List discussion - BLULANG

This is a narrow topic, but I am none the wiser! Is blulang derived from blue + lang or blow + lang?

As far as I have paid attention, a blulang is indeed blue, but I stll suspect this is not the derivation. Can anyone tell?

John Burton  Sep 2001


Perhaps this will clarify things. Powell & Hogue in their California Insects book say that blow flies are often metallic green or blue. The Macquarie Dictionary (McMahons Point, NSW: Macquairie Library, 1981) defines blowfly as "any of various true flies, of the order Dipter, which deposit their eggs or larvae on carcasses or meat, or in sores, wounds, etc., esp. the blue blowfly, Lucilia cuprina."

PNG may not have the same blowfly species as Australia (there is no good general PNG insect book as far as I can tell), but it's likely that the "blu" in "blu lang" is derived from blue rather than blow, since many blowfly species are metallic blue.

Tom Slone  Sep 2001


The Bislama word is "bluflae" not "blulang". I checked on this because, in general, the words of Austronesian origin in the Bislama and Tok Pisin lexicons show very little overlap.

Ross Clark Sep 2001


Yes, I stand corrected. I relied on my notes rather than reconsulting Crowley.

This should have read:

In Bislama, blulang is a blowfly (Crowley, 1995). The usage below (from Wantok) also indicates blowfly (which are carnivorous) rather than March fly (which are not). Can anyone confirm that blu lang does not mean March fly, or was this omission unintentional?

Tom Slone 21 Sep 2001