mShkwapkos – Penny

mShkwapkos is a small copper, a unit of currency from the fur trading days, but copper was well known to the Potawatomi long before European contact.  Potawatomi people knew how to extract copper and beat it into jewelry, utensils, dishes, and many other useful items.

Nyanno mshkwapkosen éngedék i wawen – That egg costs 5 cents

Nishwabtek mshkwapkosen éngedéwat ni mnejimnen – Those peas cost 20 cents

Nyéwabtek mshkwapkosen éngezwat gi penik – Those potatoes cost 40 cents

Shwatso mtene mshkwapkosen éngedék i nebyégen – That pen costs 80 cents

Nyéwo mekwi mine nishwabtek mshkwapkosen éngedék i nonagnabo – That milk costs $4.20.


Yéspen – Quarter

Yéspen is also a term from the fur trading era, meaning one raccoon pelt.

Nswéo yéspenen éngedék i wishkbabo – That soda costs 75 cents (three quarters)

Nyanno yéspenen éngedéwat ni mshimnen – Those apples cost $1.25 (five quarters)

Nisho yéspenen éngezwat gi penik – Those potatoes cost 50 cents (two quarters)

Nisho éspenek ngi wabmak – I saw two raccoons (don’t confuse éspen with yéspen!)

Ik she yé i ngot yéspen – It’s your quarter!  (once upon a time there were phone booths, and a call cost a quarter…)

Mekwi – Dollar

Mekwi is a term for a dollar, but its use comes from the fur trading days.  A Mekwi is a Beaver Pelt.

Ngot mekwi éngedék i wishkbabo – That soda costs one dollar

Mdatso mekwi éngedéwat ni gokbenagnen – Those baskets cost ten dollars

Aptomekwi éngedék i shkemot – That bag costs 50 cents (half dollar)

Nishwabtek mekwi éngedék i biskewagen – That shirt costs twenty dollars

Ngotwak mekwi éngedék i zenba biskewagen – That ribbon shirt costs 100 dollars

Ngotwak shech nyannomtene mekwi éngedék i waboyan – That blanket costs 150 dollars

Gégo dapneken é’i nmekwi’em – Don’t pick up my money over there!

Wenpengedé – To be cheap

Wenpengedé also changes when the object is animate or inanimate, singular or plural


Wenpengeze o nemosh – That dog is cheap

Wenpengezwik gi nemoshek – Those dogs are cheap


Wenpengedé i waboyan – That blanket is cheap

Wenpengedénon ni waboyanen – Those blankets are cheap

Other uses:

Wenpenet – Easy, Cheap

Wenpesh – Free

Wenpengedémget – It is cheap

Meskedé – To be expensive

This verb changes when the expensive object is singular or plural, animate or inanimate


Meskezo o nemosh – That dog is expensive.

Meskezwik gi nemoshek – Those dogs are expensive


Meskedé i waboyan – That blanket is expensive

Meskedéno ni waboyanen – Those blankets are expensive

Other forms:

Meskedémget – It is expensive

Zam meskedé – Too expensive

Éngezot – To Cost; Be a Certain Price

Only used with animate items

Ni je éngezot o kek? – How much does that kettle cost?

Nyano mekwi éngezot o kek – That kettle costs $5

Ni je éngezwat gi nemoshések – How much do those puppies cost?

Nishwak mekwi éngezwat gi nemoshések – Those puppies cost $200

Ni je éngezot o pen – How much does that potato cost?

Ngot yésben éngezot o pen – That potato costs 25 cents