Category Archives: Words

Késhmish

Summary:

In the great collection of Navajo-ized words, Késhmish is probably the only holiday that gets to keep some of its American vocal quality. Késhmish is Navajo for Christmas. If you remember back to the Navajo alphabet post, there is no “CH” (only “CH’-“) because “K” handles the job. There is also no direct “R” alphabet […]

Baa Hózhǫ́ǫgo Nidizhchí

Summary:

This special phrase is the Navajo version of “Happy Birthday (to you)”. In the popular English tune (trivia: it’s copyrighted, amazingly) this phrase would take the place of the first line. In order to fit the tune, most high tones and nasal marks are disregarded, so it would resemble “The Birthday Song”. But, if you’re like me and […]

Hasht’e’ nihénil

Summary:

This is an example of a Navajo colloquialism, and it translates somewhat to “I set it aside.” The understanding behind this phrase is connected to money (béeso). In this sense, it means “I saved money.” This is a form that refers to something that was done and completed. If you were to be in the process […]

K’os

Summary:

In both winter and monsoon months, níyol is often accompanied by k’os, which is the Navajo word for cloud. Culturally, rain clouds are a blessing. The dry climate of the Southwest region of the United States makes every raindrop precious. In the winter, snow clouds bring the possibility of more moisture that soaks into the […]

Naakishchíín

Summary:

The Navajo word naakishchíín (also known by naakishchiin, in some instances) is the word for siblings that are twins. If you examine the word, you’ll see a number! Specifically naaki- denotes two (of something). The rest of the word, -shchíín, is derived from the same root that forms the verb deeshchííh (“to give birth”). Twins […]