Most people associate the term kylie with the female personal name (as in Kylie Minogue). In Western Australia, however, it is a term for what is known elsewhere as a `boomerang'. The word was borrowed into Australian English from Nyungar, an Aboriginal language spoken over a large extent of south-western Western Australia, including present-day Perth, Albany, and Esperance. The word also occurs in other western Australian languages. The word first appears in English in G.F. Moore's Diary of Ten Years Eventful Life of an Early Settler in Western Australia (published in 1884, but referring to an 1835 diary entry): I am sorry that nasty word 'boomerang' has been suffered to supercede the proper name. Boomerang is a corruption used at Sydney by the white people, but not the native word, which is tur-ra-ma; but 'kiley' is the name here. While early writers use various spellings (as with Moore's kiley), in the twentieth century the spelling kylie is standard. The female personal name Kylie may be based on this word. See also the entry for boomerang.

Australian idioms. 2014.

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