Cooee! is a shout used in Australia, usually in the Bush, to attract attention, find missing people, or indicate one's own location.
I used cooee a lot as a kid growing up in the outback of South Australia and as a teenager traipsing around the bush off the coast of New South Wales. A colleague in my office mentioned it but however not in this reference, it made me question the origin of this unique call.
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When done correctly - loudly and shrilly - a call of "cooee" can carry over a considerable distance. It is also known for a call of help in which can blend in to different natural sounds in the bush.
The word "cooee" originates from the Dharuk language of the aboriginal inhabitants of the Sydney area. It means "come here" and has now become widely used in
Richard White indicates the important means of demonstrating Australian nationality with the call taking on a consciously nationalistic meaning. He also documents its spread through the Empire, to
So if your ever out in the bush and you hear some calling coooweee it's not a bird or a crazy person (well... maybe crazy!) it's just a lost Aussie.