Last modified on 25 April 2014, at 23:02

Appendix:English terms of Native North American origin

An offshoot of Appendix:English terms of Native American origin, this list includes common nouns which originated from Native American language families spoken to the north of the Panama Canal. Terms from language families spoken on both sides of the Canal, or in the Caribbean, are listed separately; terms from Eskimo-Aleut languages are also listed separately. See here for a list of place names, personal names and tribe names derived from these languages. (If a common noun is also the name of a tribe, place or person (e.g. "Mohawk"), this is noted in this list only in the etymology.)

specific language and family unclearEdit

  • appaloosa — "(breed of) horse having a spotted rump" — after the Palouse river, named for the Palouse region, which is either a French or a Sahaptin name (not related to "appaloosa" meaning "catfish")
  • assapan — "flying squirrel" — "from one of the south-eastern" Native American languages
  • pasheco (also: pashequa, pashequaw) — "soft, dark cake of baked camas and Alectoria jubata", "camas bulb/root" —???
  • quinnat (or: quinnet) — "Chinook salmon of the genus Oncorhynchus" —?? (perhaps Chinook?)
  • tabasco — "particular variety of chili pepper having a conical shape and a bitter and burning taste", "spicy pepper sauce made from tabasco pepper" — (from the name of the Mexican state "Tabasco",) from either a Mayan term meaning "our lord of eight lions", or a Nahuatl term meaning "damp earth"
  • wankapin (rare) — "water chinkapin" —?? (related to "yoncopin")
  • wishtonwish — "prairie dog (Cynomys ludovicianus)" — from a Native American onomatopoeic representation of their cry
  • yoncopin (uncommon) (also: yonkapin (uncommon), yankapin (rare)) — "water chinkapin" —?? (perhaps an alteration of "woncopin", a variant of "wankapin"; related to the latter in any case)

from Algic languagesEdit

from Algonquian languagesEdit

specific language unclearEdit

commonly conjectured to be Algonquian
  • hackmatack — "larch" (nonstandard: "balsam poplar") — said to be of Native American (sometimes specifically Algonquian or, even more specifically, Abenaki) origin, but no etymon is known (compare "tamarack")
  • tamarack — "larch" — said to be of Native American (sometimes specifically Algonquian or, even more specifically, Abenaki) origin, but no etymon is known (compare "hackmatack")
  • zuisin — "American widgeon" — said to be probably of Algonquian origin; compare Ojibwe zhiishiib (duck)

from Abenaki and PenobscotEdit

from Cree and Montagnais (Innu)Edit

from Lenape (Delaware), Unami or MunseeEdit

  • kinnikinnick (a staggering variety of spellings exist, including ones ones with "l" like killikinick; see the entry for a list) — "mixture of bark, dried leaves, and sometimes tobacco, which is smoked", "any of the plants (which produce berries) used in this mixture" — from Unami këlëkënikàn (smoking mixture, killikinick)
  • manitou (sometimes: manito) — "(term used by non-Native Americans for a) god, deity (as revered among Native North Americans)" — from Unami/Munsee, compare Unami manëtuhalao (he gave him supernatural power)
  • moonack — "groundhog" — Unami munhake (groundhog; he digs)
  • Neshannock — "white-fleshed variety of potato, suitable for table use" — (named for the place in Mercer County, Pennsylvania, where it was first produced; the placename deriving from) a Lenape term for "place of two streams", from nisha (two) + a root meaning "stream" (compare (tànk)hane (narrow stream), (wëlà)hëne (nice stream) + the locative suffix -k
  • punkie (also: punky) — "any of the small biting gnats/midges of the family Ceratopogonidae" — Munsee *pónkwes
  • rockaway (or: rockaway carriage, Rockaway carriage) — "either of two types of carriage" — after a placename, from Unami lekawe (sandy place) or a Munsee cognate of that word
  • seawan (also: sewan, seawant, zeawant) — "wampum (especially if not strung)" — Munsee *séwan (unstrung (scattered) wampum)
  • shoepac — "shoe (especially: warm, waterproofed boot)" — Unami chipakw (shoe) (with hte anglicisation influenced by "shoe")
  • tipitiwitchet — "Venus flytrap" — a Lenape word titipiwitshik (they (the leaves) wind around (things))

