This Word of the Day is another from the Kaytetye to English Dictionary, about which I wrote a short piece back when it was released in 2012. Nthwenharre n. [Kaytetye] Small white fluffy clouds that gather together before it rains. Usually seen in winter. Also referred to as mataye nthwenharre.
If the death adder bites you on the leg it holds on for good and you die, the snake as well.
In Pitjantjatjara country we know that the local name for Rhipidura leucophrys is tjintir-tjintirpa. Even if you’re unfamiliar with the scientific name, if you’re musically inclined and have an ear for Australian bird songs, you might recognise tjintir-tjintirpa as an onomatopoeic rendition of the ratcheting call of the Willie Wagtail.
For Kaytetye speakers, the main difference between their ethnospecies is size and frequency: arlewatyerre is smaller and common while aremaye is big and less common - five of the former and one of the latter were obtained on this day.
Arandic languages have a spelling system which takes a lot of getting used to – but the introduction to the dictionary is a real winner. It explains the system, demonstrates how sounds are made, gives respellings that will help English speakers, and even fuzzy spelling search clues. One thing I really like is the cross reference to words that sound similar arerre ‘collarbone’ and ararre ‘white bread’ are cross-referenced to help you distinguish between them.