Earliest use of the actual word "yowie"

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Earliest use of the actual word "yowie"

Unread post by paulmcleod67 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 1:16 am

We all know the many colloquial and historical names for the yowie but when is the earliest actual use of the word?
Claims that the name only turned up in the seventies have no basis in fact. The earliest mention that I have found on TROVE mentions the actual name yowie in a murder trial that took place in 1898.

https://trove.nla.gov.au/newspaper/arti ... rchLimits=

Norseman Esperance Guardian and Dundas Goldfields Advertiser (WA : 1896)

Sat 4 Apr 1896 "Yow-ie."


A Queensland police magistrate tells me,
says ' Woomera,' of the Australasian, that
on one occasion some yeare ago, when
stationed at St George, he received news of a
murder some eighty miles away, and rode
down to investigate. A black gin had been
killed by an aboriginal known as Moonboy,
who had also stabbed her husband, known as
Jimmy Murray. The husband was lying in
his gunyah badly hurt, when Moonboy was
brought before him to be interrogated. 'That
fellow bin killem your gin?' the magistrate
asked. 'Yow-ie,' murmured Jimmy
apathetically, in the vernacular common to
the Condamine black and the Collingwood
larrikin. Then the fire came into his eyes
and a look of deadly rancour over his face as
he added, ''Close up longa that he bin kill
him my dog too.' It was not difficult to see
which of the two sad events Jimmy regarded
as his chief affliction".

Has anyone got anything earlier?

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Re: Earliest use of the actual word "yowie"

Unread post by Simon M » Wed Feb 14, 2018 2:23 am

There's some indication that it was used by English shepherds from certain regions in reference to lambs, according to Tony Healy & Paul Cropper in their book THE YOWIE: In Search of Australia's Bigfoot.

There's also another theory about how it's derived from the term 'Yahoo' as used in Jonathan Swift's Gulliver's Travels, but there's debate about that.

The other competing theory is that it's a distortion of an actual indigenous word for the hairy folks, adopted by English-speakers and altered due to differences in accent, etc.

I don't think anyone's sure, but it was around before the 1970's in one form or another, even if it wasn't a direct reference to 'our' Yowie.


Re: Earliest use of the actual word "yowie"

Unread post by paulmcleod67 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:30 am

The frustrating thing is that I KNOW of a much earlier use of the word, but for the life of me I cant track down the NAT ARCH newspaper article I read it in. In a nutshell it talked about an aboriginal group that feared a large hairy cannibal giant the called the yowie....Same old sort of generic settler article as many others but the type set language had an archaic 1800's, almost Shakespearean
snooty , arogant, dismissal of the information an elder had past to the author...may have been from the mid north coastal region. Stumbled onto it researching the origin of the "Three brothers mountains". Wish I kept it.



Re: Earliest use of the actual word "yowie"

Unread post by paulmcleod67 » Wed Feb 14, 2018 9:33 am

1795 was the date...

All I can find is a tiny reference to it here

https://news.google.com/newspapers?id=r ... owie&hl=en

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