Putting it all together

Construct Verbs using Body Parts and other things…

Noun FormConstruct Form
Nibden – my teeth-yabdé -abdé  or -denwi
Nenji – my hand-nejé
Nzet – my foot-zeté
Njash – my nose-jané
Ndon – my mouth or my lip-doné
Ntog – my ear-togé
Ndep – my head-debé
Nshkishek – my eye-gwé (eyed or faced)
Ngotagen – my throat-dagwné, -gotagé
Ndamken – my chin or my jaw-damké, -damkné
Nek – my arm-neké
Ken – bone-kené
Nwinsesén – my hair-sesé or -nankwé
Ndesam – my skin-wshé
Nkaké – my chest-kaké
Ndodosh – my breast-dodoshmé
Nowéy – my cheek-nowyé
Wnagen – dish-wnagé
Nibi-water-abo (liquid)


-Gwé and kwé can sound suspiciously similar, so it is very important to listen carefully and use correct pronunciation.  -Gwé can refer to the face or to the eyes.

            Jigwé                          Thunder (Next to His Face)        

            Shomigwé                He/she is smiling

            Mniwnagigwé         Infected runny eye

            Pesangigwé             Black eye (bruised eye)   

            Meningwé                He/she has eye boogers

            Bokigwé                    one-eyed, single-eyed

            Bokigwénwi                         Wink

            Winingwé                             Dirty Face

Other endings to watch for are -kadé and -gadé.  -Kadé refers to “legged,” while -gadé is an inanimate intransitive ending.

            Nyéwokadé                          He/she is Four-legged

            Nishokadé                            He/she is Two-legged

            Gkejgadé                              Something is hidden

            Wébnegadé                         Something is discarded

Here are some contextual examples of endings, some coupled with other particles.  This language is based on PARTICLES which have meaning, but must be attached to other particles to form complete thoughts.


            Magwzede                           He/she has Big Feet or Smelly Feet

            Kchemagwzede                  He/she has Really Smelly Feet

            Génozedé                             He/she has long feet

            Tkozedé                                He/she has short feet

            Gachzedé                             He/she has little feet        

            Wawagzedé                         He/she has pigeon feet (crooked feet)

            Mbiwzedé                            He/she has wet feet         

            Datkezedé                            He/she has toes that point outward

            Begwzedé                             He/she has dry feet

            Nchiwzedé                           He/she has ugly feet

            Mskwiwzedé                       He/she has bloody feet

            Mskwéwzedé                      He/she has red feet

            Mkedéwzedé                      He/she has black feet

            Winzedé                               He/she has dirty feet

            Binzedé                                 He/she has clean feet

            Zheshkiwzedé                     He/she has soil or sand on feet

            Goniwzedé                           He/she has snowy feet

            Mkwemizedé                      He/she has icy feet

            Gishkzedé                             He/she has a cut off foot

            Mnozedé                              He/she has good feet

            Mowzedé                             He/she has poopy feet

            Mtakgwzedé                       He/she has bare feet

            Gzinzedé                               He/she washes feet

            Gziszedé                               He/she scrubs feet

Mbegzedégabo                   He/she has a flat tire (literally:  He/she is standing there with a flattened foot – implies vehicle)


            Mbiwdebé                            He/she has a wet head

            Gzindebé                              He/she washes head

            Psakwdebé                          He/she has a burning head (has a fever)

            Peshkwdebé                        He/she is baldeHe/

            Binagdebe                            He/she has a clean head

            Winagdebe                          He/she has a dirty head

            Mbwakawdebe                  He/she uses his head (smart or wise)

            Édbesendebe                       He/she thinks lowly thoughts (humble)

            Édbeséndezot                     H/s thinks lowly thoughts of himself/herself


            Wabshkewzhé                    He/she has White skin

            Mskwiwzhé                         He/she has Blood on skin

            Gzibigwzhé                          He/she washes their skin

            Mektewzhe                          He/she has black/dark skin

            Gzibinsewzhe                      Wash your skin

            Bmedewensewzhe            He/she has greasy skin


            Mniwabdé                            He/she has an abcessed or infected tooth

            Wasadbégabo                     He/she stands with shiny teeth

            Niskabdénwi                        He/she bares h/h teeth

            Gsiyabdé                               He/she brushes teeth

            Gsisyabdé                             He/she scrubs teeth

            Throat and misc.

            Gishkakgwendagwné       He/she has a sore throat

            Gikijdagwné                        He/she has a sore throat

            Zagdamknégabo                He/she stands with chin sticking out

            Zagdamknéshen                 His/her chin sticks out

            Gikmenejé                            His/her hand or finger is numb

            Magnowyé                           He/she has big cheeks

            Magdodoshmé                   He/she has big breasts

            Magtogé                               He/she has big ears

            Winankwé                            He/she has dirty hair

            Binankwé                             He/she has clean hair

            Mbiwnankwé                      He/she has wet hair

            Mishigwé                              He/she has a hairy face

            Mishkadé                              He/she has hairy legs

            Mskwiwjané                        He/she has a bloody nose

            Gzigwé                                  He/she washes face

            Gzinjé                                    He/she washes hands

            Gzibingé                                He/she washes things

            Gzinagé                                 He/she washes dishes

            Gsisega                                  He/she scrubs the floor

            Winsega                                The floor is dirty


            Zamdoné                              He/she has a big mouth (talks too much)

            Winagdoneket                    He/she is foul mouthed

            Mbwakawdonet                 He/she speaks wise things

            Mishkwedone                     He/she sounds ambitious or full of resolve

            Mjekewdone                       He/she talks evil

            Natkotagdone                     He/she has a smart mouth

            Gikajgedone                        He/she has argumentative mouth

            Genotagdone                      He/she tells tall tales/lies

            Gimojtagdone                     He/she tells sneaky/shady stuff

            Mnowejtagdone                He/she speaks good things

            Shiwejtagdone                    He/she talks fierce

            Gimojtagwdonet                He/she speaks falsely


            Mnowejshkizhgoke           He/she sees good things in others

            Zheshkiwshkishek              He/she has dirt or sand in eye

            Mektewshkishek                He/she has black eye

            Mjewejshkishek                 He/she has evil eye

            Wakjeseshkizhgwen         He/she has crooked/crossed eyes

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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