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uh tsi nil kl ish

Literally: (this one’s complicated…)

This is the Navajo word for ‘lightning’ (also sometimes written as ‘atsinil-tlish). It’s also the word used for ‘electricity.’

The ‘tłish’ part is most likely referring to a sound, such as a loud clap (or, you can imagine a metal pot falling onto the hard floor).

It’s hard to say exactly what the ‘atsinil’ part references (shoot us an email if you know).# August 2012



mah ee-lth its soh ih

Literally: orange-colored coyote

Today’s word is ‘fox.’ As you might have guessed, there are two parts to the Navajo name: mą’ii (referring to the coyote) and łitsxoo’í (which refers to the color orange).

You may also notice a similar word ‘mą’ii deeshgiizh,’ which can refer to the Navajo name for the Jemez people of New Mexico!


hello, it is good

yah ah ht ehh

Literally: it is good (alternatively: it is well).

This is considered the Navajo ‘hello,’ so it can be used to greet people.

It can also be used with ‘shił’ as in ‘shił yá’át’ééh’ to mean ‘I like it.’