[bil-uh-bawng, -bong]

Billabong is an Australian English word meaning a smallish lake, specifically an oxbow lake, a stagnant pool of water attached to a waterway. Billabongs are usually formed when the path of a creek or river changes, leaving the former branch with a dead end. Despite some claims of a Scottish Gaelic origin, the word is most likely from the Wiradjuri term bilabaŋ.

Billabongs appear relatively often in Australian literature. One of the most prominent references is in the opening line of Banjo Paterson's famous folk song "Waltzing Matilda".


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