Bininj Kunwok
Triangular Kinship Terms




Word Stem



Ordinary pronoun for third person plural (free standing form), i.e. 'they/them'.



bedda you are my child (female ego), my mother-in-law, your makkah ‘FM’.

This term is also the ordinary pronoun for the third person plural. It is used as an indirect way or overly generalised strategy to avoid specific reference to tabooed kin.

‘The practice of using a plural form to address or refer to a single individual is a very widespread feature of politeness registers in the world’s languages.’ See Laughren 2001, p.209 (Ken Hale Festschrift).


bedda you are my husband, my MMBS (‘poison cousin’), your MB. Reciprocal term = ngadjadj/narradjkawarre.

Again, an indirect form that uses a plural to refer to tabooed (singular) kin.