On possession in the Potawatomi construct

Inalienable Possession

Understanding possession requires knowledge of the personal pronouns and their corresponding prefixes and suffixes.  In Bodewadmimwen, body parts and relatives fall into a special class of nouns that are considered “inalienably” possessed.  This means that to be grammatically correct, you cannot just have a Foot or a Mother; you have to specify whose foot or whose mother it is.  Body parts and relatives are considered “Dependent” nouns.

Nkat               My leg                                   Ngyé              My mother

Gkat               Your leg                                 Ggyé              Your mother

Wkaten         His/her leg                            Wgyéyen      His/her mother

Nkatmenan  Our leg (not yours)            Ngyénan       Our mother (not yours)

Gkatmenan Our leg (+you)                     Ggyénan       Our mother (+you)

Gkatmewa   Your leg (pl.)                        Ggyéwa         Your mother (pl.)

Wkatmewa  Their leg                                Wgyéwan     Their mother

The pattern looks slightly different when the noun is plural.  Remember, body parts are inanimate, while relatives are animate:

Ntogen                      My ears                     Nmeshomsek          My grandfathers

Gtogen                      Your ears                  Gmeshomsek          Your grandfathers

Wtognen                  His/her ears             Wmeshomsen         H/h grandfathers

Ntogmenanen        Our ears (-you)       Nmeshomsenanek Our grandfathers-

Gtogmenanen        Our ears (+you)      Gmeshomsenanek Our grandfathers+

Gtogmewan            Your ears (pl.)         Gmeshomsewak    Your grandfathers

Wtogmewan           Their ears                 Wmeshomsewan   Their grandfathers

Here are some commonly used terms for relatives and friends.  Note that some terms are only used by men, while some terms are only used by women.

My maternal aunt  Noshé                        My nephew             Negwenes

My paternal aunt   Nshegwes                 My niece                   Nzhemes

My cousin                 Nitawes                     My parents              Ngetsimek

My daughter           Ndanes                      My younger sibling   Nshimé

My son                      Ngwes                       My brother (men)  Nnikan[1]

My grandmother   N’okmes                   My daughter in law  Ne’agnekwé

My child                    Nijanes                      My sister (women) Nidgeko

My grandchild         Nosés                         My sister (men)      Ndekwem

My uncle                   Nzheshé                    My son in law          Ne’angesh

My elder brother of male            Nsezé

My elder brother of female         Ndewéma

My brother in law of female       Nita

My brother in law of male           Niji

My elder sister of male                 Nmesé

My sister in law of male               Ninem

Family ties were of utmost importance to the old time Bodéwadmik, and relationships were very specific.  Many relationships had special places of honor in society.  For example, it was customary for a son-in-law to avoid speaking directly to his mother-in-law out of absolute respect for her. 

Here are some commonly used body parts.

My ear                       Ntog                           My ears                     Ntogen

My nose                    Njash

My eye                      Nshkishek                 My eyes                    Nshkishgwen

My throat                 Ngotaken                 

My mouth                Ndon

My chin                     Ndamken

My arm                     Nnek                          My arms                   Nnekén

My hand                   Nej/Nenji                  My hands                 Nenjin

My leg                       Nkat                           My legs                      Nkatén

My foot                     Nzet                           My feet                     Nzetén

My finger                  Nenjis                        My fingers                Nenjisen

My toe                       Nzetés                       My toes                     Nzetésen

My shoulder            Ndenmagen             My shoulders          Ndenmagnen

My head                   Nshtegwan              

Top of my head       Ndep

My hair                     Nwinsesén

My forehead           Ngeték

My back                    Npegwen

My tooth                  Nibet                          My teeth                   Nibden         

Alienable Possession

Objects that can be removed from a possessor are considered “Alienable.”  This means that the noun in question can be given away.  Nouns that fall into this category are considered “Independent” nouns.  Possession of this sort is shown as follows:

Inanimate Objects:

Nkomanem             My knife                               Nkomanen               My knives

Gkomanem              Your knife                             Gkomanen               Your knives

Wkomanem            His/her knife                        Wkomanen              His/her knives

Nkomanmenan      Our knife (not yours)        Nkomanmenanen  Our knives

Gkomanmenan      Our knife (yours too)        Gkomanmenanen  Our knives

Gkomanmewa        Your knife (pl.)                    Gkomanmewan      Your knives

Wkomanmewa       Their knife                            Wkomanmewan    Their knives

Animate Objects:

Ngazhoyem             My cat                                   Ngazhomek             My cats

Ggazhoyem             Your cat                                 Ggazhomek             Your cats

Wgazhomen            His/her cat                           Wgazhomen            His/her cats

Ngazhomenan        Our cat (not yours)            Ngazhomenanek    Our cats

Ggazhomenan        Our cat (yours too)            Ggazhomenanek    Our cats

Ggazhomewa          Your cat (pl.)                        Ggazhomewak        Your cats

Wgazhomewan      Their cat                                Wgazhomewan      Their cats

There are other ways to show possession of this type:

            Ndo komanem                                My knife

            Nin ma ode koman                        This is my knife (emphatic)

            Nin ndebendan ode koman        I own this knife

            Nin ma o nemosh                           That is my dog (emphatic)

            Nin ndebenma o nemosh            I own that dog

Gdo koman                                      Your knife

            Gin ma ode koman                        This is your knife (emphatic)

            Gin gdebendan ode koman         You own this knife

            Ndo komanmenan                         Our knife

            Ndo komanmenanen                    Our knives

            Ninan ndebendamen ode koman          We own this knife

            Gdo komanmenan                         Our knife

            Gdo komanmenanen                    Our knives

            Ginan ndebendamen node komanen   We own these knives       

Some special Possessive words:

Nda’i                          My pet dog

            Ndokyan                   My pet cat (can be used for other small animals)

            Ndéygwam              My pet horse

                                                Proximate                             Obviative


Nemosh        O Nemosh                            Ni Nemoshen

Bnéshi                        O Bnéshi                               Ni Bnéshiyen


Nemosh                    Gi Nemoshek                       Ni Nemoshen

Bnéshi                        Gi Bnéshiyek                        Ni Bnéshiyen

This does NOT mean the dog and the bird have become inanimate.  What they have become is 4th Person.

Nin/Ninan/Ginan = 1st Person

Gin/Ginwa = 2nd Person

Win/Winwa = 3rd Person

Nemosh wabman ni bnéshiyen

            The dog sees the bird (s)

                        Nemosh – 3rd Person        

                                    ni bnéshiyen – 4th person

He, pegdoshen i n(do)pkwakwetem

Ni pi je étémget i n(do)shkemotem?

Dopwenek éték i g(do)shkemotem

I yé i n(do)waboyanmenan!

I yé ni n(do)waboyanmenanen!

Hau, mnéschegén ni gchikaswenen!

Ni pi je étoyék ni gdabyanmewan?

Gégo toyék ni gdabyanmewan ibe!

