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A Dead River That Became a Global Brand Name

By Henrich Greve Subscribe to RSS | May 7th 2012 | Views:

Many words used in the English language, have roots in other languages. Most words are of French, Latin, Norwegian and German origin. The pronunciation of few words also depends on the language of origin.

Words have also evolved from old English and have taken new form in the language we speak today. A lot of words also originate from local terms used in various countries, or even derivatives. Countries have even taken liberties of creating their own words which are now accepted and understood globally.

Colloquial terms have made its way to the English dictionaries and are now used in the spoken and written word. The English language has evolved over the years and is still evolving. Such a word, which has become acceptable worldwide, is Billabong. It is a word of Australian origin. It could possibly mean a small lake or pond. A Billabong is usually created when a stream or river changes course and leaves the other branch in a dead end. It could also mean a dry or dead river which is filled only with seasonal rain water and is left dry for the remaining part of the year or other seasons.

There is a dispute over the etymology of the term. It could probably be derived from a Wiradjuri word ‘bilaban’, which roughly translates as ‘a water body that flows only after rainfall.’ If the word is broken up, it could also translate as, ‘bila’ which means river and ‘bumg’ or ‘bong’ which means ‘dead’. Few sources also say that it could be of Scottish Gaelic origin.

The word has also been used in Australian Literature and Australian and European art. Billabong is also the name of a clothing brand that sells Australian surfwear and other forms of clothing. It is quite a famous brand of clothing. Pages on social networking sites advertise and sell this brand. The brand has become famous not only in Australia but all around the world.

It is also traded in the Australian share market since the year 2000. It is a trading clothing company. Billabong has 667 stores owned by the company worldwide till the month of February, 2012. Therefore, we can assume that Billabong is an Australian English term that is now widely accepted and used not just as the literary meaning of the term but also in the world of trade and commerce. It’s now a common term.

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