Port Jackson Pidgin English

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Pidgin English
New South Wales Pidgin
Native speakers
English-based pidgin
  • Pacific
    • Pidgin English
Language codes
ISO 639-3None (mis)
Glottolognews1234  New South Wales Pidgin[1]

Port Jackson Pidgin English is an English-based pidgin that originated in the region of Sydney and Newcastle in New South Wales in the early days of colonisation. Stockmen carried it west and north as they expanded across Australia. It subsequently died out in most of the country, but was creolised (forming Australian Kriol) in the Northern Territory at the Roper River Mission (Ngukurr), where missionaries provided a safe place for Indigenous Australians from the surrounding areas to escape annihilation at the hands of European settlers. As the Indigenous Australians who came to seek refuge at Roper River came from different language backgrounds, there grew a need for a shared communication system to develop, and it was this that created the conditions for Port Jackson Pidgin English to become fleshed out into a full language, Kriol, based on English and the eight different Australian language groups spoken by those at the mission.


  1. ^ Hammarström, Harald; Forkel, Robert; Haspelmath, Martin, eds. (2017). "New South Wales Pidgin". Glottolog 3.0. Jena, Germany: Max Planck Institute for the Science of Human History.
  • Smith, Norval (1994). "An annotated list of creoles, pidgins, and mixed languages". In Jacque Arends; Pieter Muysken; Norval Smith (eds.). Pidgins and Creoles. John Benjamins.


  • Hall, Robert A., Jr. (July 1945). "Notes on Australian Pidgin English". Language. Language, Vol. 19, No. 3. 19 (3): 263–267. doi:10.2307/409833. JSTOR 409833.CS1 maint: multiple names: authors list (link)
  • McGregor, W. B. (2004). The Languages of the Kimberley, Western Australia. London, New York: Taylor & Francis. pp. 62–64.
  • Mühlhäusler, P. (1991). "Overview of the pidgin and creole languages of Australia". In S. Romaine (ed.). Language in Australia. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. pp. 159–173.
  • Mühlhäusler, P.; McGregor, W. B. (1996). "Post-contact languages of Western Australia". In S. A. Wurm; P. Mühlhäusler; D. T. Tryon (eds.). Atlas of Languages of Intercultural Communication in the Pacific, Asia, and the Americas. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
  • Sandefur, J.; Sandefur, J. (1980). "Pidgin and Creole in the Kimberleys, Western Australia". Australian Institute of Aboriginal Studies Newsletter. 14: 31–37.
  • Simpson, J. (2000). "Camels as pidgin-carriers: Afghan cameleers as a vector for the spread of features of Australian Aboriginal Pidgins and Creoles". In J. Siegel (ed.). Processes of Language Contact: Studies from Australia and the South Pacific. Saint Laurent, Quebec: Fides. pp. 195–244.