Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A hooked wooden stick used by Aboriginal peoples of Australia for hurling a spear or dart.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An Australian spearthrower consisting of a stick with a hooked end.

Etymologies

Dharuk wamara.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Dharug. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • The spear is thrown by means of a woomera which is a slight rod about three feet long having at one end a niche to receive the end of the spear.

    Three Expeditions into the Interior of Eastern Australia, Volume 2

  • Rubbish, they used a woomera to get distance and it wasn't anywhere near 110 meters. pwscott

    Anthropologist Argues that Modern Humans Are Wimps

  • Next up was a spear throwing demonstration, both directly hand-held and using a woomera, a device that helps increase the distance they can throw.

    Australia, Day Seven « Hyperpat’s HyperDay

  • A woomera, an at&rt/- almost as fast as a bow and arrow, in the right hands.

    The Gates of Noon

  • I believe that the method of holding the spear varies somewhat, some natives placing the handle of the woomera between the first and remaining fingers.

    Spinifex and Sand

  • As the hand moves forward the spear is released by uplifting the forefinger, and the woomera remains in the hand.

    Spinifex and Sand

  • In the handle end of the woomera a sharp flint is often set, forming a sort of chisel.

    Spinifex and Sand

  • The missile is shot forward by this means with great force and accuracy of direction; for by the peculiar method of throwing the spear the woomera affords a great additional impetus from this most ingenious lengthening of the arm to that extent.

    Three Expeditions into the Interior of Eastern Australia, Volume 2

  • With the invention of the sling, the bow or the woomera we have an 'arms length' amplifier.

    Scientific Blogging

  • "after about thirty years of age a man is allowed to have as many women as he likes, and the older he gets the younger the girls are that he gets, probably to work and get food for him, for in their wild state the man is too proud to do anything except carry a woomera and spear."

    Primitive Love and Love-Stories

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Comments

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  • As the US attorney general says, there is no habeas corpus in the Constitution. Why should Australia be any different?

    December 6, 2007

  • I reiterate: WTF?!

    December 6, 2007

  • It's a bit like jurisdiction in Guantanamo Bay. ie. Some bit of legislation says normal laws don't apply because it's not technically in the USA so the military can de facto do what they like. In the same way, Australia defines a Migration Zone. So if you're a sodding refugee on a leaky boat who reaches an extremity like Ashmore Reef or Christmas Island, you may be denied the right to claim asylum on the technicality that your claim was not made within the Migration Zone. ie. you were standing on a bit of ground that Australia says is ours, and thanks for all for the fish/diamonds/phosphate/undersea oil/etc, but is not recognised as Australian territory by the Dept of Immigration. Such people have in recent years been taken to Woomera. Clever lawyers attempt to mount a case regardless, and the asylum-seekers spend up to three years behind barbed wire for no crime other than landing in not-the-right-place. This is precisely the point. Mainland Australia is much harder to reach in leaky boats, meaning asylum seekers either change their minds about coming at all or drown anonymously. Recent government policy has declared this 'effective border security'.

    December 6, 2007

  • WTF?! Can you explain that "Migration Zone" thing, please?

    December 6, 2007

  • Also a town in South Australia. Once used as a testing range for rockets. More recently as a holding centre of 'unauthorised entrants to the Migration Zone'.

    December 6, 2007

  • Ohh yeaah... I forgot all about this word!

    December 6, 2007

  • Australian - a short, wooden instrument used in launching spears; a spear-thrower.

    December 6, 2007