[The kangaroo name] [11 October 1889]

[Editor: An extract from the “Gossip from Abroad” column in the Portland Guardian, 1889. Whether this story is actually true or not is another matter.]

[The kangaroo name]

When Captain Cook discovered Australia he saw some of the natives on the shore with a dead animal of some sort in their possession, and sent sailors in a little boat to buy it of them. When it came on board he saw it was something quite new, so he sent the sailors back to inquire its name. The sailors asked, but, not being able to make the natives understand, received the answer, “I don’t now,” or, in the Australian language, “Kangaroo.” The sailors supposed this was the name of the animal, and so reported it. Thus, the name of the curious animal is the “I don’t know,” which is almost equal to the name given to one of the monstrosities in Barnum’s Museum — the “What-is-it?”

Portland Guardian (Portland, Vic.), Friday 11 October 1889, page 4 (of the supplement section)

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