PLEASE NOTE: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are warned that this article may contain references to deceased persons.

Compiling a list of Aboriginal names for children comes with some challenges.

At the time of European settlement in 1788, more than 250 Indigenous Australian languages including 800 dialectal varieties were spoken on the continent.

Sadly today, only 13 traditional languages are acquired by children. However there remains more than 100 Aboriginal dialects in Australia, which makes the meaning of Aboriginal names often tricky to define.

Thankfully, Welcome to Country website has put together a list of most popular Aboriginal boy names and Aboriginal girl names which we’ve shared in the galleries below.

Aboriginal baby names

According to the Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies (AIATSIS), Indigenous names may have changed over the years due to European settlers writing them down incorrectly.

Also interesting to note is that Indigenous people may have used or been known by many different names throughout their lives. They may have a traditional name, a kinship name, a European first or last name, or a nickname.

As for pronunciation, Mom Junction notes that Aboriginal languages usually put the accent on the first and second last syllable but also, with many of the languages having been forced into disuse, the original pronunciations may have been lost.

 

Indigenous names may have changed over the years due to European settlers writing them down incorrectly.

“There was once a time when the use of Aboriginal baby names were discouraged and not recognised on paper,” notes the website Welcome to Country. “During those times, Indigenous people would have one traditional name recognised by family groups and one English name for use in the wider community. Thankfully we are now seeing a resurgence of Indigenous names returning without any thought of a second or alternative English name.

“We have tried our best to match the names below with their correct language groups however for some names, it isn’t clear about which language group they originate from. It is also important to note that some names/words are present in more than one Aboriginal language group and may have different meanings.

Please enjoy Welcome to Country’s list of names below …

12 popular Aboriginal baby names for girls

12 popular Aboriginal baby names for boys

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