Definition of King Billy in English:

King Billy

noun

Australian
historical
  • A generic term for an Aboriginal leader.

    ‘they imposed hierarchy on Aborigines by appointing King Billies and requiring them to wear identifying trinkets’
    • ‘He was one of at least three Wathaurung men in the region given the title King Billy by European settlers.’
    • ‘The paper was handed to him by the aboriginal King Billy and contained only these words,'Goodbye, sir.'’
    • ‘This particular measure does not seem to have had any marked effect except perhaps in helping to set up a number of tribal King Billies to confuse writers on native ways.’
    • ‘At one time when a stranger approached a blacks' camp the juvenile King Billies would disappear into the gunyans.’
    • ‘Ballarat council looks set to name its newest suburb after one of the city's most famous historical elders, Mullawallah, or King Billy as he was commonly known.’

Origin

Mid 19th century: probably a jocular allusion to the British king William IV.