from Malecite-PassamaquoddyEdit

(also called Maliseet–Passamaquoddy)
  • quoddy — "herring, especially if caught and cured (or smoked) near any of the various northeastern American places named Quoddy or Passamquoddy" — (from the placenames, from the tribe's name, thus) ultimately from Malecite-Passamaquoddy

from Massachusett or NarragansettEdit

from Mi'kmaqEdit

  • babiche — "cord or lacing of rawhide or sinew (used in place of cord or rope)" — Mi'kmaq a'papi'j (thread, string)
  • caribou — "(North American specimen of) reindeer (Rangifer tarandus)" — Mi'kmaq qalipu (snow-shoveller)

from Mohegan-PequotEdit

from OjibweEdit

  • chipmunk (earlier: chitmunk) — "squirrel-like rodent of the genus Tamias" — Ojibwe ajidamóóg ((chipmunk;) those who descend headlong, headfirst)
  • cisco — "(any of several particular) North American freshwater fish" — (shortening of "siscowet")
  • machicote — "(particular type of) skirt or underskirt" — Ojibwe majigoodenh (skirt, dress) (related to "matchcoat")
  • mackinaw — "heavy, thick woolen cloth", "coat made from this cloth", "particular kind of boat", "particular kind of trout" — ultimately from Ojibwe mishinii-makinaang (at the place of many snapping turtles)
  • maskinonge — (variant or synonym of "muskellunge")
  • massasauga — "rattlesnake (Crotalus catenatus or Sistrurus catenatus)" — Ojibwe massasauga (great river mouth) (michaa (it is big), sagi (river mouth, old orthography))
  • mocuck — "box-like container made from birch-bark, especially one in which sugar is stored" — probably Ojibwe makak (semi-rigid container, birch bark basket, box) (see also the unrelated "macock")
  • muskellunge — "large fish of the pike family, Esox masquinongy" — Ojibwe (maashkinoozhe,) maazhginoozhe ((ugly) kind of pike)
  • Muskoka chair — "Adirondack chair" — from the place named for the Ojibwe chief Mesqua Ukie/Mesqua-Ukee
  • musky — "muskellunge" — (shortening of "muskellunge")
  • nitchie (also: neechee) — "a Native American" (in Canadian usage, usually offensive) — from Ojibwe niichii (friend)
  • pembina (or: pimbina) — "Viburnum edule, squashberry, low-bush craberry", "edible berry of this plant, from which jam may be produced" — Ojibwe niibiminaa, an earlier form of aniibimin (high-bush cranberry)
  • siscowet — "(any of several particular) North American freshwater fish" — Ojibwe (pemite-wiskawet, bimide-wi(i)- (fish with oily flesh) or siscowet (cooks itself)) ("cisco" is a shortening of this word)
  • totem — "clan (defined in reference to a natural object or creature, which serves as its emblem)", "that object or creature, or a representative thereof" — Ojibwe odoodeman (clan)
  • watap — "spruce root split lengthwise into strips" — Ojibwe wadab (spruce root)
calques