Gishpen étoyék ni gdabyanmewan ibe égwan o mshenkiwnene wa je pamsét éwabdet ni gdabyanmewan ibe éwi mbyégét ni msenegasnen!

Wabek nwi shema o n(de)nemoyem.

Wabek nwi shemamen o n(de)nemomenan.

Wabek nwi shema o n’okmes wnemomen.

Wabek nwi shemak gi n(de)nemomek.

Wabek nwi shemamen gi n(de)nemomenanek.

Wabek nwi shema o ngétsimnek wnemomewan.

Ni pi je ék’kezot o gmeshomsewa wgazhomen?

Nemetsena éyéyet ni wgazhomen.  Cho nde wabmasi o!

[1] Nikan is also used for “My friend.”

Gaga she dgwagek

Anet Bodéwadmimwen Dgwagek kedwenen

Some Potawatomi sentences for Fall.

Édgwagek Datbegnon watébgyanon.

The leaves are changing color since it is becoming fall.

Tkéya mget zagech gnebéch da biskemen gazhoyak.

It’s cool outside maybe you should put on some warm clothes.

Gda-mawdoshk’anen ne ni datbegon nekmek shena zhi ténon.

Could you rake the leaves they are all over the place?

Babwichgen! Abdek nwi-askonye bgéji ksenya mget.

Wait! I have to change it’s a little cold.

Biskowagen ne ggi-byédon iw pi gishkepkonyak wa je ksenyamgek.

Did you bring a jacket its gonna be cold when it gets dark.

Oswen ne ggi-majibdon kyetnam ewi ksenyamgek dbekek.

Did you turn on the heater its really gonna be cold tonight.

Penik ne ggi -bnegwenak?

Did you peel the potatoes?

Msezé wiyas mine Shekowew penik nwi-gebatonen.

I am cooking turkey and mashed potatoes.

Mdamnek ne ggi-mshishknak?

Did you shuck the corn?

Netem ne sikdekiwen ezhewébek shode.

Has the first frost happened here?

Nish Kche yabek ngi-wabmak ezhi jigakwak.

I saw two big buck over there by the edge of the woods.

Ngi-bashksewa ngot nijan mine bshkonwek o yabe.

I shot one doe and I missed a buck.

Gda-Bitoshkan eko ksenyamget wéyabek.

You should dress in layers since its going to be cold tomorrow morning.

All about eating.

Eating Vocabulary

Wisne                                      Eat

Gimodanjegé                            Eat something secretly VAI

Gimodanjegé                            Eat something stealthily VAI

Dangam                                   Eat a bit of something, Sample it VTA

Gidanwé                                  Eat all of someone’s food  VAI

Gidamo                                   Eat all of s.o. or s.t. (VTA) like a whole bird

Gidan                                      Eat all of something VTI

Geshéba wisnewen                   Breakfast

Geshéba wisnen                       Eat Breakfast

Niba wisnewen                        Evening Food

Niba wisnen                             Eat at nite

Nagozhi wisnewen                   Dinner

Nagozhi wisnen                       Eat Dinner

Dépseni                                   Eat enough/Make someone eat enough VAI

(da) de mijen                            Eat enough of something VTI

Gijagnegé                                 Eat everything up VAI

Adopo                                     Eat from something VAI

Nawkwé wisnewen                  Lunch

Nawkwé wisnen                       Eat Lunch VAI

Mowa                                      Eat somebody (VTA)

Gidamo                                   Eat Somebody up VTA

Bedanjegé                                Eat Slowly  VAI

Inanjegé                                   Eat s.t. or s.o. VAI

Dananjegé                                Eat s.t. or s.o.  VAI

Mijen                                       Eat something

Ge geshéba mijen                     Eat something for Breakfast VTI

Nawkwé mijen                         Eat something for lunch  VTI

Nagozhi mijen                          Eat something for supper VTI

Jagan                                       Eat something up

Mno wanjegé                           Eat well VAI

Abanjegé                                 Eat something using something VAI

Widopangé                              Eat with others VAI

Widopa mijen                          Eat with others VAI

Mijnen jigamjegé                      Eat with fingers VAI

Widopam                                 Eat with somebody VTA

Majimwisne                             Begin to eat (VAI)

Wéwébwisne                           Start to eat (VAI)

Shema                                     Give something to somebody to eat VTA
Ashemangé                              Give to eat (VAI)

Ndewabdan wisnewen              Search for something to eat (VAI)

Mijem                                      Something Edible.

Aptadbeket mijem                    Midnight snack J

Various Bodewadmimwen

The Peculiarity of the Potawatomi language.

Bonye wit – finished/es, he/she  (needs prefix)

Bon gizh – to finish s.t.

Gizh – finish.

Gizhi – finished.

Zhabshkan – h/s finishes, accomplishes s.t.

Bonshkat – h/s finished s.t.

Gizhita – to finish s.t.

Gizhitat – h/s finishes s.t.

Gizhtot – h/s finishes s.t.

Gizhton – to finish s.t.  (inan.)

Zheto – to make s.t.

Neto – to try s.t./try/attempt.

Shketo – to make an attempt.

Wzhege – to build s.t.

Ewdadset – h/s who was born.

Gi wdaze – that one was born.

Egi nigyan – I was born.

Egi mashkayan – I flew.

Egi pabmashkayan – I flew all over or I flew all around.

Egi wdadsiyan – when I was born.

Egi nigyan – when I was born.

Kyendesen – hurry.

Wewendesen – hurry.

Wjandan kyenep – cook quickly s.t.  (inan.)

Zhishjegen/jigtegen – broom.

Also jishtegen – broom.

Zhibawaseya – transparent   (inan.)

Zhibawasezi – transparent   (anim.)

Zhabwatezigwa – ice (referring to the opaque quality)

Zhibawase mjedasnen – sheer stockings.

Zhabwate’egen mjedas – sheer nylon stocking.

Bkwakwet – ball.

Wizhgebkwakwet – hard ball.

Wagjaya bkwade – curve ball.

Nisaj bkwade – sinker ball.

Gzyeka bkwade – fast ball.

Nenjis bkwade – knuckle ball.

Bgeshnem bkwade – drop ball.

Azhtoge bkwade – change up ball.

Giwshkwe bkwade – corkscrew ball.

Bimskwem bkwade – corkscrew ball.

Gonaken bkwade – knuckle ball.

Medagwegwet I kigdowen – that’s an interesting subject.

Medagwegwet I – that’s interesting!

Gete medagwegwet – velly intellesting!

Emedagwegwat – they’re having an interesting time….

Mkedewkonye – priest or black robe.

Msenagkesget – secretary.

Msenazget – photographer.

Wzhobyewmsenazget – artist or painter.

Msenabiget – artist.

Various Neshnabe Games.

Mamkeznewen – moccasin game  (man’s game)

Bnekwe – woma’s bowl game.

Epeskewewen – another word for woman’s bowl game….

                         Associated with a form of lacrosse game with it….

Egsegkewat – they are playing the women’s dice game/bowl game.

