from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A long, loud call used to attract attention when at a distance, mainly done in the Australian bush.
  • n. A short distance; hailing distance.
  • v. To make such a call.
  • interj. Used to attract someone's attention.


  • The warning had scarcely been given by the leader, whose two companions reloaded their fire-arms, when they heard a shrill cry of a peculiar kind, which is in the Colony called a cooee, and which is chiefly used by parties in the bush to denote their positions or make known their desire of help, guidance, etc.

    Ralph Rashleigh, by James Tucker

  • Anxious to escape thoughts so little comprehended, King hurried on, and essayed a feeble 'cooee' when a few yards from the sleeper.

    The Red True Story Book

  • And if you go to a picnic, just when the fun commences you have to nick off home and milk, and when you tog yourself on Sunday evening you have to undress again and lay into the milking, and then you have to change everything on you and have a bath, or your best girl would scent the cow-yard on you, and not have you within cooee of her.

    My Brilliant Career, by Miles Franklin


'Cooee' was used as a signal by the Australian aborigines, and adopted by the colonists in the bush.