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Kangaroo

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Ringo
994517.  Tue May 07, 2013 12:08 pm Reply with quote

The first word to pass from an Aboriginal Australian language into English? Guessably enough, it was kangaroo.

The word - Anglicised gangurru, from the Guugu Yimithirr language of north-eastern Australia - was picked up from the aborigines by Captain Cook in July 1770. But for a long time there was doubt over the word's authenticity, because other, later visitors to Australia could find no evidence at all for it being used. A cheesy gag even emerged based on the premise that gangurru meant 'I don't know' - the apocryphal response of a puzzled native to Cook's question: 'What the holy hell is that?!'

There were two reasons for the confusion. One was geography: by the time later visitors turned up in the old Guugu Yimithirr lands, the tribe had moved on, and other aboriginal groups, who spoke other languages, had moved in. The other was related to kangaroo diversity: there are many kinds of 'roo in Australia, each with a different name. To the Guugu Yimithirr, only the Large Grey is a bona fide gangurru.

One of the other Aboriginal words for 'kangaroo' that those later visitors heard the natives use was rather less biologically specific: it was
minha, which means 'edible animal'.
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Jenny
994633.  Tue May 07, 2013 7:47 pm Reply with quote

Welcome Ringo :-)

If you do a search on gangurru, you'll find some input on these here forums from somebody with specialist knowledge of Guugu Yimithirr.

 
Ringo
994642.  Wed May 08, 2013 12:34 am Reply with quote

Hello - and thanks!

Duh, should've known someone would have beaten me to it... Will check that out now.

 
monzac
994647.  Wed May 08, 2013 1:48 am Reply with quote

G'day Ringo. Good topic, nonetheless :) Welcome.

 
Strawberry
994655.  Wed May 08, 2013 2:27 am Reply with quote

Hi, Ringo; welcome.

 
germananglophile
994775.  Wed May 08, 2013 9:59 am Reply with quote

Hello Ringo!

As far as I'm concerned any Kangaroo mention will always be welcome, since according to the making-of special ( http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c7o7Ocu5i6E ) the fact that a kangaroo has three vaginas was part of how John Lloyd originally pitched the show. :D Ergo - Kangaroos helped QI to exist. Gotta love 'em. ;)

 
Prof Wind Up Merchant
1004980.  Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:24 pm Reply with quote

If kangaroos don't fart, then how do they prevent that build up of gas inside?

 
Sadurian Mike
1004981.  Mon Jun 17, 2013 2:30 pm Reply with quote

I seem to recall that men and women in white coats are to isolate that very phenem... phoneme... phamone... thing, in order to introduce it to cows.

 
CB27
1005088.  Mon Jun 17, 2013 7:04 pm Reply with quote

You've been watching Russell Howard again :p

Actually, this could be one for Qi to come back and correct because they got it somewhat wrong.

Last year, the staff at Copenhagen Zoo allowed several of their wallabies to be tested and they found that they do indeed fart out methane gas, much like cows and other animals do. The difference is that the amount of methane produced is lower because they produce their methane through gas alone, while cows produce theirs through belching as well as farting. In fact, a cow's belch produces more methane than the fart, so kangaroos are still better at converting the food into energy.

The lesson learned? Bum burp OK, mouth burp much worse.

 
bobwilson
1005105.  Mon Jun 17, 2013 11:03 pm Reply with quote

Much as I'd like to disagree with CB

 
Bondee
1005295.  Tue Jun 18, 2013 2:38 pm Reply with quote

CB27 wrote:
The lesson learned? Bum burp OK, mouth burp much worse.


bobwilson, the worst.

 

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