- a mythical creature of Aboriginal legend said to inhabit water and watercourses.
- an impostor.
- counterfeit; phony.
Origin of bunyip
1840–50; < Wergaia (Australian Aboriginal language of the Wimmera area, Victoria) banib
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for bunyip
“It is reckoned the residence of the water-cow,” a monster like the Australian bunyip.Angling Sketches
He took Sam and Bunyip aside, and almost gave way to despair.
When that was done, Bill stood up and made a speech to Bunyip Bluegum.
But Bunyip Bluegum said, 'Why not turn him upside-down and sit on him?'
Call him Albert when addressing him,' he added to Bunyip Bluegum.
- Australian a legendary monster said to inhabit swamps and lagoons of the Australian interior
C19: from a native Australian language
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for bunyip
1848, fabulous swamp-dwelling animal (supposedly inspired by fossil bones), from an Australian aborigine language.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper