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chicken or rodeo

nah ah hoh ha ee

The word naa’ahóóhai translates to chicken.

“Naa’ahóóhai séłt’é” is how you would say “I cooked chicken.”

This word is also used to describe other fowl, for example “naa’ahóóhaiłbáhí” or ‘gray chicken’ means partridge.

Another usage for this word is rodeo.

Chicken pulls, in which a horseback rider races by a buried chicken and attempts to snatch it up, were a popular event at the early emergence of rodeo contests among Navajos.

Used for rodeo, naa’ahóóhai can be truncated to simply ahóóhai.

T'áá hó'ájitéégóó, t'éiyá.

Up to you, that's the way of it.

nih lah

This is a Navajo saying that means “it’s up to you” or “you decide what will happen/be done”. “You decide if you’ll learn.” “You decide how long to water the grass.” etc.

Generally, this is a way of way of making someone responsible for their own actions, and is a prevalent feature in a family unit.

Táá hó’ájit’éégóó is another way of saying this. You’re most likely to hear this being used from parent to a child, or a leader to the people he serves, or in most cases where a person is being encouraged to make well-rounded decisions.

Note: níláh, in the midst of frustration or irritation, can mean “get away!” or “leave me alone” – you’ll have to take into account the high tones and the context

jooł yikalí


joh-lth yih kah lih

This past weekend there was a football game at the Beyoncé concert.

And we know the word for a game of football: Jooł yitalí – kicking of a ball with the foot

Which was played in a stadium: bii’nda’a’néhé – within it you play

But the electricity went out: atsiniltł’ish neeztsiz – electricity it turned off

Atsá Biyáázh


ut sah bih yah zh

The great thing about today’s word is that we’ve covered these terms before!

Remember the word yázhí – or “little one”/”son”/”young”? As we explained in that post, another acceptable form of the word is yáázh. Couple that with the possessive identifier bi-, and you get biyáázh meaning “her little one(s)”.

It may be confusing at first, but the possessive shi- / ni- / bi- (as in bicheii – his grandfather) is gender neutral. It can refer to any gender. In the case of yázhí, it refers to the mother (female), as mothers call their young yáázh.

Atsá comes from the list of birds we included in tsídii. It refers to the eagle.

So together we have “eagle its(her)-baby” in reference to eaglets. It’s the Navajo name for the month of February, so named because eaglets have been known to hatch during this period.

nóomba (30-40)

Navajo numbers 30, 31, 32, 33, 34, 35, 36, 37, 38, 39, 40

tah deen

Tádiin is the Navajo word for the number 30. (Not to be confused with tádídíín/tadidiin, which is cornpollen.)

When you get to 30, you’ll start using dóó ba’aan to construct your numbers. Dóó ba’aan used with numbers means “and then” as in 30 and then 4 (34). We touched a little on this in our post for counting béeso (money).

  • 30 - tádiin
  • 31 - tádiin dóó ba’aan t’ááłá’í
  • 32 - tádiin dóó ba’aan naaki
  • 33 - tádiin dóó ba’aan táá’
  • 34 - tádiin dóó ba’aan dį́į́’
  • 35 - tádiin dóó ba’aan ashdla’
  • 36 - tádiin dóó ba’aan hastą́ą́
  • 37 - tádiin dóó ba’aan tsosts’id
  • 38 - tádiin dóó ba’aan tseebíí
  • 39 - tádiin dóó ba’aan náhástéí
  • 40 - dízdiin

You’ll notice that you don’t have to say dóó ba’aan on the multiples of ten; you don’t need to say 40 and then zero. This is the way you construct numbers all the way to 99. You can use multiples of 10 to continue this (from this post).