Massachusetts Indian Language

Massachusetts Indian Language
“A Small Nomenclator of the Indian Language”

In 1634, William Woods’ book New England’s Prospect was published. He had visited Massachusetts for several years. What follows is a reprint of the last portion of his book -a list of the words he picked up from the Native Americans living in Massachusetts. Things in brackets are my comments, meant to help clarify meanings that have been obscured or antiquated over the past four centuries. It should be noted that this “dictionary” is simply a compilation of what one man picked up while talking with the Massachusetts Indians in the early 1630s-it is not a modern linguistic analysis of the language. However, it does appear to be accurate, and some of the words you will even recognize as having been adopted into American-English (pow-wow, pappouse, squaw, sachem, sagamore, wigwam).

Aberginian – an Indian
Abamocho – the Devil
Aunum – a dog
Ausupp- a raccoon
Au so hau nouc hoc – lobster
Assawog – will you play
A saw upp – tomorrow
Ascoscoi – green
Ausomma petuc quanocke – giveme some bread
Appepes naw aug – when I see it I will tell you my mind
Anno ke nugge – a sieve
An nu ocke – a bed
Autchu wompocke – today
Appause – the morn
Ascom quom pauputchim – thanks be given to God
Bequoquo – the head
Bisquant – the shoulderbones
Chesco kean – you lie
Commouton kean – you steal
Cram – to kill
Chickachava – osculari podicem [Latin for “kiss my ass”]
Cowimms- sleeps
Cocam – the navel
Cos – the nails
Conomma – a spoon
Cossaquot – bows and arrows
Cone – the sun
Cotattup – I drink [smoke]to you
Coetop – will you drink [smoke] tobacco
Connucke sommona -it is almost night
Connu – good night to you
Cowompanu sin – Goodmorrow
Coepot – ice
Dottaguck – the backbone
Docketaugh he necke – what is your name
Et chossucke – a knife
Eat chumnis – Indian corn
Eans causuacke – four fathoms
Easu tommocquocke – half a skin of beaver
Epimetsis – much good may your meat do you
Gettoquaset – the great toe
Genehuncke – the forefinger
Gettoquacke – the knees
Gettoquun – the knuckles
Gettoquan – the thumb
Gegnewaw og – let me see
Haha – yes
Hoc – the body
Hamucke – almost
Hub hub hub – come come come
Haddo quo dunna moquonash- where did you buy that
Haddogoe weage – who lives here
Isattonaneise – the bread
Icattop – faint with hunger
Icattoquam -very sleepy
Kean – I
Keisseanchacke – back of the hand
Ksitta – it hurts me
Kawkenog wampompeage – let me see money
Kagmatcheu- will you eat meat
Ketottug – a whetstone
Kenie – very sharp
Kettotanese – lend me money
Kekechoi – much pain
Matchet- it is naught
Mattamoi – to die
Mitchin – meat
Misquantum -very angry
Mauncheake – be gone
Matta – no
Meseig – hair
Mamanock – the eyebrees [eyebrows]
Matchanne – the nose
Mattone -the lips
Mepeiteis – the teeth
Mattickeis – the shoulders
Mettosowset- the little toe
Metosaunige – the little finger
Misquish – the veins
Mohoc – the waist
Menisowhock – the genitals
Mocossa – the black ofthe nail
Matchanni – very sick
Monacus – bows and arrows
Manehops- sits down
Monakinne – a coat
Mawcus sinnus – a pair of shoes
Matchemauquot – it stinketh
Muskanai – a bone
Menota – a basket
Meatchis – be merry
Mawpaw – it snows
Mawnaucoi – very strong
Mutcheou – a very poor man
Monosketenog – what’s this
Mouskett- the breech
Matchet wequon – very blunt
Matta ka tau caushana – willyou not trade
Mowhacheis – Indian gold
Nancompees – aboy
Nickesquaw – a maid
Nean – you
Nippe – water
Nasamp- pottage
Nota – six
Nisquan – the elbow
Noenaset – the thirdtoe
Nahenan – a turkey
Niccone – a blackbird
Naw naunidge – themiddle finger
Napet – the arm
Nitchicke – the hand
Notoquap -the skin
Nogcus – the heart
Nobpaw nocke – the breastbone
Nequaw- the thighs
Netop – a friend
Nonmia – give me
Noeicantop – howdo you
Nawhaw nissis – farewell
Noei pauketan – by and by kill
