Gurrubuu Burranbaa (New Year)

For an in-depth discussion on alternative greetings from Dr John Giacon, click here.  These notes describe the background of new words developed from words in GR (Gamilaraay) YR (Yuwaalaraay) and YY (Yuwaalayaay).

Gurrubuu 'year' is a new word, from gurru 'hole, circle' and -Buu 'total'. It takes the earth a year to circle the sun.

Burranbaa 'new' (YY) is related to the verb burranba-li ‘(will) cause a change’. We have used this instead of other possible words:

  • nhuubala 'new' (GR), which is probably from English 'new fellow', possibly mixed with the YR YY suffix -bala 'contrast';
  • yilaan.gaal (YY) 'fresh', and possibly 'new' is probably related to yilaa ‘short time’;
  • guliyaan (YR) 'new, strange'.

The suffix -wadhaay is the GR form of -badhaay (YR YY), and can be translated as 'might', 'perhaps' 'would'.

Gurrubuu Burranbaa Gayaa!

[year new happy]
Happy New Year!

Gurrubuu-wadhaay Gaba!

[year-hope good]
Best wishes for the New Year!