A billabong is a pool separated from a river, otherwise known as an oxbow lake.

The term breaks down into:
billa (bilo, pilly): river, water, fish. The common word billy, the tin can for holding and boiling water, came originally from billa.
bong (bung): dead

Source: Aboriginal Stories by A. W. Reed. copyright 1994

Bil"la*bong` (?), n. [Native name.]

In Australia, a blind channel leading out from a river; -- sometimes called an anabranch. This is the sense of the word as used in the Public Works Department; but the term has also been locally applied to mere back-waters forming stagnant pools and to certain water channels arising from a source.

 

© Webster 1913.

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