Ksekenek – old style word for bowl and dice  (belonging to the women)

Epeski’a – another word for woman’s ball game.

Pegnegewen – Lacrosse.

Pagishenak – racket.

Sheshawinitjiken – cup and pin game.

Mzekwage – the icicle/could also be used to describe a fluttering bird,

usually an eagle, how they seem to hang in one spot while fluttering.

Nizgikdadwa – bother s.o.

Nizgakdadwat – bother each other.

Nizgikwat – they bother s.o.

Nnigiskwa – I bother s.o.

Nnizgikdadmen – we – you bother s.o.

Gnizgikdadmen – we + you bother s.o.

Mskogat – yarn belt.

Mskogaden – plural.

Meme – piliated woodpecker.

Memeyek – plural.

Mikjewitaget – work for s.o.  (people).

Anokagiget – a worker for hire.

Nokana – to hire s.o.

Nwi nokanage – I will hire s.o.

Pepij – once in awhile.

Mjeshak or nanakech —-often

Mbish nwi wzan – I’m going to boil water.

Gwi ndo mbes – are you going to take a bath?

Neskwe – brush hair.

Gzi yabde – he/she brushes his/her teeth.

Nwi gzi yabde – I will brush my teeth.

Gzi yab deon – brush your teeth!

Ga bme je bgeshyen – where you camp.

Ga bme je bgeshyek – where you folks camp.

Ga bme je bgeshyan – where I camp.

Bakwiyangemek – tent.

Bebkoyangemek – cloth tent.

Nso’egan – wigwam/teepee, a tripod house….

referring to the tripod needed to support the dwellings they     used to make and cover with whatever…

negekgemek – bark house.

Shkwadem – door.

Gashkika’on – threshold.

Wasejgen – window. (literally, s.t. you can see light through).

Waskonenjegas – small lamp.

Waskonenjegen – light.

Nibwaskonenjegen – floor lamp.

Naken – rug.

Aneskewes – small throw rug.

Pegwen – mat, as in cat tail.

Beshmonkojgen – large rug.

Dopwen – table.

Jibtebwenen – chairs.

Jibtebwen – chair.

Pedyebwen – s.t. to sit on.

Pedyebwenen – plural.

Mbagen (en) – bed/beds.

Waboyan (en) – blanket/blankets.

Bakweshmowen (en) – pillow/pillows.

Wnagen (en) – dish/dishes.

Bdekjigen (en) – fork/forks.

Taswen – cupboard/closet.

Gzhabkezgen – stove.

Deschegen – shelf; also desk or a low table.

Atsek – room.

Datseknan – add a room.

Pakwan – roof.

Shpemsegen – ceiling.

Atsekwnegadek – a specific room.

Koman – knife.

Wagakoman – curved blade knife.

Zhadi – arrow.

Pekwe (yen) – arrow  (referring to the straight shaft of the arrow).

                        they were very straight, like the cat tails shafts….

Nwib – arrow  (referring to the sharpened projectile point).

Newi – projectile, usually a shell

Mtegwab – bow.

Megos – awl.

Jishkwajgen – scraper.

Megeshkan – hook.

Biwabkon – flint.

Biwabken – iron striker.

Bodwe – make a fire.

Shkwede – fire.

Msen – firewood.

Emkwan (en) – spoon/spoons.

Mtegemkwan (en) – wooden spoon (s).

Kwabgen – cup or dipper.

Kwabegas – small cup or small dipper.

Mnekwajgen – s.t. to drink from, usually a cup.

Begwedemget – it is dry.

Begwedejgadek – dryer.

Ksinjegadek – washer.

Wnagenksinjegadek – dish washer.

Zhoshkwe’en – iron.

Zhoshkwe’an – to iron s.t.

Itsge – dye.

Itsgeke – to dye s.t.

Begwedege – drying s.t.

Gepisege – parching s.t.

Pegejis segat – threshing s.t.

Noshketon – winnowing.

Seshjegen – set the table.

Sesh che gen – another spelling.

Mneschegen – straighten things, put things in order.

Nazhikege – scrape, as in a hide.

Jizhikwaige – scrape-stretch a hide.

Zhi shibwaige – stretch a hide over a frame.

Gazhko – shave or scrape off with a sharp knife.

Gazhke’a o – to scrape or shave s.o.

Penejegewen – persistense.

Awanjegewen – perserverance.

Zhiptem – stubborn.

Kwtegwe – stubborn.

Mishkwes – diligent.

Minwewes – hard working/enterprising.

Mamwe je pi – most of the time.

Odo pi – at this time.

Ode zhe pi – right now!

Iw pi – then.

Iw pi je – when.

Iw she pi – at that time.

Megwe pi – long time ago/or a long way off.

Mno wi pi – long time ago.

Ibe pi – over there.

Iw je pi – it was then.

Zhote zhi – over here.

Ezhi – over there.

Wesibe – way over there.

Wa gin negwne – oh, so it’s you!

Wi pe – to lye with s.o.

Ndo wi pe – to go lye with s.o.

Ndo wi pe ma’a o nde kweyom pkonyak – I will lye with my wife tonight.

Wi pe mesh – lye with me.

Moshkabwadan – add liquid to a pot or kettle.

Pabwe – add s.t. to soup or a pot.

Pabwewiyanabo – stew.

Nmoshkabwadan – I add liquid to a pot or kettle.

Kwech – yet!

Wasemajishkamowen – electricity.

Wasemowen – another form of electricity.

Shpemwnagendapnewen – satellite.

Bemisiwnagewen – another satellite.

Mawandonan – weld.

Mawandojege – welder.

Winkeshage – carver/one who carves.

Nnaikwat – to fix s.t.

Dabyankewnene – mechanic.

Wasemownene – electrician.

Psakwnemownene – another electrician.

Psakwnemowen – electricity.

Inanemowen – air/oxygen.

Nese – breathe.

Anemo – breathe.

Nemwin – breath





Anemowen – s.o.’s  breath.

Mbeknam – breathless.


It is a beautiful day here today for us and we are about to start another segment of our journey teaching and sharing this language. We are currently working on a lexical piece on the Potawatomi language which now seems like an ever expanding work. In the beginning, we thought to publish and comment on some 90 to 100,000 words we had gleaned from Don’s notes, but quickly found that we had to keep expanding what we thought we understood. It is a work in progress for sure.

Simple language stuff

What things are called in the language

Ni je ezh ne kadek                                           What is it called? 

Ni je ga zhen kadek                                         What was it called? 

Ni je wa zhen kadek                                        What will it be called?

Ni je ezh ne ka swat                                        What are they called? 

Ni je ga zhen ka swat                                      What were they called? 

Ni je wa zhen ka swat                                     What are they going to be called? 

Ni je ezh ne kan go yen                                   What are you called? 

Ni je ezh ne ka zot                                           What is he/she called? 

Ndag zhe an ne                                               Are you through yet? 

Ni je ode ezh ne kadek                                    What is this called? 