Nenetah ha – I’ll fight with you
Noei comquocke – a codfish
Nepaupe- stand by
No ottut – a great journey
Necautauh hau – no such matter
Noewamma – he laugheth
Noeshow – a father
Nitka – a mother
Netchaw- a brother
Notonquous – a kinsman
Nenomous – a kinswoman
Naumau nais – my son
Taunais [sic] – my daughter
No einshom – give mecorn
Nemnis – take it
Nenimma nequitta ta auchu – give me a span ofanything
Nees nis ca su acke – two fathom
Notchumoi – a little strong
Negacawgh hi – lend me
Nebuks quam – adieu
Noe winyah – come in
Naut seam – much weary
Noe wammaw ause – I love you
Net noe whaw missu- a man of a middle stature
Ottucke – a deer
Occone -a deerskin
Oquan – the heel
Ottump – a bow
Ottommaocke – tobacco
Ottannapeake – the chin
Occotucke – the throat
Unquagh saw au [sic]- you are cunning
Ontoquos – a wolf
Pow-wow – a conjureror wizard
Petta sinna – give me a pipe of tobacco
Pooke – colt’sfoot
Pappouse – a child
Petucquanocke – bread
Picke – a pipe
Ponesanto – make a fire
Papowne – winter
Pequas – a fox
Pausochu- a little journey
Peamissin – a little
Peacumshis – work hard
Pokitta – smoke
Petogge – a bag
Paucasn – a quarter
Pausawniscosu- half a fathom
Peunctaumocke – much pray
Pesissu – a little man
Pausepissoi – the sun is rising
Pouckshaa – it is broken
Poebugketaas- you burn
Poussu – a big-bellied woman
Quequas nummos- what cheer
Quequas nim – it is almost day
Quog quosh – make haste
Quenobpuuncke – a stool
Quenops – be quiet
Sagamore -a king
Sachem – idem
Sannup – a man
Squaw – a woman
Squitta- a fire spark
Suggig – a bass
Seasicke – a rattlesnake
Shannucke- a squirrel
Skesicos – the eyes
Supskinge – the wrist bones
Socottocanus – the breastbone
Squehincke – blood
Siccaw quant – thehams
Suppiske – ankle bones
Seat – the foot
Seaseap – a duck
Suckis suacke – a clam
Sequan – the summer
Soekepup – he will bite
Sis – come out
Squi – red
Swanscaw suacko – three fathoms
Sawawampeage- very weak
Succomme – I will eat you
Sasketupe – a great man
Taubut ne an hee – thanks heartily
Tantacum – beat him
Tapin – go in
Titta – I cannot tell
Tahanyah – what news
Tonagus- the ears
Tannicke – a cranny
Thaw – the calf of the leg
Tahaseat- the sole of the foot
Tasseche quonuck – the instep
Tonokete naum- whither go you
Tannissin may – which is the way
Tunketappin – wherelive you
Tonocco wam – where have you been
Tasis – a pair of stockings
Tockucke – a hatchet
Towwow – a sister
Tom maushew – a husband
Tookesin – enough sleep
Titto kean I catoquam – do you nod and sleep
Tau kequam – very heavy
Tauh coi – it is very cold
Wampompeage- Indian money
Winnet – very good
Web – a wife
Wigwam – a house
Wawmott – enough
Whenan – the tongue
Whauksis – a fox
Wawpatucke- a goose
Wawpiske – the belly
Whoe nuncke – a ditch
Wappinne- the wind
Wawtom – understand you
Wompey – white
Wa aoy – thesun is down
Waacoh – the day breaks
Wekemawquot – it smells sweet
Weneikinne – it is very handsome
Whissu hochuck – the kettle boileth
Waawnew – you have lost your way
Woenaunta – it is a warm summer
Wompoca- tomorrow
Wawmauseu – an honest man
Weneicu – a rich man
Weitagcone- a clear day
Wawnauco – yesterday
Yeips – sit down
Yaus – the sides
Yaugh – there
Yough yough – now
Yoakes – lice

Edward Winslow in his book Good Newes from New England (1624) gives a few words
and phrases, as he heard them spoken by Massasoit and his people.
Ahhe- yes
Askooke – snake
Hinnaim namen, hinnaim michen, matta cuts – By and by it should be, and it
should eat, but not speak.
Keen Winslow – Are you Winslow?
Maskiet – medicine
maske – the northstar (the bear)
Matta neen wonckanet namen – I shall never see you again
Neen womasu sagimus – my loving sachem
Sachimo comaco – the sachem’shouse
Squasachem – the sachem’s wife
Witeo – an ordinary house
Wobsacuck – eagle

Mayflower Web Pages. Caleb Johnson ª 1997


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