Quite a few English words came to us through Native Americans. Most of us know a few states whose names are derived from Native America languages: Mississippi, Oklahoma, Tennessee.
A sled which is long and flat-bottomed. Also, downward route or a steep decline. Derived from Algonquian.
Another word for tamarack, which is a larch(a type of pine tree) tree in northern North America. May also refer to the wood of the tamarack(from Algonquian).
This kinky animal(sorry couldn’t resist) is a nocturnal and omnivorous mammal that likes hopping around in trees. It is related to the raccoon(from Algonquian).
This is a special sleigh which is shaped like a box(from Algonquian).
This is a Navajo dwelling, mainly made of mud and logs, and with a door that usually faces east. Unrelated to Hulk Hogan.
The nomadic Indians needed to make houses quickly. A wickiup was one great example – it was a hut with an oval base and a frame covered with grass, reed mats, or brushwood. This word can also refer to any makeshift shelter or hut (Algonquian).
Down in Louisiana, this word is very familiar. Derived from Choctaw, this word can be either a creek or secondary watercourse that connects to a larger body of water; or any sluggish or marshy body of water.
This is the Shawnee word for elk, that huge, easy-going deer. It literally means “white rump.”
This Cree word has two meanings: either a bog(usually of the sphagnum variety), or a thicket deposit of half-rotten vegetable matter in wet northern forest areas.
This is a large pike(a long-snouted bony fish) with dark markings, which is a serious game fish (Ojibwa).
This curious word is derived from Chinook and means tenderfoot(in the sense of being a novice to frontier life).
From Chinook, this is a ceremonial feast on the northwest coast. This feast features lavish distribution of gifts by the host. This word also can mean a general social event or party(mainly a Northwestern word).
A young Native American child(from Narraganset).
The original inhabitants of North America made a significant contribution to our language and other areas like culture, art, and architecture. Perhaps we should invest more energy in learning about Native Americans today. How many still speak the ancient languages, for example? What life-skills can we learn from them? I personally hope to one day visit a tribe in a reservation, to see them and talk to them.
Merriam-Webster’s Collegiate Dictionary. CD-ROM Version 2.5. Merriam-Webster, Incorporated, 2000.