"Learn Navajo one word at a time"

Thumbnail preview of the Navajo Starter Kit Companion E-Book.

Learn Navajo

We made the Navajo Starter Kit to help you learn Navajo.

Learn more

dzaanééz nahat'ah bee dah ooldah

democratic party

dzah nez nah hut ah beh dah old ah

With the wrapping up of the Democratic National Convention in North Carolina last night, we turned to the Navajo Nation Election office for today’s word. You guessed it, it’s the Navajo Nation’s official word for the Democratic Party.

What does it mean?

Dzaanééz is the Navajo word for mule, which is understood to be the symbolic representation of the Democratic party (said alone in the context of politics it’s understood widely to refer to Democrats).

The rest of the word, Nahat’ah Bee Dah Ooldah, is the Navajo representation for the group as a platform, or the ideas that they hold together. Nahat’ah (sometimes naha’tah) means “a plan” or “idea.” Ooldah references the act of many people gathering together. So it could be said that “many people gather together with the Mule plan” based upon a direct rendition.

But it is used colloquially to reference the Democratic Party, as a whole.

Can you figure out the name for the Republican Party, or their mascot (you may have to do a little googling..)?

Special thanks to Mr. Yazzie at the Elections office for the official materials.

Original post date: .