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all by my

oh bah mah

Continuing today with words adopted by the Navajo language, obáama is one of those unique words that use the letter ‘m.’ In most cases, you could use the word to simply imply that an act was performed completely autonomously. Furthermore, there are times when you may hear this word used excessively in order to convey immediate hardship experienced by the speaker, with the implication that such hardship is directly unwanted nor desired.

Example: Yádiláh! I had to bring the sheep in óbáámá self!

Also, Happy April 1st!



beh soh

Today’s word is the general Navajo term for money, and also a more specific reference to dollar bills. You’ve probably noticed by now that the Navajo language doesn’t like to use the letter ‘P’. Instead, it uses ‘B’.

If you also happen to be familiar with the Spanish language, you would have probably noticed that béeso is remarkably similar to peso. What happened here with the word for money is a simple adaption of the early Spanish word that signified currency.

See if you can understand the following using previous words of the day:

Dííjį́ éí nda’iiníísh. K’ad díkwíí daats’í shi béeso hólǫ́?




Meaning: mountain(s). Navajo land (Dinétah) is traditionally bordered by four mountains, each with their own unique names and symbolic meanings. If you remember the post for ha’a’aah, the number four is a recurring quantity in Navajo culture, and that is the case with the four sacred mountains. The word dził is the general word for a mountain, or mountain range.


it is cold

des kah z

Deesk’aaz means “it is cold” in Navajo. It refers specifically to the current state of the weather. It is not used to describe cold meat, cold water, or things of that sort.

This word is great because it can stand all by itself as a sentence. “Ooh deesk’aaz!” is a fairly common saying (“ooh” approximates to “very” in this case).

It used to be common practice that the daily Eastward run took place even in some of the coldest mornings.


grass or hay

t-lth ohh

Meaning: grass, or hay.

The word tł’oh generally refers to plantlife that have a grass-like appearance. For example, the Navajo word for onion references grass – mainly because of the stalks that grow above ground.

You may hear that tł’oh is expensive nowadays; that would be in regards to bales of hay (for livestock use), the price for which has risen considerably in the past few decades in and around the reservation.