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Be'eldííl Dah Sinil


beh el deal dah sin ill

Shout-out to the people of Albuquerque this week as they head back to school!

Today’s word is the Navajo place name for the New Mexico city (also spelt: Be’eldíílasinil, or Bee’eldííldahsinil).

Be’eldííl – that with which ringing is done/made (in reference to bells)

dah – held up, above

sinil – objects, in place (or position)

Early Navajo people noted either the large church bells or the municipal bells on the buildings in the area, and that’s how Albuquerque came to be known in Navajo. By now you should notice that Navajo place names, as a whole, are very descriptive.

As always, if you use a place in conversation, using the -di suffix (ex. Be’eldííldahsinil_di) creates the phrase “at_ Albuquerque.”

It’s also been said that the bells were located at two sides of a river, which were used when people needed to get across to the other side (the bells called the raft or boat).

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