Words used in prayers

Iw enaj mo yan!

            That is all I have to say.

Iw sega nomgek!

            Ending a prayer/Amen.

Kob je ge waj gen!

            To end a prayer/to end S.T.

Ahau, e Kob je ge waj ge yak!

Ok, Let’s tie things up!

Ok, Let’s end things!

Ok, Let’s wrap things up!

Ke bon ye wi men              Let’s Quit!

Kesh Kwata men                Let’s Stop!

                                    (Ceremonial use)

Kweb ye wi men                 Let’s get started!

Kwe web ta men                Another one.

Etso nangot oy goy           Each and

                                                Everyone of us.

Jagena gomge’                “                     “

Nozhoyen etso nangotoygo!

Bless each and everyone of us!

Jage nag onan – All of my relations!

Gdenwe magnek

Gdenwe magnenanek

Wdenwe magnedok—-All of my relatives!

All inclusive statement: Includes the Two leggeds,

The Four leggeds, The Creeping Crawling Things, The Winged Nation,

The Fire, The Rock, The Water, and the Green.

This also takes into account the past, present, and future on all these things.

West                           We’chbgeshmok

North                         We’chksenyak

East                            We’chmoke’k

South                         We’chnawkwe’k

Sema                         tobacco

Nensema                  Indian tobacco

Kishki                         cedar

Wabshkekbyag       sage

Wishpemishkos      sweetgrass

Wike                           calamus root/bitter root

Mswabmish             red willow

Mkojibe’                    bear root/osha root

Nenwesh                  milk weed

Jise’s                          jinseng

Some more terms:

Wjeigwan                 direction

Najdo                         ask for

Kises                          sun

Giskbekis                  moon

Giskbekises              another moon

Gmene’smen                       we are in need of

Natowa                      ask him/her

Gwi natowa             we’ll ask him/her

Gwi natowamen     we’ll ask them

Wewebta                  start

Nda wewebtamen  let’s get started

Gwi wewebtamen  we’ll get started

Mishkozwen             strength

Mishkwezwen          having to do with strength

Mnobmadzewen    good health/good life

Bgosenjegewen      wish for/hope for

Nigan wjeigwan      to the future/or to the front

Shpemek                  above/heavenward/heaven

Shpemsegok                       somewhere up above

Nawshpemgok        directly overhead

Mnedok                     spirits

Mnedo                       spirit

Wisnewen                food/groceries

Mijem                                    prepared food(s)

Begdengadek          offering/to put something down as an offering

Bgednegadek          another form of the same word

Zhewenmeshnak    have pity on us

Zhewenmegomen having pity on us

Nozhowen                blessing

Nozho                        bless us

Ewi nozhowet          going to be blessed

Zhawendagewen   a blessing

Gashemagneshiwjek         veterans

Shemagneshek       active service/men and women

Gdogmamnan         our chief/our leader

Gshem’ndeo            Great Spirit

Mamogosnan          The Creator/a term

                                    The greatest father of all of us!

Zheshos                    Jesus/Son of God

                                    Usually used by Native American Church folks

                                    And Big Drum Practitioners.

Dokem                       peace

E’gawmzewen         peace

Ndedmagoyen        it is asked of you

Ndodaske’                spiritual term/I will ask or beseech

Madmon                   pray

Gigiget                       to talk-to say a prayer

Shkwede                   fire

Shkwedensi             Fire Spirit

Jak gego ga gishtot                       He/She made everything

Kewebyewimen      let’s get started

Nibok                         stand up/plural

Etso nangotoygo    each and everyone of us

Kebonyewimen      let’s quit

Keshkwatamen       let’s stop/used in ceremonies

Kawtagnagjegen    to make a circle/describes a dance

Kawtagnajegemen let’s make a circle and dance

E’pe                            and/or/either

Ewseganomgek      ending a prayer

Wemtegoshi                        French

Kchemokman          American

Shagnash                 British/Canadian

Niokade                     my namesake

Nenwitok                  my fellow man(en)

Kwetok                      my fellow woman(en)

Kobjegewat              they are closing the circle

Kobjegeyak              we are closing this circle/end the doings

Gwi kobjegemen    we will end this thing

Kobjegewajgen       to end a prayer or something

Shgetagen               punk wood/used to start fires with

Sketagen                  sometimes spelled this way

Jignek                        kneeling down

Mezodan                   parent

Mezodanek              our parents

Mezodanek              family

Dodanek                   another family

Jagenagomge         each and everyone of us

Jagenagonan          all of our relatives

Wdenwemagnedok           all of our relatives/spiritual term

Bgosenjegewen      hope for/wish for

Ode eshe bgosenmegomen

This is what we hope/ask for from you…….

Ode eshe bgosenmegoygo

This is what we hope/ask for

Ode gdeshe bgosenmego

This is what you are being asked of/for

Ode gdeshe bgosenmen

This is what is asked of you


Spirit offering

Enbewat gode mnedok

Where (how) these spirits sit


Bgednegade ode wisnewen

This food is offered

Mbegdenamen ode wisnewen

We offer this food

Mbegdena ode sema

I offer this tobacco

Mbegdenamen ode sema

We offer this tobacco


I pray or ask for/I beseech of you

Ode eshe ndodaskeyan

This is what I beseech  you for

Ode eshe ndodaskeyak

This is what we beseech you for

Mishen                      give it to me

Mish she nak

Give us

Dokem                       peace

Dokem nenmeshen

Think peacefully of me or toward me

Dokem nenmeshnak

Think peacefully of us or toward us


Have mercy or pity on us

Zhe wenmegomen

Having mercy or pity on us

Bij bose ode mnedo

This spirit is coming this way

Jibdep                       sit/sitting/etc.

Jibdebe                     he/she is sitting

Jibdebwik                 they are sitting

Nwi jibdepe’            I am going to seat him/her

Nwi jibdepamen     we are going to seat him/her

Giji bde p’aye          he/she was seated

Nji bdep                    I am sitting/I am seated

Ge jibdepmen         let’s sit down

Author: neaseno

I was born on Powers Bluff in Wood County, Wisconsin, into a traditional community of Neshnabek. I was raised speaking only native languages, and learned to speak English upon entering school at the age of 6. As of this writing, I am one of 5 remaining Heritage Fluent Speakers of Potawatomi.

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