We are working on...
1 What do we believe is true so far?
There are several places and natural features with the Kangarooby
name (or with its variant, Kangaroobie). All
except one are in NSW. North-west of Cowra and near the
small town of Gooloogong is a rural property, a parish, a
creek and a mountain—all bearing the Kangarooby
name. A little over 100 km to the south-west is another
rural property and a village—this time called Kangaroobie.
All of these are in Wiradjuri country. We know that the
'Kangarooby' property near Gooloogong was known by that
name as early as 1839, and it’s probable that the naming
of the creek, mountain and parish followed rather than
preceded that. As for the 'Kangaroobie' property near
Orange, it belonged originally to Thomas Kite and the
earliest reference we have is from 1871 (in the form of
Much further south, not far from Goulburn and in
Gundungurra or Dharug country, is another property with
the name of 'Kangaroobie'. We have no current evidence of
how it got its name, or when. (There is also a homestay
property in Victoria called 'Kangaroobie'; it was named
sometime after the 1851 goldrush but prior to 1878.)
Where might the name have come from? In this case, the
most obvious answer is the most likely one: it’s based on
'kangaroo'. Although this is a Guugu Yimidhirr word from
North Queensland, it was very early exported to the Sydney
area and was the most well-known Aboriginal word in
colonial society. Further, we know that many Aboriginal
languages in eastern Australia use a <-by/-bie>
suffix to indicate a meaning like 'place of'.
Unsurprisingly, we are often told that Kangarooby means
'resting place of kangaroos'.
2 What more do we need?
We’re looking for source documents that would answer the following questions:
These are questions for historians and linguists. If you can help, contact Jan Tent.
Copyright © 2017, Placenames Australia (Inc)