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goh lih zhee

In contrast to the Navajo word for the “pet that defecates (all the time; everywhere)”, or dog (łééchąą’í), is the animal that is known for urinating.

That would be the skunk, gólizhii or gólízhii.

Lizh is the part of the word that forms the root for the verbs “to urinate.” Attached to that word is the nominalizer (-igii, -í, -ii; makes a thing out of an action), or lizh_ii_.

The first part of the word for dog, łéé-, is though of as identifying a pet animal. That is replaced with gó in this case as skunks aren’t kept as pets – or at least it’s not common practice. As for gó itself, the reason isn’t entirely clear. When the variant goh (go’) is a root, as opposed to a leading particle, it typically refers to something that is falling, or flowing.

It’s not hard to imagine the justification for calling a skunk the peeing animal.

Original post date: .