A13: Widi

AIATSIS code: 
AIATSIS reference name: 


Thesaurus heading language
Thesaurus heading people
ABN name
ABS name
Horton name
Ethnologue name
Badimaya (Widimaya)
ISO 639-3 code
Tindale name
Tindale (1974)
Wiri (valid alternative ['widi] = ['wiri] means 'no'), Minango (of Wadjari tribe, means southerners), Minangu, Nanakari (of Nokaan), Nanakati (my people), Barimaia (nondiscriminative name used by Wadjari for this and Barimaia tribe), Jaburu ('northern people,' name given by a man of Northam, i.e., probably Balardong).
O'Grady et al (1966)
Other sources
Weeree [Bates: MS held at NLA]
Badimaya, Widimaya, Barimaia, Cheangwa, Jaburu, Minango, Minangu, Nanakardi, Nanakari, Nanakati, Nhanhakarti, Opee, Weeree, Wiri, Wirti, Wirtimaya, Witimay, Wirtimay, Wirdimay

The status of Widi with respect to the name Wirtimaya (and variants Witimay, Widimay) is uncertain.

Some sources have treated them as the same (Wurm 1972, Thieberger 1993) while others only use one form (O'Grady, Voegelin and Voegelin 1966 and Capell 1963 use Widi) or the other (Walsh 1981 and Wurm 1994 use 'Wirdimay', Douglas 1976 uses Witimay (wirdimai), and von Brandenstein 1991 and Douglas 1981 use Wirtimaya).

Oates and Oates (1970:59) list 'Witimay' as an alternative name of Widi (A13) but Oates (1975:89) treats Wirtimay as a distinct variety. Of Widi, Oates (1975:87) comments that Douglas treats it as part of Watjarri A39, whereas Wirtimay is listed as a Njungar W41 variety.

Douglas (1981 and MS 1369) comments that 'Wirtimaya' was called 'Watjanmay' by the Nyungars W41. However, Douglas's 1976 map locates 'Watjanmay' south-east of Patimay A14 while his 1981 map locates 'Wirtimaya' north-west of Patimaya A14.

The identity of Widi with respect to other language names has also been uncertain. According to the WA Handbook, the comparison of Badimaya A14 vocabulary to Widi vocabulary by Morphy (1985, 'Working notes on Western Australian languages') suggests they are two separate languages.

On the other hand, Marmion's view (2007 p.c.) is that 'Widi' (Wirtimaya, Wirdimaya or Wirdi) as far as it refers to a language is another name for Badimaya A14, based on the word for 'no', 'wirdi'. Widi may refer in particular to the western Badimaya (around Mingenew and Morowa), where it might have been a name used by the coastal neighbours to refer to the Badimaya.

O'Grady et al. (1966) treat Cheangwa A97 as an alternative name of Widi while Tindale treats Nanakati A93 as an alternative name of Widi. These are names Blevins (2001) refers to as possible languages spoken in the area between the eastern extent of Nhanda W13 and the western extent of Badimaya A14.

In this database, Widi and Widimay/Wirtimaya etc. are treated as alternative names of the one language, while Cheangwa A97, Nhanhagardi A93, Badimaya / Badimia A14 and Wajarri / Wadjarri are treated as separate languages.


  • Blevins, Juliette. 2001. Nhanda: an Aboriginal language of Western Australia: Oceanic Linguistics Special Publications, no. 30. Honolulu: University of Hawai'i Press.
  • Brandenstein, Carl G. von. 1991. Report to Yamaji Language Centre Geraldton on the unnamed language from Three Springs, Nhanhakarti (Wirtimaya), Nhukaan = Taakurta and Wajarri, ts. (listed in Thieberger 1993).
  • Dixon, R. M. W. 2002. Australian languages: their nature and development: Cambridge Language Surveys. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
  • Douglas, Wilfrid H. 1976. The Aboriginal languages of the south-west of Australia, 2nd edition: Australian Aboriginal Studies, Research and Regional Studies 9. Canberra: AIAS.
  • Martin, Joan. 2011. Joan Martin (Yarrna): a Widi woman. Acton, ACT: Aboriginal Studies Press. (B M381.61/W1)
  • Oates, Lynette F. 1975. The 1973 supplement to a revised linguistic survey of Australia. Armidale: Armidale Christian Book Centre.
  • Oates, William J., and Lynette F. Oates. 1970. A revised linguistic survey of Australia: Australian Aboriginal Studies 33, Linguistic Series 12. Canberra: AIAS.
  • O'Grady, G. N., C. F. Voegelin and F. M. Voegelin. 1966. Languages of the world: Indo-Pacific fascicle six. Anthropological Linguistics 8(2).
  • Perks, John. 1886. Irwin and Murchison Rivers, Cheangwa. In The Australian race vol. 1, ed. E. M. Curr, 368-375. Melbourne: John Farnes, Government Printer.
  • Thieberger, Nicholas. 1993. Handbook of Western Australian Aboriginal languages south of the Kimberley region: Pacific Linguistics C-124. Canberra: Pacific Linguistics.
  • Tindale, Norman B. 1974. Aboriginal tribes of Australia: their terrain, environmental controls, distribution, limits, and proper names. Berkeley: University of California Press/Canberra: Australian National University Press.
Potential data
State / Territory: 
Location information: 

From between Lakes Monger and Moore north to Yuin, Talleringa Peak, and Nalbarra; west to Mullewa and Morawa (Morowa); east to Paynes Find and Wogarno, south of Mount Magnet; at Yalgoo and upper Greenough River (Tindale 1974).


  • Tindale, Norman. 1974. Tribal boundaries in Aboriginal Australia. Canberra: Division of National Mapping, Department of National Development.
  • Douglas, Wilfrid. 1981. Watjarri. In Handbook of Australian languages vol. 2, eds RMW Dixon and B Blake, 196-272. Canberra: ANU Press
Indigenous organisations: 
Year Source Speaker numbers

Speaker numbers were measured differently across the censuses and various other sources listed in AUSTLANG. You are encouraged to refer to the sources.

Speaker numbers for ‘NILS 2004’ and ‘2005 estimate’ come from 'Table F.3: Numbers of speakers of Australian Indigenous languages (various surveys)' in 'Appendix F NILS endangerment and absolute number results' in McConvell, Marmion and McNicol 2005, pages 198-230 (PDF, 2.5MB).

Type Documentation Status Documentation Score
Word list Less than 20 pages 1
Text Collection None 0
Grammar None 0
Audio-visual None 0
Manuscript note: 
tape transcription/field note available (Bates)
Source Family Group Sub-group Name Relationship
Ethnologue (2005) Pama-Nyungan South-West Wadjari Badimaya (Widimaya)  
Dixon (2002)          
Wurm (1994) Pama-Nyungan South-West   Wirdimay  
Walsh (1981) Pama-Nyungan South-West Wadjari Wirdimay  
Oates (1975) Pama-Nyungan Pilbara-Nyungar (Southwest) Wadjari | Njungar Widi | Wirtimay  
Wurm (1972) Pama-Nyungan Southwest (or Nyungic) Kardu | Nyungar Widi | Wirtimay  
O'Grady, Voegelin and Voegelin (1966) Pama-Nyungan Southwest Kardu Widi