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honey bee

tsihs nah

This Navajo word, which is also catalogued as tsís’ná, refers to the honey bee.

With the help of a few changes, we can tweak the meaning.

For example, tsís’nátsoh is ‘big or large bee’, meaning bumblebee.

Tsís’náłtsooí appends the word for the color yellow, or łitso, to refer to the ‘yellow bee’. An already yellow bee becomes a wasp, or yellowjacket, when you describe it’s specific color. [For another example, see mą’iiłtsxooí - the word for coyote and the word for the color orange put together.]

Go further and you have tsís’náłtsooítsoh, which is a ‘big wasp’ – in other words, a hornet.

And getting back to the honey bee, we can say tsís’ná bitł’izh to refer specifically to sweet honey. Bitł’izh is essentially saying ‘its secretion’.

And even more! Tsís’ná bighan (or baghan in quick speech) is a way of saying ‘beehive’.

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