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Algonquian Vocabulary Sampler|
The following is a sampling
of the Coastal Algonquian language that was translated by Dr. Blair A. Rudes at
the request of Coastal Carolina Indian Center in 2006. We're thankful to
Dr. Rudes for his assistance with this project. We are saddened by his
unexpected passing in 2008 — not only by the loss of a dear friend — but also
that we have lost the opportunity to learn from further work he intended to do
on the Carolina/Virginia Algonquian language.
Nitáp (pronounced [knee-TAUP]) or
Cumay (pronounced [CHUM-my]) (both expressions mean 'my friend' and would
be used with a stranger or someone who was not from one's tribe.)
Winkapew (pronounced [wing-KAH-poe] means 'good person' and would be used
with someone who was from one's tribe, but was not one's relative. With members
of one's family, one would use the appropriate kinship term as a greeting, i.e.
'my father' (nohsh), 'my mother' (nek), 'my sister', 'my uncle',
etc. There are many such terms, all of which are just one word long. (I can send
you others if you need them.)
How are you?
Sá kir winkan ? (pronounced [saw-keyd-WINK-on] - it means "Are you
I'm well/I'm not well.
Kupi (pronounced [kuh-PEA] - means 'yes', or Mahta (pronounced
[MAH-ta] - means 'no')
My name is _____
Nuturuwins _____ (pronounced [nuh-tuh-DUH-wince] - it means "I am called
___"; one could say "Nuturuwins Powihetan" 'I am called Powhatan')
I am from _____
_(NAME OF PLACE)_ nunowám ? (pronounced [nuh-NO-wawm]; for example, one
could say "Sukwoten nunowám." 'I come from Secotan.')
The People (Indian People)
Runapewak (pronounced [duh-nah-PAY-wahk] - it means "the true, real, or
Yapám (pronounced [yah-PAUM])
Pumitukew (pronounced [PUHM-tuh-koh] - this is the source of the place
Micon (pronounced [MEE-chone]
Nupuy (pronounced [nuh-PEA])
Pehkutawar (pronounced [peck-uh-TA-wahs])
Apon (pronounced [ah-PONE]) (This is where the -pone in English
"Cornpone" comes from)
Rohkahamin (pronounced [row-kah-HAH-mun])
Apohominar (pronounced [ah-poe-HOE-muh-nahs])
Mahkahq (pronounced [MAH-kahk}
Anáskimin (pronounced [ah-NAWS-kuh-mun]
Pakán (pronounced [pah-KAWN] - source of English "pecan")
Namehs (pronounced [NAH-mace]}
Wutapantam (pronounced [wuh-tah-PAHN-tahm]
Mushaniq (pronounced [MUSH-ah-neek])
Wápahshum (pronounced [AW-puh-shum] - source of English "opossum")
Mahkusun (pronounced [mah-KUH-sun] - source of English "moccassin")
White people/People from Europe
Wutahshuntar (pronounced [wuh-TAH-shun-tahs] - it actually meant
nek [neck] 'my mother'
nohsh [noesh] 'my father' ([oe] as in 'doe')
nunutánuhs [nuh-nuh-TAW-nuhs] 'my daughter'
nuqisus [nuh-KWEE-suhs] 'my son'
numohshomus [nuh-moh-SHOW-muhs] 'my grandfather'
nunohum [nuh-NO-hum] 'my grandmother'
nuhsimuhs [nuh-SEA-muhs] 'my younger sister'
numat [nuh-MAHT] 'my younger brother'
numis [nuh-MEECE] 'my older sister'
nihsháns [nee-SHAUNCE] 'my older brother'
numirihtáq [nuh-mee-DEE-tawk] 'my paternal aunt (father's sister)'
nukukush [nuh-KUH-kush] 'my maternal aunt (mother's sister)'
nuhshis [nuh-SHEECE] 'my maternal uncle (mother's brother)'
nohshawas [NOH-shah-wahs] 'my paternal uncle (father's brother)'
nutánqus [nuh-TAWN-kwuss] 'my male cousin'
nutánqusosqew [nuh-tawn-kwuh-SOSE-kwoe] 'my female cousin'
Ehqutonahas! [eh-kwuh-TONE-ah-hahs] 'Stop talking!'
Sit down/Be still
Apis! [AH-peace] 'Sit down!'
Nipatas! [NEE-pah-tahs] 'Stand up!'
Listen to me
Kurustuwes nir! [kuh-duhs-TUH-wes nid] 'Listen to me!'
Come over here
Pyas! [PYAHS] 'Come here!'
Sing me a song
Nahkohes nir! [nah-KOE-hes nid] 'Sing to me!'
Pick those things up
Nátunis yos! [NAW-tuh-nees yows] 'Pick those things up!'
It's time to eat
Mehci micis! [MEH-chee MEE-cheece] 'Now eat!'
It's time to go to sleep
Mehci kawis! [MEH-chee KAH-weece] 'Now go to sleep!'
(There is no translation - the Algonquoian peoples do not say 'good morning,
goodday, goodnight, etc. In the present case, one would just say 'sleep well')
I love you
Kuwumáras. [kuh-wuh-MAW-dahs] 'I love you.'
Winkan nupes! [WING-kahn nuh-PACE] 'Sleep well!'
The following word entries
by Scott Dawson (Hatteras). The extended definitions first four words were
provided by Dr. Blair A. Rudes. These were obtained by Scott through
correspondence with Dr. Rudes.
Paquiwoc is the oldest name we
have for the village where Avon sits today. It means ‘people of the
shallows’ [pa:kwe - shallow – (w)ak is the
animated plural (= people of)]
Kinnakeet next appears on maps in the same place as Paquiwoc and
is derived from the Algonquian word Kinahkink, which means
‘sharp-land-place’ or ‘land jetting into something’ ie
Pamlico Sound. The distortion of –ink into eet in English spelling is not
unusual. Ahyny means ‘the flats’ so Kinnakeet is flat
land that jets into something.
Croatoan is the English spelling of kurawoten pronounced (kuh-ra-woe-tain),
which means ‘talking or council town.' It is possible that
it could be from the word kuroten which means main town or
permanent town. The later English spelling of Croatan sounds more like
the 'kuroten' word and archeological research suggests that a permanent village
has been in Buxton since 400ad.
Wokokon seems to come from Woccon which means sacred or
powerful and refers to Ocracoke Island. Ocracoke’s meaning is a mystery
but the suffix ‘oke’ makes it a plural word.
For more Algonquian Words,
please click here.
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