from PowhatanEdit

  • Atamasco lily (or: atamasco lily) — "rain lily (Zephyranthes atamasco)" — said to be from Powhatan *attamusca
  • chinquapin (also: chinkapin) — "any of several shrubs and trees" — said to be from Powhatan *chechinquamins (plural) (sometimes considered to derive from a word for chestnut, in which case compare (also with regard to "wankapin") Abenaki wôbimen (chestnut); Ojibwe gichi-(jawê)min (chestnut), miskomin (raspberry)
  • chum — "fish parts and blood, dumped into the water to attract fish" (as a verb: "to fish using chum") — Powhatan??
  • hominy (also: rockahominy) — "(food of) hulled maize kernels soaked in lye water, rinsed, then either cooked and eaten or dried and ground" — from one of several similar Powhatan words
  • moccasin — "deerskin leather shoe" (also: "any of several kinds of snake") — Powhatan *mockasin, *mawhcasun, *makasin
  • opossum — "American marsupial (Didelphys or Chironectes)" — Powhatan opassum (white animal)
  • persimmon — "Diospyros fruit (berry), visually similar to a tomato, which is sweet when ripe but astringent when immature" (also: "tree that produces this fruit/berry") — Powhatan *pichamin(s), *pushemin(s), *pasimenan ("dried fruit")
  • pocan — (variant of "pocones" or "puccon", which are synonymous)
  • pocones — see puccoon
  • poke, pokeberry, pokeroot, pokeweed — "plant of the genus Phytolacca, which is initially poisonous but with berries and shoots which may be eaten after washing, and which yields a red dye" — Powhatan (related to "puccoon")
  • pone — "baked or fried cornmeal bread (perhaps made without milk or eggs), cornbread" — Powhatan apones (bread), compare Abenaki abôn (bread)
  • possum — see opossum
  • puccoon (earlier: pocones) — "any of several plants which yield a red dye", "this dye" — Powhatan (*)poughkone (bloodroot, red dye) (related to "poke")
  • raccoon — "grey-furred nocturnal omnivore (Procyon)" — Powhatan ärähkun (raccoon; he scratches)
  • roanoke — "white beads of low value made from shells" — Powhatan *rawrenock (said to mean "things rubbed smooth by hand")
  • rockahominy — see hominy
  • tuckahoe — "edible root of the wild potato (arrow arum, Peltandra virginica)" (by extension: "person forced by poverty to subsist on this root") — Powhatan (*)tockawhoughe
  • werowance (or: weroance) — "(Native American) chief (in Virginia or Maryland)" — presumably from Powhatan???
  • werowansqua (or: weroansqua) — "female weroance, female (Native American) chief, princess" — almost certainly from the same source as "werowance"

from other specific Algonquian languagesEdit

  • chebacco (also: chebec) — "narrow-sterned boat" (used in Newfoundland fisheries) — (from the town of that name) from Agawam, an Eastern Algonquian language
  • sea puss (earlier: seapoose; sometimes especially erroneously: sea-purse) — "(oceanic phenomenon:) strong nearshore current resulting from seaward water flow" — Quiripi (Unquachog) seépus (river), cognate to Abenaki sibo (river)
  • sepoose — "(flowing) channel which results when a cut is deliberately made by humans in a barrier beach which separates a bay from an ocean, so as to control the water level in the bay (which affects water mills) and its salinity (which affects shellfish)" — (this variant spelling of "sea puss" is used when the word has this sense)
  • wickiup — "domed hut-like Native American dwelling used in the southwestern and western US" — Fox/Kickapoo wiikiyaapi (lodge, house)

from Caddoan languagesEdit

from CaddoEdit

  • caddi — "civil/secular chief of the Hasinai confederacy" — Caddo (related to English "Caddo", from Caddo kaduhdá·čuʔ (a particular Caddoan band))
  • cona — "(Caddo) minor shaman who can cure sickness, ward off evil, and make predictions" — Caddo cona, kuna (doctor, healer)
  • xinesi (also: chenesi) — "high priest of the Hasinai confederacy" — Caddo xinesi, chenesi (priest)