Ni je node ezh ne kadek                                  What are these called?

Ni je o zhe ne ka zot                                        What is he/she called?

Ni je gi ezh ne ka swat                                     What are they called?

Ni je gi da zhen ka swat                                  What should they be called?

Ni je da zhen ka dmen                                     What should they call them?

Megwa byej bye ge o                                      He/she is still writing.

Ni je gode ezh ne ka swat                               What are these called?

Ni je ga zhen ka ngo ygo                                 What were we called?

Ni je wi zhen ka ngo ygo                                 What can we be called?

Ni je da zhen ka ngo ygo                                 What should we be called?

                                                                        What can we be called?

Bodewadmiyek gde zhne/zhen kan go men  We are called Potawatomi.   

Bodewadmik gda zhne/zhen kan go men      They can call us Potawatomi.

Some examples:

Wiwkwan ode zhen ka de.                              It is called a cap.

Kewezi o zhen ka zo.                                       He is called an old man.                     

Nemosh o zhne ka zo.                                     He/it is called a dog. 

Ndebanawen ode zhen ka dem get. (Neutral)           It is called love.

Gwabgasen node zhen ka denon                    They are called cups

Komanen node zhen ka denon.                      They are called knives.

Zhishibek gode zhen ka zwik.                          They are called ducks.

Mkesnen node zhen ka denon.                       They are called shoes.

Dbuhgenen ni zhen ka denon.                        They are called rulers.

Neshnabek gi zhen ka zwik.                            They are called Indians.

Zhagnashiyek gi zhen ka zwik.                        They are called Canadians.

Amoyek gi zhen ka zwik.                                 They are called bees.

Kwekwsek gi zhen ka zwik.                             They are called woodchucks.

Gokokoyek gode zhen ka zwik.                       They are called owls.

Biskowagenen node zhen ka denon/don.       They are called shirts/it is called a shirt.

Wiwkwanen ni zhen ka denon/don.               They are called caps/it is called a cap.

What are you saying?

Kedo                                        h/s is saying s.t.

Ndekto                                     I am saying s.t.

Gdekto                                     you are saying s.t.

Kedwik                                     they are saying s.t.

Ni je ektot o                            what is he/she saying?

Ni je ektoyen                           what are you saying?

Ni je ga kedyan                        what did I say?

Ni je ga kedyen                        what did you say?

Ni je ektowat                           what are they saying?

Ni je wa kedwat                      what are they going to say?

Wi kedwik wa je byayak          they are going to say s.t. when we get there.

Wi ye I, wa kedyan                  that’s what I’m going to say.

Wi ye I, wa kedwat                  that’s what they’re going to say.

Wi ye I nda dena                     that is what I told him/her.

Ngi dena                                  I told him/her

Ngi dena a’o ma she na          but I told him/her

Widmo a’o wa kedyen            tell him/her what you’re going to say

Iw, ga kdot                               that’s what he/she said

Iw, ga kedyan                          that’s what I said

Iw, ga kedyen                          that’s what you said.

Iw, ga kedwat                          that’s what they said.

Iw, ga kedwat neko                 that’s what they used to say.

Gda ket ne ode                        can you say this?

Ni je ode da kedyan                how would I say this?

Ni je ode da kedyen                how would you say this?

Can you hear me?

Jayék gin wa ne nodwak                                 Can you all hear?

Jayék gin wa ne nodweshen                            Can you all hear me?

Gnodweshen ne                                              Can you hear me?

Éhé nnodan                                                     Yes, I can hear

Cho wi she nnodan si                                      No, I can’t hear

Éhé nnodwen                                                  Yes, I can hear you

Cho wi she nnodwe si                                     No, I can’t hear you

Bsentagéshen                                                  Listen to me

Bsentagéshek                                                  Listen to us

Bsedon!                                                           Listen!

Bsedwe’a o                                                      Listen to him/her

Mshkwedeniyek kedwenen

Kansas Potawatomi Dialect.

Nekshe                           Look

Shkeshnen                      Lay down

Nwéshmon                     Lay down and rest

Bkéji                              A little bit

Shko dés                        Match

Mégwa                           More

Mshkeke                        Medicine

Wawabmowen               Mirror

Wichewé                        Marry

Wich ewét                      Married

Shon ya                          Money

Gnebech                         Maybe


Cho/jo                            No/negative

Tbekok                          Last night

Mke téneni                      Negro/black person/man

Cho she na kéko             Nothing

Shkesh shé                     The oldest one

Sakech zhya                   Go outside

Nsak sén                        Open/open it

Gbakwnen                      Close/ close it

Bakwnen                        Open it/open

Msenegen                       Paper

Msenaken                      Book

Nebyégénatek                Pencil

Pwaken                          Pipe

Pwakas                          Little pipe

Pwakasnen                     Sometimes used for cigarettes/little pipes

Kék yéw kwet                 Preacher/someone who preaches

Medatsobet                     President/Ten laws man/one who sits at ten laws

Temakse                        He/she is poor

Gedmakes                      You are poor

Nedmakes                      I am poor

Owensé                          Pretty

Owenséze                       She is pretty

Do kem                          Be quiet

No toye                          Mean tempered/quick tempered

Wdabyango                    Ride in a car


Bmebto                          Run

Wébi wé                         Run away

Wébi wén                       Running away

Cho ne/jo ne                   Right?

Mi yéw                           Road

Miyéwés                        Path

Ksibyékaken                  Soap

Gagashe                         Soon/pretty soon

Nomye                           Just now

Yaknoké                        He/she is sick

Yaknoga                        I am sick

Mnoyési                         I don’t feel well (needs prefix)

Jibdeben                         Sit down

Wabem                          See

Wabdan                         Look at this

Nwabdan                        I look

Gwabdan                        You look

Wwabdan                       He/she/they look (s)

Kbakdebé                       Stupid

Mpektebé                       another stupid or hard headed one

Gshibtem                       Hardheaded

Ngshiptem                     I am hardheaded                      

Ggshiptem                     You are hardheaded

Wgshiptemwik               They are hardheaded

Bsegwin                         Get up

Nibwen                          Stand up

Wishkaben                     Sit tight

Shomikwé                      Smile

Yayéno                          He/she laughs/is laughing

Nekshe i                         See that

Nekshe o                        See that one

Ki kagdo                        Said

Kikito                             He/she said

Keto                               another one

Ei keto                           That is what he/she said

Mbéwak                         He/she sleeps

Mban                             Sleep

Mbé                               Sleep

Mbagen                          Bed/something one sleeps on

Bkeso                             Swim/bathes

Bmatké                          Swim (s)

Nom yaken                     Saddle

Shkwashkese                  Slide

Shkwashkesen                Sled

Bkwéné                          Smoke in the air

Bkwé                             Smoke

Bkwénémget                  It is smokey

Bkwénémi                      Smokey/a name

Nkemwen                       Song

Nkemon                         Sing

Nkemwenen                    Songs

Nkemo                           He/she sings

Gekéndasowen               Art of becoming knowledgeable

Gkekéndaséwen             Art of acquiring knowledge

Gekéndasajek                 Those who know

Gekéndas ne                    Do you know s.t./do you have knowledge?

