The bilby is either of two Australian bandicoots, especially the rabbit-eared bandicoot Macrotis lagotis, a burrowing marsupial of woodlands and plains of drier parts of mainland Australia, The word is a borrowing from Yuwaalaraay, an Aboriginal language of northern New South Wales (between Walgett and Lightning Ridge). The word first appears in English in 1885 in Once a Month (Melbourne): There are several kinds of burrowing animals.. everywhere... The most remarkable is the Bailby - some call it Billby - about the size of a rabbit. The bilby is known as dalgite in Western Australia and pinkie in South Australia. In recent years there have been attempts to replace the Easter bunny with the Australian bilby. At Easter it is now possible to buy chocolate bilbies.

Australian idioms. 2014.

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  • bilby — /bil bee/, n., pl. bilbies. See rabbit bandicoot. Also, bilbi. [1900 05; < Yuwaalaraay (Australian Aboriginal language of N New South Wales) bilbi] * * * …   Universalium

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