from Chinookan languagesEdit

from ChinookEdit

(also called Lower Chinook, Chinook proper)
  • cheechako (also: cheechaco) — "newcomer, greenhorn, tenderfoot (especially to Alaska or western Canada)" — Chinook Jargon cheechako (newcomer), from chee (new, lately) (Chinook čxi (straightway)) + chako (come, arrive) (Nootka čokʷa, čokwa (come!, imperative)) (this word is consequently also listed in the section for Nootka derivations)
  • chum salmon — "Oncorhynchus keta" — Chinook Jargon tzum (spotted, marked), from Chinook (+ English "salmon")
  • eulachon (also: oolachon, hooligan) — "small edible North American candlefish (Thaleichthys pacificus)" — Chinook Jargon ulakan, from Clatsop Chinook uλalxʷen (a kind of fish)
  • hooligan(in the sense "fish", variant of eulachon)
  • salal — "leathery-leaved North American shrub with edible sepals and leaves, Gaultheria shallon" — Chinook sálal (via Chinook Jargon) (probably from the same root as "shallon")
  • sewellel — "mountain beaver" — Chinook sewellel, shewellel (mountain beaver pelt robe)
  • shallon — "salal (Gaultheria shallon)" — Chinook
  • soopolallie — "deciduous shrub Shepherdia canadensis", "Canadian buffaloberry, soapberry, the red fruit/berry of this shrub, which may be used in the production of a frothy, aromatic, distinctive-tasting drink sometimes called 'Indian ice cream'" — Chinook Jargon from soop (soap) (from English) + olallie, ollalie (berry) (from a Chinook word for berries)

from Chinook JargonEdit

(words are listed here only if their original language unclear)

from Iroquoian languagesEdit

from Southern Iroquoian languagesEdit

  • sequoia — "either the one living or the one extinct genus of redwood coniferous trees in the Sequoioideae subfamily, of the Cupressaceae family" — after the Cherokee figure Sequoyah ᏍᏏᏉᏯ (Ssiquoya, as he signed his name) / ᏎᏉᏯ (Se-quo-ya, as his name is often spelled today)

from Northern Iroquoian languagesEdit

  • Adirondack chair — "particular kind of outdoor lounge chair made of wood, with wide arm rests" — from the mountains, from the Mohawk *ratirontaks, atirú:taks, hatiron'taks (they eat trees), a generic Mohawk term for other tribes (including the French and English, but especially other Native Americans who ate bark and buds in times of need)
  • wyandotte (often: Wyandotte) — "particular kind of poultry, said to be a cross of a bantam cock and a Cochin hen", "the Wyandot people" — (from the tribe name,) from Wyandot (in the Huronian family) Wendat (their autonym)

specific language unclearEdit

  • dowitcher — "any of three long-legged, long-billed wading birds in the genus Limnodromus" — from an Iroquoian (northern?) language, compare Oneida tawístawe (snipe)
  • Niagara — "deluge, flood, torrent", "large, juicy, green North American grape: a variety of Vitis labrusca which is eaten and used in the production of wines, jams and white grape juice", "a particular river which flows, over a waterfall, from Lake Erie into Lake Ontario" — ("deluge" alludes to the waterfall, the grape is named after the area of its origin; the name of the area is from) Iroquoian
  • ondatra — "muskrat" — from an Iroquoian (northern?) language, perhaps Wyandot (Huron)
  • Oswego tea — "Monarda didyma" — "Oswego" (from an Iroquoian language) + "tea"

from Mayan languagesEdit

specific lect unclearEdit

  • cigar — "tobacco in a thick roll wrapped with (an outer covering of) tobacco leaves, intended to be smoked" — Mayan sicar (smoke tobacco leaves, verb)
  • cigarette — "tobacco in a thin roll wrapped with paper, intended to be smoked" — from "cigar"
  • halach uinic — "Mayan governor" — from Mayan halach uinic (true man)

from Q'eqchiEdit

  • kelep — "Guatemalan stinging ant Ectatomma tuberculatum" — Q'eqchi

from Yucatec MayaEdit

  • balché (or: balche) — "intoxicating drink made by soaking the bark of the leguminous tree Lonchocarpus violaceus in honey and water and fermenting it" — Yucatec Maya
  • cenote — "deep well, formed naturally by the collapse of surface limestone, exposing the groundwater underneath, into which the Maya cast sacrificial offerings" — Yucatec Maya ts'onot
  • shark — "scaleless, predatory fish of the superorder Selachimorpha" — probably from Yucatec Maya xoc