                                      Do you know?

                                      Are you becoming knowledgeable?

Nakendumwajuk            those who have the knowledge, the wise ones.

Nagwan                         Something

Byé ji                             Slow

Ne ékej                           Slow……

Nko tek she na shi           Some day

Nan kot ken                    Some time/once in awhile

Ogema                           Superintendent/Leader/Chief/King


Mshenkéwnene              Sheriff/Policeman/Officer

Ziwen                             Sour

Otan                               Town/city

Otanek                           To town/at the town/locative

Kche otan                       Big city/big town

Débwéwen                     The truth

Nteshtéa                         Think/what I think

She té ek                         What he/she thinks

Kikton                           Talk/speak

Kenomaké                      Teaches

Kenomakét                     He/she teaches

Kenomakwé                    Female teacher

Kenomanene                  Male teacher        

Kenomakwet                  Teaching/teaches

Sintebékon                     Teepee

Wigwam                        Birch bark house/lodge

Nin ashtek                      My turn

Gin ashtek                      Your turn

Win ashtek                     Their turn/his/her turn

Ode                                This

I                                     That

É I                                  That over there

Mikwéch                        Thank you

Igwien                            Many thanks when used in proper context

Ik shegwien                    I am thankful/grateful/appreciative

Wéwéne                         I am grateful

Ntakmetam ni bet            Tooth ache

Osowanek                      Tail

Bébamatsejek                 Travelers

Bamatsik                        They’re traveling

Waséchken                     Window

Wabshkiyek                    White/something that is white

Wabshkyak                    White

Ni jo pi                           When

Ni je pi                           Another when

Wtabyan                        Wagon/car/truck

Ni pi je                           Where

Kshéwsen                      Walk fast

Bama                             Wait/shortened version

Metatsobinek                 Wash., D.C.

Wigwam wawyégon       Round house

Waka’igan                     bent sapling lodge

Wabshkan nene              White man

Kchemokman                 Another one/Long knife/Big knife

Wégwni je                       What

Wéni                              Another one

Bmosé                            Walk

Pamsé                            He/she walks

Pémsék                          A name/he/she walks

Ngot nemégishek            One week

Wé ni je                          Who

Wé ni je o                       Who is that

Bam sé wak                    Walk/they are walking

Bam sé                           He/she walks

Bmoséwak                     They are walking

Bmosé                                     He/she walks

Mik ché wi                     Works/he/she

Mikchéwiwen                 Work

Ksi kwan                        Wash up

Ksi kwé                          Washes up

Mche kwé                       Mean woman

Mje kwé                         Another one

Do kin                            Wake up

Ka wa bem                     Watch

Ka wab ma                     Watch him/her

Min wéw ze                    Good worker

Mnosk sé                        Good voice

Mnoshk sé                      ditto

Éh hé                              Yes/affirmative

Wésh ko wa                    Yell (loud)

Wéshkwese                    Loud person

Sebab                             Rope/twine/thread

Sebabis                          Small thread/small twine

Zhabneken                     Needle

Moshwaken                    Scissors

Bekoyan                         Material/cloth

Skak aken                      Straight pin

Skak aken                      Safety pin

Ba a kwos wen               Patch

Se’babwe’n                    Fringe

Kat a kwas we’n             Thimble

Bas ke’kateke’n              Clothes

Nme’kse’ne’n                My shoes

Mke’sne’n                      Mocassins

Mke’se’n                        Mocassin

Sakso ne’n                     Socks

Bi toshk ke’n                  Underwear

Mje’kote                        Dress

Mje’kotekoshkayek        Skirt

Kishkyekas                    Blouse

Wbabkoyan                    Shirt

Kbe’ti                             Pants/trousers/slacks

Jijakokateyake’n             Shorts

Bis kon we’n                  T-shirt

Bis kon we’n                  Sweater

Bis ko wa ke’n                Coat

Biskowake’n                  Jacket

Kishkbiskowake’n          Short jacket

Kchebiskowake’n           Great coat/long coat/trench coat

Winkwebsowe’n             Scarf

Wiwkwan                      Hat

Wiwkwanes                   Cap

Moshwekas                    Handerchief

Mje’tase’n                      Stocking

Mje’n kaw ke’n              Gloves

Wne’ses                         Sleeve


Moshwe                         Shawl

Azyan                            Diaper/breech cloth

Ntostab                          My shoe string

Shonyashke’mot             Purse/money bag

Shonyashke’moten          Wallet/small purse/small money bag

Kjibsowe’n                    belt

Mi shach so we’n            Jewelry

Nanoshe’bsowne’n         Ear rings

Nanoshe’bse’nwen          Ear ring

Tabne’je’e we’n             Ring

Tabne’je’ e ne’n             Rings

Nabkowake’n                 Necklace

Tbe’kiswanes                 Watch

Tbe’kiswan                    Clock

Ne’nes                           Bracelet

Nabkamwake’n              Neck tie

Nabkamwake’n              Bolo tie

Kejabche’ke’n                Hat band

Yasonkebsone’n             Arm bands

Yasonkebsowe’n            Arm band

Yasotkwebsowwe’n        Head band

Azyan                            Breech cloth

Wew nak                        Vest

Wayebe’n wan               Roach

Saj ke’n                          Indian blouse

Relative Forms:

Nse’kwe’s                      Paternal aunt

Knoshe                          Maternal aunt

Nshe’she                        Uncle

Nshime                          Younger brother/sibling

Nse’ze                            Older brother

Ntowema                       Brother of female

Nikane                           Brother of male

Mis se                            Older sister

Nshime                          Younger sister/sibling

Nitkako                          Sister of female

Nte’kwem                      Sister of male

Nos                                My father

Mnos                             Father

The form de de is a new form that came in with the adoption of english into the language.

Ndedeye’m                    My father

Ngye                              My mother

Ngye ye’                        ditto

No se’s se                       Grandchild

Nose’me                        ditto

Nose’mes                       My little grandchild

Nose’s seye’k                 My grandchildren

Me’sho                          Grandfather

Nme’shome’s                 My grandfather

Nokme’s                        Grandmother

Gokme’s                        Your grandmother

Nnokme’s                      My grandmother

Kokoye’                         Grandma in baby talk

Kne’kne’s                      Your nephew

Nek’ne’s                        My nephew

Ne’kne’                          Nephew

Kne’kne’sne’m               Our nephew

Nshe’mes                       Niece of male

Ntosh mes                      Niece of female

Nme’s sotanek                Parents

De’nwema                     Relative

De’wemake’n                 ditto

De’nwemakne’k             Pl.              

