20 beautiful Indigenous Australian baby names

There were over 700 Aboriginal dialects when the European settlers arrived in the 18th century. During those times Aboriginal baby names were discouraged and not recognised on paper. Now there are less than 150 dialects, with many of them dying out. Sadly today, only 13 traditional languages are acquired by children.

Thankfully now we are seeing a resurgence of Indigenous Australian names. Aborignal names for babies are becoming more and more popular, but unfortunately it isn’t always clear which language group they originate from. Some names also have different meanings depending on which language group uses them.

Newborn Baby hopes that this list is a celebration of Indigenous Australian culture, and has been compiled with utmost respect. WARNING: Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander readers are warned that the story here may contain images and references to deceased persons.

Indigenous Australian baby names for girls

Alinta Meaning ‘flame’ or ‘fire’ in one of the Aboriginal languages from South Australia.

Alira/Allira/Allyra Meaning ‘quartz stone’.

Bindi Meaning ‘little girl’ in an unknown dialect and ‘butterfly’ in the Noongar language of Western Australia.

Jedda Meaning ‘little wild goose’, believed to have originated from the Noongar word Djida.

Killara Translating to permanent (always there) and comes from the Dharug language group in Sydney.

Kirra Meaning ‘leaf’ in the Yugambeh language found on the Gold Coast in Queensland; and ‘to live’ in the Murri dialect in southern Queensland.

Medika Meaning ‘blossom’ or ‘flower’ and also a name given to native water lilies, believed to have its origins in South Australia.

Marlee/Maali/Mahlee/Marli Meaning ‘black swan’ in Noongar; and another suggested meaning is ‘old tree’; or ‘elderberry tree’ in the Biripi dialect.

Tahnee/Tarni Meaning ‘breaking waves’ in Kaurna, it’s a popular Aboriginal name used by non-Indigenous people who sometimes don’t realise the origin of it.

Yindi Common Aboriginal girls’ name believed to mean ‘sun’, the origin of which is unclear.

Indigenous Australian baby names for boys

Coen/Koen Meaning ‘thunder’, the name is popular in Aboriginal and non-Aboriginal people.

Jandamarra/Tjandamarra Meaning ‘young warrior’.

Jarrah A well-known type of eucalyptus tree of a deep red colour, it is derived from the Noongar word Djarraly.

Jiemba Name for the planet Venus or ‘the laughing star’ is a Wiradjuri word.

Iluka Meaning ‘by the sea’ and is a Bunjalung word.

Minjarra Name for a bush plum which grown on Ngarrawanji land in the Kimberley region of Western Australia.

Miro A type of spear thrower in the Aboriginal Noongar language.

Monti Meaning ‘black-necked stork’ in an unknown Aboriginal language.

Waru Meaning ‘fire’ in Pintupi/Luritja, or used to describe the milky way in Kalkadoon country, it’s a very common word used in various Aboriginal languages.

Yarran Word for ‘Acacia tree’, a Wiradjuri word for the strong wood from it used to make traditional tools.