Category Archives: Words

Awéé’

Summary:

Following up on Valentine’s Day, today’s word is awéé’. Awéé’ is the Navajo word for “baby”. She’awéé’ means “my baby” and awéé’ yázhí means “little baby”. Although most Navajo babies are born like every other baby, they typically weren’t given names until they have their first laugh. Names for babies describe the qualities parents want […]

Nizhóní (Beautiful in Navajo)

Summary:

Nizhóní means beautiful. On one hand it can refer to something that’s attractive, and on the other it refers to something that is good. This is because the Navajo idea of beauty goes beyond appearances. Beauty is a sense of being, and is comprised of harmony and balance that is felt within. Things outside of […]

Shash

Summary:

Shash means bear in Navajo. Animals are considered beings, like people. Bears, though, should be considered like humans. In the cultural way, looking directly at someone is impolite because it often seems as if you’re staring, and therefore criticizing. Stories teach that bears should be respected in that way. Bears are known to inhabit the […]

Chaha’oh

Summary:

Shade, shadow, sun shelter. In Navajo, the chaha’oh is a gathering place made of tree trunks for posts and leafy branches for cover. Many homes have these structures, and they are great shade houses during the summer months. A chaha’oh can range in size depending on the amount of materials in the area, and the […]

Dibááʼ

Summary:

This Navajo term refers to thirst. If you take the word nisin, which expressed a want or desire, you would think that the phrase dibáá’ nisin means that you “want thirst.” But dibáá’ nisin is actually how you express “I am thirsty.” To understand what dibáá’ means, you can take another Navajo word dibahí and […]