De’nwemakne’tok          Relative to all life

De’nwemane’n nanok     ditto

Ni jan ses                       My child (informal term)

Ni jan sek                       My children

Nijane’s                         Child (formal term)

Ntane’s                          My daughter

Ntanse                           ditto

Ne’ge’s                          My son

Ne’gwe’s                       My son

Ne’gwe’ses                    My little boy/my little son

Nin                                 I/my/me

Ni kan                            Friend

Okema                           King/chielf/leader

Wkema                          ditto

Gin                                 You/your

Ni nan                            We

Ni nan                            Us

Winwa                           They

Win                                He/she/they/them

Kakabese’k                    Boys

Kikabe                           Boy

Kikabes                          Little boy

Kikyako                         Girl

Kikyakos                       Little girl

Kikyakose’k                   Girls

Sesksi                             Teenage girl/virgin

Sesksiyek                       Teenage girls

Be’noje                          Child

Be’nojes                         Little child

Be’nojese’k                    Little children

Be’nojeye’k                   Children     

Ne’shnabe                      Indian/man of good intentions/intent

Mi ko                             Mexican

Mke’tene’ni                   Negro/black person

Kche’mokman                White man/woman/big knife/long knife

Kche’mokmanne’ne’      ditto

Kche’mokmanek            White men/people

Wabshkanik                   White people

Wabshkishgok                ditto

Kche’mokmankwek        White women/ladies

Ni ta                               Brother in law

Nitawe’s                        ditto (affectionate)

Agne’kwe                      Daughter in law

Nshe’n e’s                      Father in law

Nse’kse’s                       Mother in law

Nine’m                           Sister in law  (male speaker)                       

Nte’kwe’ji                      Sister in law  (female speaker)

Ntoshne’kem                  My son in law

(Dates back to when the son in law hunted and brought food to his in laws.)

Nishote                          Twins

Nishoteke                       She had twins


Tkwa kek                       Fall

Eni bok                          Summer

Nibne’k                          ditto

Eshatek                          ditto

Em nok me’k                  Spring

Mnokme’k                     ditto

Eb bok                           Winter

Bongek                          ditto


Wech bke’shmok            West

Epinge’shmok                ditto (Ojibewa)

Wechmokek                   East

Wabnong                       ditto (Ojibewa)

Wechnawkwek               South

Zhawnong                      ditto (Ojibewa)

Wechkse’nyak                North

Kiwedenong                   ditto (Ojibewa)

Wechbse’gwit                Another east

Wechwabe’k                  ditto

Wechkshatek                  Another south

Wechshawnot                 ditto

Wechbyedot                   Another west

Wechmowe’n                 ditto

Wechbonimge’t              Another north

Kaponkenowe’n             ditto

Namjiwne’k                   Left

Dab niw nok                   Right

Nekon                            In front of you

Shkwe yak                     Behind you

Nam ya kwan                 Under

Shpe’mok ke’ e kon        Over

Megwe pi                       A long way from here/a long time ago

Mno wi pi                       A long distance from here

Pi                                   Unit of time

Odo pi                            At this time

Ngotde’k                        At one time

Aya pi                            At one time (another one)

Colors:    (Enazwenen)

Wabshkyak                    White

Mek tewak                     Black

Mke’dewak                    ditto (another one)

Meskwak                       Red

We’zawak                      Yellow

Wejabkwak                    Blue

Eshkbokyak                   Green-like

Eshkbok                         The color green

Sawak                            Brown

Weje’pkwatek                Purple-like

Wabmeskwak                 Pink-like

Mskwimwabmeskwak    Pinkish

Mskwimwe’zawak          Orangish


Ngot                                                  One

Nish                                                  Two

Nswe                                                 Three

Nyew                                                Four

Nyanne’n                                          Five

Ngotwatso                                         Six

Noek                                                 Seven

Shwatso                                            Eight

Zhak                                                  Nine

Mdatso                                              Ten

Mdastoshe’chngot                             Eleven

Mdatsoshe’chnish                              Twelve

Mdatsoshe’chnswe                             Thirteen

Mdatosshe’chnyew                            Fourteen

Mdatsoshe’chnyanne’n                      Fifteen

Mdatsoshechngotwatso                      Sixteen

Mdatsoshechnoek                              Seventeen

Mdatsoshechshwatso                         Eighteen

Mdatsoshechzhak                              Nineteen

Nishwabte’k                                      Twenty

Nswewabte’k                                    Thirty

Nyewwabte’k                                    Forty

Nyaanomte’ne’                                  Fifty

Ngotwatsomte’ne’                             Sixty

Noeksomte’ne’                                  Seventy

Shwatsomte’ne’                                 Eighty

Zhaksomte’ne’                                  Ninety

Ngotwak                                           One hundred

Nishwak                                            Two hundred

Nswewak                                          Three hundred

Nyewwak                                          Four hundred

Nyannowak                                       Five hundred

Ngotose’k                                         One thousand

Ngotse’gos                                        ditto

Midasso                                            One million

Midasowak                                        ditto

Midaswak                                         ditto


Ngot me’kwi                                     One dollar

Nish me’kwi                                      Two dollars

Nswe me’kwi                                    Three dollars

Nyew me’kwi                                    Four dollars

Nyanno me’kwi                                 Five dollars

Mdatos me’kwi                                  Ten dollars

Nishwabte’k me’kwi                          Twenty dollars     

Nyanno mte’ne’ me’kwi                    Fifty dollars

Ngot wak me’kwi                              One hundred dollars

Ngoto se’k me’kwi                            One thousand dollars

Ngotse’gos me’kwi                            ditto 

Ngot yespe’n                                     Twenty five cents/quarter

Nish yespe’n                                     Fifty cents/half a dollar

Ngot mshkwapko                               One penny/one piece of copper

Nish mshkwapko                               Two pennies/two pieces of copper

Nswe mshkwapko                              Three pennies/three pieces of copper

Nyew mshkwapko                             Four pennies/four pieces of copper

Nyanno mshkwapko                          Five pennies/five pieces of copper

Ngotwatso mshkwapko                      Six pennies/six pieces of copper

Noek mshkwapko                              Seven pennies/seven pieces of copper

Shwatso mshkwapko                         Eight pennies/eight pieces of copper

Zhak mshkwapko                              Nine pennies/nine pieces of copper

Mdatso mshkwapko                           Ten pennies/ten pieces of copper


Zago                                                  Monkey

She’shko                                           Muskrat

Kte’te                                                Otter

Kokosh                                             Pig

Mantanish                                         Sheep

Schgak                                              Skunk

Wabne’m                                          Wolf (resembles white police dog)

Moew                                                Wolf (generic)