from Misumalpan languagesEdit

from MiskitoEdit

from Muskogean languagesEdit

from ChoctawEdit

  • appaloosa — "catfish" — shortening of "Appaloosa cat", named for the Appaloosa (Opelousa) tribe; the tribe's name is from Choctaw, the second element being losa (black) (not related to "appaloosa" meaning "horse")
  • bayou — "(in Louisiana, Mississippi, Texas and Arkansas, a) "slow-moving, often stagnant creek or river", "(in LA, NS, TX, AR, a) swamp, marshy (stagnant) body of water" — (Cajun French, from) Choctaw bayuk (creek)
  • bobbasheely — "good friend" (as a verb: "to hang out (with friends)") — Choctaw itibapishili (sibling, one who was nursed together with (someone))
  • bogue — "bayou, waterway" — (Cajun French, from) Choctaw bok (creek, stream)
  • okeh — (varient of "OK") — Choctaw okeh (it is so) (this is sometimes given as the etymology of "OK" itself, although this is doubtful)
  • sac-a-lait — "white crappie (Pomoxis annularis)" — (Cajun French, from) Choctaw sakli (trout)

from Creek (Muscogee)Edit

  • catawbasee the term's entry in the Catawba section
  • coontie — "either of two arrowroots, Zamia integrifolia or Zamia floridana", "flour produced (by Seminoles) from the starch of these plants" — Creek (Muscogee)
  • sofkee (also: sofkey) — "grits" — Creek osafke (corn gruel)
  • tupelo — "any of several trees of the genus Nyssa, especially Nyssa aquatica, which grow in swampy regions on the eastern, southern and midwestern United States" — Creek (Muscogee)
  • wahoo — "winged elm (Ulmus alata)" — Creek *uhawhu

from Na-Dene languagesEdit

from Athabaskan languagesEdit

  • hogan — "(Navajo) dwelling, constructed of branches covered with mud" — Navajo (in the Apachean family) hooghan (dwelling, house)
  • quinzhee (or: quinzee) — "temporary shelter made by hollowing out a pile of settled snow" — Slavey (in the North Athabaskan family) kóézhii (in the shelter) (compare "igloo")

from TlingitEdit

  • hooch (also: hootch) — "(cheap) alcohol, liquor, whiskey" — shortening of "Hoochinoo", name of a specific alcohol, from the name of the tribe which produced it, said to be from Tlingit Hutsnuwu (grizzly bear fort)

from Penutian languagesEdit

(this is a hypothetical grouping used here only for convenience)

from Plateau Penutian languagesEdit

from Utian languagesEdit

from PurepechaEdit

  • huarache — "particular (Mexican) kind of sandal", "food similar in shape to that sandal, consisting of salsa, potato, meat and cheese atop a fried masa (dough) base" — Purepecha kwarachi (sandal)

from Salishan languagesEdit

from HalkomelemEdit

  • coho (coho salmon) — "anadromus and semelparous salmon, Oncorhynchus kisutch, found in the coastal regions of the northern Pacific Ocean, used as a symbol by several Native American tribes" — Halkomelem kʷexʷeθ
  • sasquatch — "mythical large hairy humanoid", "any very hairy person" — Halkomelem sásq'ets
  • sockeye — "Onchorynchus nerka, a small salmon", "the edible red flesh of this fish" — Halkomelem sθeqey, probably meaning red fish

from Lower ChehalisEdit

from LushootseedEdit

from ShuswapEdit

  • kokanee — "lacustrine sockeye (that is, a land-locked one, one found in lakes and not in the ocean)" — Shuswap keknǽxʷ

from Siouan–Catawban languagesEdit

from Siouan (proper) languagesEdit

  • ohunkakan — "traditional Sioux evening stories" — Lakota ohúŋkakaŋ (myth, story of the distant (mythic) past)
  • tipi, teepee — "cone-shaped tent-like Native American dwelling used in the Great Plains" — Lakota thípi (house)
  • wahoo — "Euonymus atropurpureus, a burning bush" — from a Dakota word, the first element of which is cognate to Lakota waŋ (arrow)

