Definition of yabber stick in English:

yabber stick


  • An Aboriginal medium of communication consisting of a piece of wood carved with symbolic patterns, handed from one community to another.

    ‘he read the message of the yabber stick with the dignity befitting his position’
    • ‘She had seen a "yabber-stick" with notches.’
    • ‘Sometimes the message would arrive by 'yabber stick'.’
    • ‘I have, in travelling over the district, often carried “Yabber-sticks” for the natives.’
    • ‘Settlers in the wilderness, using native messengers, will send a letter placed in a cleft stick, which natives call a yabber stick.’
    • ‘Yabber sticks gave their carrier authority to travel widely in order to call people together for impending ceremonies.’


Late 19th century: from yabber ‘to chatter’.