Meinge’n                                           Timber wolf

Beshk mo we                                     Lion

She’b shi                                           Tiger

Mke’shis kat we                                 Flying squirrel

Ta ka kos                                           Civet cat

Ma mak she                                       Mule

Kche’ zago                                        Ape

Wapti                                                Antelope

Seksi                                                 deer, generic

Nijan                                                 doe, white tailed deer

Wawashkeshi                                    white tailed deer

Mshiwé                                             elk

Kshi wi                                              Bull

Bkosh bshe’k ke’                               Buffalo

Me’k                                                 Beaver

Mko/Mkwa                                       Bear

Ka kin ke’shi                                     Grizzly bear

Kasho                                                Cat

Mayos                                               Another one

Bshe’ke’                                            Cow

Bshe’kwik (we’k)                              Cattle

Bshe’kis                                            Calf

Nanimwe                                           Coyote

Espe’n                                               Raccoon

Nemosh                                             Dog

Babaki                                              Hound dog

Mskwe’wakwe’she                            Red fox

Wakwe’she                                       Fox

Kokjesjish                                         Ground hog

Moto                                                 Goat

Kwe’kse                                            Wood chuck

Nektosha                                           Horse

Mi shak ne’k we                                Bat

Ko kot ni                                           Alligator

Bne shi                                              Bird  (generic)

Bne shi we’t                                      Bird with feathers

Se’gnok                                             Black bird  (red spots on wings)

Za wa ge                                            Yellow bird 

Wezawage                                         ditto 

Nano kas                                           Hummingbird

Jejak                                                  Crane

Ka kak shi                                         Crow

Andekshkwe                                      Another one

Mimi                                                 Dove

Kno                                                   Eagle

Mgeshwash                                       Bald eagle

Be’shk kno                                        ditto

We’nake                                            Buzzard

Wab mimi                                          White pidgeon

Mke’dewabmimi                               Grey pidgeon

Kakabe                                              Screech owl

Wabke’noshkwe                                Mouse

Kche’wabke’noshkwe                        Rat

Wekate                                              Lizard

Kokoko                                             Owl

Wabkokoko                                       Great white owl

Memke’ji                                           Toad

Me’kchako                                        Frog

Menjikwe                                          Tree frog

Mneto                                               Snake

Zhashage                                           Garter snake

Mskwan de’p                                     Pine snake

Nedwasi                                            Little rattle snake

Notake                                              Rattle snake

Insects:  (Mnetok)

Memeke                                            Butterfly

Memekwe                                          ditto

Amo                                                  Bee

Oje                                                    Fly

Ske’me                                              Mosquito

Esbike                                               Spider

Espe’k e e be’k                                  ditto

Wemkwoyane                                    Caterpillar

Chin skot mo si                                  Cricket

Kwa kwa te                                        Grasshopper

Boch kwan si                                     Dragon fly

Nenepajne’kesi                                  Mole

Meats—-Wi yase’n

We’sa wak sot ko kosh                      Bacon

Bshe’k ke’                                         Beef

Bkosh bshe’k ke’                               Buffalo

Mko/Mkwa                                       Bear

Bke’akwa                                          Chicken

Bidi                                                   Northern dialect

Bke’akwaye’k                                   Pl.

Bshe’k ke’                                         Cow

Espe’n                                               Raccoon

Shishib                                              Duck

Shishibe                                            ditto

Se’ksi                                                Deer

Wawashke’sh shi                               ditto

Beske’si                                            Goose

Beske’siye’k                                      Geese

Ko kosh                                             Pig/Pork

An ken ni                                           Possum

A ye ni                                               ditto

Mshewe                                             Rabbit

Wabozo                                             Northern dialect

Se’ngo                                               Squirrel

Je’dmo                                              ditto

Zhe’gos                                             Weasel

Gde’de                                              Otter

Mak                                                  Loon

She’gak                                             Skunk

Pne/Bne                                             Turkey

Wnok shise’n                                    Weiners/hot dogs

Mshe’we                                           Elk

Mshi ke                                              Turtle/Snapping turtle

Gigo                                                  Fish

Gigos                                                Little fish

Gigose’k                                           Mess of fish/school of fish

Gete se atsokanen

Traditional Tales

Why we have Spring

Bnewi pene shna gi bbomget, pene gi ksenyamget, gi gwtektowek bemadsetthek. 

A long time ago, it was winter all the time, it was cold all the time and people had a hard time.

Ngodek shna eyawek weshgget kwe gi mkedeke, ije egi ndotthget notth na datthe abwamgek.

One time a young girl fasted, and she asked that the weather would be warmer.

I tthe ni mnedon egi widmagwet da shetthget na notth ewi abwamgek.

So the spirits told her what she could do to make the weather warmer.

Gagish mkedeket egi widmowat ni wgetzimen, “Abdek wetthksenyak nwi shya,” wdenan.

After her fast, she told her parents, “I have to go north,” she told them.

“Wiye shi etthe yet o bemendek ode pene e bbomgek ngigdo,” kedo o weshgget kwe.

“That’s where he’s at, the one responsible for it being winter all the time, I was told,” said the young girl.

“Mishgoswen ngi mingo ewi o wabmek. Abdek nwi o mttenwa, gishpen pkenwek wi mnokme mine wi niben.”

“I was given power to go see him.  I have to challenge him, if I beat him there will be spring and summer.”

“Nitthe gishpen pkenagwyen?” kedo ni wneneyem.  “Jo mine wika ke wabmesim,” wdenan wneneymen.

“What if he beats you?” said her mother.  “Then you will never see me again,” she told her mother.

I tthe egi wshitat, mteno shna wa she bmowdek wgi matthidon.

Then she got ready, she took only what she could pack on her back.

Ah itthe ibe wetthksenyak gi gwtekto, o kewesi.  Gwa shna shke ewse msen emawdonek.

Meanwhile, up north, the old man was having a hard time.  He was barely able to gather firewood.

Pene shna gi mshkewakwten I zibe gabmejwek besotth i edat.  Pene gi kche noden shi.

The river that ran by, close to his house was always frozen over.  It was always windy there.

O wtthe kewesi gi tthibdebe tthik shkwede shi edat.  Gawa gewi psakwnemget i shkwede.

The old man sat in his lodge, next to the fire, which was barely going.

Bama she wiye bye detewegenet shi shkwademek.  “Ahow.  Bidgek,” kedo o kewesi.

Just then, somebody was knocking on the door.  “Ahow.  Come in,” said the old man.

Bama she sesksiyen bye bidge’net.  Aptthe she goniwe o sesksi mine bigeje.

And a young maiden came in.  She was really snowy and cold.

Mine I wdep wabgonen gi wiwkwebso.  Mine geshe gi kche mnowabmenagwse.

Around her head, she wore a halo of Trailing Arbutus.  And she was also very pretty.

“Bosho ndanes,” kedo.  “Gda bye os shote shkwedek.”  Pishne atemget gewi I shkwede.

“Hello daughter,” he said.  “Come warm up here, by the fire.”  The fire itself, was almost going out.

“Ahow nge ske’wa o ndo pwagen, ke wdemamen,” kedo o kewezi.

“Okay, I’ll light up my pipe, we will have a smoke,” said the old man.

Epiche wdemawat, “Ezakttheseyan iw ebinek ode gon,” kedo o kewezi.

While they were smoking, the old man said, “When I go outside, I bring on the snow.”

