billabongs

billabong

[bil-uh-bawng, -bong]
noun Australian.
1.
a branch of a river flowing away from the main stream but leading to no other body of water; a blind or dead-end channel.
2.
a creek bed holding water only in the rainy season; a dried-up watercourse.
3.
a stagnant backwater or slough formed by receding floodwater.

Origin:
1830–40; < Wiradjuri bilabaŋ creek that runs only during the rainy season, equivalent to bila river + baŋ possessive suffix

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World English Dictionary
billabong (ˈbɪləˌbɒŋ)
 
n
1.  a backwater channel that forms a lagoon or pool
2.  a branch of a river running to a dead end
 
[C19: from a native Australian language, from billa river + bong dead]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

billabong
Australian, "backwater, stagnant pool," 1865, from Billibang, Aboriginal name of Bell River, from billa "water" + bang, of uncertain meaning.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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