plural -s
slang, Australia, usually offensive
: a native of New Guinea

Word History


of unknown origin

Note: The Australian National Dictionary (Oxford University Press, 1988) suggests that it is borrowed from a word beŋ, "man, human being," in Wemba-Wemba, an aboriginal language formerly spoken in northern Victoria and adjacent New South Wales. More recently, though, R.M.W. Dixon, et al., in Australian Aboriginal Words in English: Their Origin and Meaning (Oxford University Press, 2nd edition, 2006), reject any aboriginal origin for the word and suggest that it may be borrowed from Jakarta Indonesian bung, a word meaning "elder brother," also used as a general term of address.

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Dictionary Entries Near boong

Cite this Entry

“Boong.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Dec. 2023.

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