Lók’eeshchąą’í

Few people have the honor of being called Lók’eeshchąą’í, which includes this author.

When a family grows and the children are numerable, there is a distinct term for the youngest child. While all newborns can be called awéé’ – the Navajo word for the baby – only one gets to keep that title in the form of lók’eeshchąą’í. The last to be born is the youngest, or “the baby” of the family.

It’s nearly always a way of teasing the youngest, even when they are in their elderly years, simply because they tend to be spoiled by their parents and grandparents. Elder siblings tend to become envious of those of us who are youngest.

It’s easy, when you’re the youngest, to be discouraged by constantly being referred to as “the baby” of the family. But, it’s endearing at the same time.

There is also the word nák’eeshchąą’í which is a sort of play on words. The simple shift turns the word into something like “the one who has crumbs on his eyes/nose”.