Definition of berrigan
: emu bush
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Origin and Etymology of berrigan
earlier also behreging, name for Heterodendron oleaefolia, probably borrowed from an Aboriginal language of New South Wales ◆See Joseph Henry Maiden, The Forest Flora of New South Wales, vol. 2 (Sydney, 1907), p. 86: “[under the article for Heterodendron oleaefolium] Aboriginal Names.—‘Jiggo’ of those of the Murrumbidgee, and ‘Berrigan’ (of which ‘Behreging’ is an old spelling).—(Kidston).” The Kidston in question is “the late Forester T. Kidston,” an informant of Maiden based near Condobolin in the Lachlan River valley. In Maiden’s The Useful Native Plants of Australia (Sydney, 1889), behreging and jiggo are given as “aboriginal names” for Heterodendron oleaefolium (“emu bush”), while berrigan (also “emu bush”) is said to be an aboriginal name for Eremophila longifolia. Neither berrigan nor behreging is entered in the Australian National Dictionary (Oxford, 1988), or in R.M.W. Dixon, et al., Australian Aboriginal Words in English, 2nd edition (Oxford, 2006). Given the location, the likely Aboriginal source would be the Wiradjuri/Wiradhurri language, but the existence of such a word in extant lexical resources for Wiradjuri has not been confirmed.
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