“Ah i geni ezakttheseyan ebye mokit o gises,” kedo gewi o sesksi.

“Oh, when I go outside, the sun comes out,” said the maiden.

“Shpemek eshenkenwiyan i notth ektthe ksenyak,” kedo o kewezi.

“When I throw my arms towards the sky, the weather gets colder,” said the old man.

“Nin wi shpemek eshenkenwiyan i abwamget,” kedo o sesksi.

“Me, when I throw my arms up at the sky, the weather gets warmer,” said the maiden.

Bama she peneshiyek kwedbek etnemaswat.  Gi nabmegon ni kewesiyen.

All of a sudden, birds were singing on the roof.  The old man just glared at her. 

“Ekanabdeman I zibe I emshkewakwtek,” kedo o kewezi.

“When I look at the river, it freezes up,” said the old man.

“Nin wi ekanabdeman i zibe i engezet o mkwem,” kedo o sesksi.

“Me, when I look at the river, the ice melts,” said the maiden.

I tthe zagetth egi nabet ekanabdek i zibe.

Then, she looked outside to look at the river.

Epi tangedok notth gewi ne gshedemget i shkwede.

As she spoke, the fire started getting warmer.

Bama she o kewezi enodek emdwetthwek i zibe pi enengezet o mkwem.

Then, the old man heard the sound of the river, as the ice started to melt.

“Ngotthi epamseyan i ektthe bonik,’ kedo o kewezi.

“When I walk somewhere, it really snows,” said the old man.

“Metth she bebashyayan ematthigek ni wabgonen,” kedo o sesksi.

“Whereever I walk, the Trailing Arbutus grows,” said the maiden.

I tthe ekanabmet ni kewesiyen eshkem ne gatthi ye.

As she looked at the old man, he started getting smaller.

Mine zagetth enabet I shna ene skebgamgek ni mishkosen.

And as she looked outside again, the grass was turning green.

I tthe egi kwansego mno gishgek.  Nekmek dnemaswek peneshiyek.

And it turned into a beautiful day.  You could hear birds singing all over the place. 

Gatthe tthibdebet o kewesi shna mteno gasweksek i waboyan.

Where the old man sat, all that was there, spread out, was his blanket.

Edapnek i waboyan o sesksi.  I shna mteno mbish shi ga askobisek ga tthe nmedbet o kewezi.

The maiden picked up the blanket, and all there was under it, was a puddle of water, where the old man sat.

“I she shna yedek egi ngezet o kewezi,” shede e o sesksi.

“Oh, the old man must have melted,” thought the young maiden.

I tthe shna nekmek i gi pamadset o sesksi.  Metth ttheshe ga bme shyat wiye shi ngom etthe matthigek ni wabgonen.

Then, the young maiden traveled all over.  Wherever she went, is where the Trailing Arbutus grows today.

Mine she wiye I mamo netem zakimgek e mnokmek.

And it is the first plant to come up in the spring.

I wtthe ode sesksi egi pkenwat ni mkwemi wnenwen ngom wetthe yemgo ode emnokmek.  Iw ektownangek.

Because the young maiden overpowered the iceman, is why we have Spring now.  That is the story that is told.

All the affixes

The following prefixes and suffixes are used to denote past tense, present tense, future tense, and plurals of the subject. The prefixes and suffixes are bold so that you can see a pattern in the language usage.

NI PI JE – where

E – present tense/ WA – future tense/ GA – past tense

Ni pi je e shya yen? (where are you going?)

Ni pi je e shya yek? (where are you people going?)

Ni pi je wa shya yen? (where are you going?)

Ni pi je wa shya ye’k? (where are you folks going?)

Ni pi je ga shya yen? (where did you go?)

Ni pi je ga shya ye’k? (where did you people go?)

NI JE PI –when

WA – future tense/DA – future intent/ GA – past tense

Ni je pi wa shya yen? (when are you going?)

Ni je pi wa shya ye’k? (when are you folks going?)

Ni je pi ga shya yen? (when did you go?)

Ni je pi ga shya ye’k? (when did you people go?)

Ni je pi da shya yen? (when could you go?)

Ni je pi da shya ye’k? (when could you folks go?)



NWI – future tense/NGI – past tense   WABEK – tomorrow

Wabek nwi shya. ( I am going tomorrow.)

Wabek nwi shya men. ( we are going tomorrow.)

Wabek wi shye’ wak. (he/she is going tomorrow.)

Wabek wi shye’k. (they are going tomorrow.)

NWI – future tense/ NGI – past tense    WNAGO – yesterday

Wnago ngi shya. ( I went yesterday.)

Wnago ngi shya men. ( we went yesterday.)

Wnago gi shye’ wak. ( he/she went yesterday.)

Wnago gi shye’k. (they went yesterday.)

NGOM – now-today

Ngom nwi shya. (I am going today.)

Ngom nwi shya men. (we are going today.)

Ngom shye’ wak. (he/she is going today.)

Ngom wi shye’k. (they are going today.)

Ngom gwi shya men. (we are going today.)


Prefixes and Suffixes:

Present               n de

Immediate future      n ge

Past                  n gi

Future                n wi

Future                n da

Singular              BMO SE

                      To walk

N de she bmo se           I am walking


Odan ek nde she bmo se        present

Odane k nge she bmo se        future

Odan ek ngi she bmo se        past

Odan ek nwi she bmo se        future

Odan ek nda she bmo se        future/intent

Plural                MBEM SE MEN

                      We are walking


Odan ek nde she bmo se men        present

Odan ek nge she bmo se men        future

Odan ek ngi she bmo se men        past

Odan ek nwi she bmo se men        future

Odan ek nda she bmo se men        future/intent

Some more examples:

Wi                        h/s is going to

G wi                     going to

G da                      could/can

Odan ek ne gwi she bmo se?    Singular

Are you going to walk to town?

Odan ek ne gwi she bmo sem?   plural

Are you guys going to walk to town?

Odan ek gda she bmo se.       Singular

You could walk to town.

Odan ek gda she bmo sem.      plural

You guys could walk to town.

Odan ek gda she bmo se men.   plural/inclusive

We could walk to town.

Odan ek ne wi she bmo se? Singular

Is he/she walking to town?

Odan ek ne wi she bmo sek?    Plural

Are they walking to town?


M be bam se               I am walking around.

Pa m se wak               he/she is walking around.

G be bam se               you are walking around.

Pa m se wek               they are walking around.

Wi pam se                 he/she is going for a walk.

N wi pam se               I am going for a walk.

N wi pamse men            we are going for a walk/exlc.

G wi pam se men           we are going for a walk/incl.

Ke pam se men             let us go for a walk.

Be bam se t               one who walks/sing.

Be bam se jek             those that walk–also all the/plural.

Bmo se or bmo se wak      walking or walking by

Bmo se k                  walking or walking by


E gi shke wep se t        when h/s first started walking.

Ni je pi ga ne wep se t       when did h/s start out walking?

Ni je pi wa ne wep se yen     when are you going to start out walking?