Definition of witchetty in English:


(also witchetty grub)

nounPlural witchetties

  • A large whitish wood-eating larva of a beetle or moth, eaten by some Aborigines.

    • ‘If you wince at the idea of witchetty grubs or emu, take heart; the bush has much else to offer.’
    • ‘Doug Taylor, who works at the Northern Territory Park, told the prince that the witchetty grubs, found in the roots of the Acacia bush, had to be eaten head first to stop their tails moving.’
    • ‘One chose witchetty grubs diligently for their flavour depended on the host tree, lemon aspen being especially tasty.’
    • ‘When it comes to finding such Australian sweetmeats as witchetty grubs and honey pot ants, Aboriginal women are masters at divining underground hideouts.’
    • ‘They learn how to cook witchetty grubs, concoct bush medicines and make boomerangs and axes.’
    • ‘We were all watching an improving video about butterflies when the voice-over stated that witchetty grubs are high in protein and very low in cholesterol.’
    • ‘We were all admiring her British stiff upper lip as she gobbled down a witchetty grub as if it were a bar of chocolate.’
    • ‘I think this afternoon we might be able to do a bit better for you, by taking some witchetty grubs.’
    • ‘But the grub that eats the plant is the witchetty grub.’
    • ‘Kangaroo burgers, witchetty grubs and Vegemite are undoubtedly Aussie tucker, but cured salmon, warm Brie crepe with French beans and horseradish sauce does not immediately bring to mind the continent.’


From Adnyamathanha wityu ‘hooked stick (for extracting grubs)’ + varti ‘grub’.