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bih zahd

Literally: his words/speech/language.

Components: + saad.

The Navajo language is generally gender neutral, so can refer to him/her/it/they. It is part of a paradigm that includes shi ́ and (I/me and you, respectively). As a prefix to saad, which approximates to words or speech, it refers most commonly to the language of something, or someone.

Using bizaad in combination with previous words, the following Navajo sentence demonstrates its usage:

Diné bizaad shił yá’át’ééh! I like the Navajo language!


Flagstaff, Arizona or Durango, Colorado

kin lth-un nih

Literally: many houses.

Components: kin + łání.

The Navajo language uses kin in reference to a house or building. This is distinct from hooghan which is more in reference to a home, or dwelling. Łání approximates to many, or much. Generally, kinłání is a town.

If you say or hear Kinłánídi, this refers to a place called many houses. There are two places that share this Navajo name: Durango, Colorado and Flagstaff, Arizona. The -di suffix means approximately “at” and is sometimes followed by another word with a -gi suffix to name a specific place within the prior named location.



ah lah zhoh zh

Literally: The-slender-parts-of-the-hand-that-are-parallel.

Word components: ála’ + zhoozh.

In Navajo, ála’ is the hand, and zhoozh refers to a group of slender things that are arranged side-by-side in a parallel fashion. Together, this means finger in Navajo!

Since the latter part of the word is a more general reference to the layout and type of object, it (and its forms) can be found in other usage apart from the hand.


water bag

twoh zis

Literally: that which girds water.

Today’s Navajo word means jar. Like tónteel, tózis deals with water, or in this case, a liquid.

Take a look at the first part of the word; means water. The latter part, zis, means to secure, to gird, or to surround. So in that same way, it could also refer to a water bag.



tseh soh

In Navajo, tsésǫ’ refers to mica, glass, or window. If you examine the word components closely, tsé is a reference to the rock-like quality – or the mineral. Sǫ’ means star, so it calls up the glimmering aspect of stars that are alight at night.

Put those together and you have a word that means something along the lines of rock that glimmers.

So, there’s three new words for your Friday!