from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Australian A sheep.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A sheep.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. A sheep.


Australian pidgin, perhaps from Kamilaroi (Aboriginal language of southeast Australia) dhimba.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Unknown, from pidgin, possibly from an Australian Aboriginal language, although it appears also to have moved from pidgin to Aboriginal. Numerous derivations have been proposed. (Wiktionary)



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  • If the etymology is to be believed, there's far too much jumping going on in that song. I haven't seen the flock this nervous since sionnach bought a new freezer.

    March 10, 2010

  • A sheep. The term is a corruption of ‘jump up’ (Macquarie Dictionary, 3rd rev. ed. Sydney: Macquarie, 2001). Cited on the National Library of Australia website,

    Down came a jumbuck to drink at the billabong.
    Up jumped the swagman and grabbed him with glee...
    --A.B. Paterson, "Waltzing Matilda"

    February 7, 2007