 147 01 
Parish of Morotherie    -29  40  04, 143  33  49
Bungolanjery Point, previously Bungotanjery Point (Carrathool LGA)   -34 35, 145 52
Berigerie Parish (Teridgerie map sheet) -30 52  148 56 cf. Berry Jerry
add under Bundidjarie Hill: "Bundidgeree sheep station, near Narrandera," Parish of Bundidgerry  -34 44, 146 38; Bundidgerry Creek (anabranch) previous name:  Bundidgerie -34 47, 146 45 cf. Bundi Creek, Bundi Hole
possibly Ginninderry ~ Ginninginninderry ~ Gingininderra ~ Ghinninghinninderra -35 13 149 03
Canowindra -33 34, 148 40 listed as meaning 'a home' or 'camping place'; and note J Steele's proposal gana-win-dara ‘burn-fire-having’ (Placenames Australia March 2019 p.13)
Errenbenderry ~ Eribendery -33 11, 146 23 near Euabalong: yirribin ‘Welcome Swallow’ [Nola Turner-Jensen 5/4/2020 ]
Gelleldary, in the Murrumbidgee district (1859 newspapers)
Golgothrie  -33 33, 145 02
Goobaguthrie  -32 52, 146 21
Goobarragandra River, south of Tumut; compare Gobarralong ~ Goobarralong probably based on gubarr ‘red ochre, red paint, red stone’
Mulguthrie, in the Forbes district  -33 11, 147 22
Nandandera, near Goolagong (Forbes Advocate 23 April 1915
Weridgera Run: 1880s? variant of Weridgery (on Coradgery Pastoral Plan)

Nash, David. 2007. Worksheet on the -djuri ending in placenames.

Carey, Hilary M. and David A. Roberts (eds). 2002. The Wellington Valley Project. Papers Relating to the Church Missionary Society Mission to Wellington Valley, New South Wales 1830–42. A Critical Electronic Edition. University of Newcastle.

Austin, Peter. 1997. Proto central New South Wales phonology, pp.21-49 in Boundary rider: essays in honour of Geoffrey O'Grady, ed. by Darrell Tryon and Michael Walsh. Pacific Linguistics C-136. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, The Australian National University

Macdonald, Gaynor. 2004. Two steps forward three steps back: A Wiradjuri land rights journey. Canada. Bay, NSW: LhR Press.

Miller, Patti. 2012. The mind of a thief. University of Queensland Press. • set around Wellington; includes long quotations from diaries of Watson and Günther

See also 'Selected Bibliography of materials on the Wiradjuri Language and People held in the AIATSIS Library' (June 2006),

using old sources

Paper and Talk cover Paper and Talk coverPaper and Talk, A manual for reconstituting materials in Australian indigenous languages from historical sources, ed, N Thieberger, 1995, reprinted 2005. Canberra: Aboriginal Studies Press.

This volume contains excellent general advice on how to use old written sources; and as it happens p.42 reproduces an extract from one Günther's manuscripts (part of frame 402 of the 1838 Vocabulary)

placename study

Geographical Names Register (GNR) of NSW
Parish & Historic Maps
Parish (and Pastoral) Map Preservation Project
NSW Railway Station Names and Origins

NSW government agencies

NSW Office of the Board of Studies (BOS) page for Indigenous languages – being updated
NSW Department of Education and Training (DET) pages on Aboriginal Languages
NSW Aboriginal Languages Research and Resource Centre – revised site expected April 2007

Note: Parkes Wiradjuri Language Group Wiradjuri Language Website is no longer.

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Australian languages
David Nash's home page

Created: 4 March 2007
21 July 2016, 28 July 2018, 6 October 2020