Broome Pearling Lugger Pidgin

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Broome Pearling Lugger Pidgin
RegionBroome, Western Australia
Native speakers
L2 speakers: 40–50 (no date)[1]
Malay-based creole
Language codes
ISO 639-3bpl

Broome Pearling Lugger Pidgin is a pidgin that sprang up in Broome, Western Australia in the early 20th century to facilitate communication between the various groups working in the pearling industry there—Japanese, Malays, Torres Strait Islanders, Koepangers, Hakka Chinese, Filipinos, a small number of Koreans, and local Australian Aborigines, mainly of the Baada tribe but also Nyulnyul, Jabirrjabirr, Jukun, Yawuru and Karajarri people. Its words come primarily from the Malay language (specifically Kupang Malay), but it also took some words and grammatical features from Japanese, English (through the Pidgin English of the Aborigines), and the local Australian Aboriginal languages.

For example, the following sentence contains a Malay verb and Japanese grammatical particles, with the remaining words coming from English:

Chirikurok -kaa hokurok -kaa peke kriki.
English: "three o'clock" Japanese: "or" English: "four o'clock" Japanese: "or" Malay: "go" English: "creek"
"We will enter the creek at three or four o'clock."

Broome Pearling Lugger Pidgin is no longer in active use today, but some words and phrases that originated in the pidgin are still used by younger generations of Asian-Aboriginals as a marker of ethnic identity.


  1. ^ Broome Pearling Lugger Pidgin at Ethnologue (13th ed., 1996).
  2. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "Broome Pearling Lugger Pidgin". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  3. ^ Broome Pearling Lugger Pidgin at the Australian Indigenous Languages Database, Australian Institute of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Studies
  • Hosokawa, Komei (1987). "Malay talk on boat: an account of Broome Pearling Lugger Pidgin". In D. Laycock and W. Winter. A World of Language: Papers Presented to Professor S.A. Wurm on his 65th Birthday. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics. pp. 287–296.
  • McGregor, William (2004). The Languages of the Kimberley, Western Australia. London, New York: Taylor & Francis. pp. 69–71.