from CatawbaEdit

  • catawba (some senses erroneously also: catalpa) — "reddish American desert grape", "Rhododendron catawbiense rhododendron", "any tree of the genus Catalpa" — Catawba catawba (catawba tree, the totem of the Catawba tribe) (sometimes alternatively said to derive from a Creek word like katałpa)
  • yaupon — "Ilex vomitoria, an evergreen holly shrub with white flowers and red or yellow berries, found in the southeastern United States" — Catawba yąpą, from (wood, tree) (leaf)

from Uto-Aztecan languagesEdit

specific language unclearEdit

from HopiEdit

  • kachina (also: katchina, katsina) — "vaguely ancestral anthropomorphic spirit being", "wooden doll which represents such a being" (and some other senses) — Hopi qatsina
  • kiva — "ceremonial underground chamber in a Pueblo village" — Hopi kíva
  • Moqui marble (or: Moki marble) — "any of a group of iron oxide concretions shaped like small balls found in the Navajo Sandstone Formation in Utah" — Hopi móókwi (a former autonym of the tribe)
  • piki (also: piki bread) — "(thin, tortilla-like sheet of) rolled bread made of nixtamalized corn meal" — presumably from Hopi

from Nahuatl lectsEdit

  • achiote — "tropical American evergreen plant, Bixa orellana, annatto", "seed of this plant used for its flavour or orange-red colour, annatto" — Nahuatl āchiotl
  • altepetl — "sovereign Nahuan sociopolitical unit" — Nahuatl āltepētl, so called because it contains ātl (water) (sic) and tepētl (earth, hill)
  • amate — "paper made from the bark of adult Ficus trees" — Classical Nahuatl āmatl (paper) (figuratively also meant "ability to write")
  • amole — "any of various plants, such as Mexican agave plants, used as soap" — Nahuatl amōlli (soap)
  • atlatl — "wooden stick with a thong or perpendicularly protruding hook on the rear end that grips a grove or socket on the butt of its accompanying spear, thus steadying the spear and increasing its range and force of penetration" — Nahuatl atlatl (spear-thrower)
  • atole — "thick drink made of finely ground maize, mixed with water" — Nahuatl ātōlli (maize gruel)
  • avocado — "Central Mexican tree Persea americana", "large, usually yellowish-green or black, pulpy fruit of this tree, having a single large pit: alligator pear, butter pear" — Nahuatl āhuacatl (avocado)
  • axolotl — "neotenic salamander, found in the elevated lakes of Mexico, which begin as larvae but do not naturally undergo metamorphosis" — Nahuatl āxōlōtl (water monster)
  • ayocote — "runner bean" — (via Spanish, from) Nahuatl ayocotl
  • cacao — "Theobroma cacao tree", "seed or bean of this tree, contained within a pod, from which cocoa solids and cocoa butter are extracted" — Nahuatl cacahuatl (cacao bean; any small, rounded hard thing, including an egg) ("cocoa" derives from this word, "cacao")
  • calmecac — (historically, in Aztec society:) "school at which young nobles received military training and a very basic education" — Nahuatl calmecac, probably a compound with calli (house) as one of its elements
  • calpolli (or: calpulli) — "organizational unit below the level of an altepetl" — Nahuatl calpōlli (big house)
  • centzontle (also written other ways) — "mockingbird" (rare) — Nahuatl centzontlatole (mockingbird)
  • chayote — "Sechium edule, a vine of the gourd family", "pear squash, vegetable pear: green, pear-shaped fruit of this plant, which may be eaten raw or cooked" — Classical Nahuatl pachayotli, chayotli
  • chia — "Mexican plant Salvia columbariae, which edible seeds, related to mint" — Nahuatl chian (oily)
  • chicle — "milky latex of the Manilkara chicle tree, used after coagulation as the principal ingredient of chewing gum" — Nahuatl tziktli (sticky stuff) (or possibly Mayan tsicte)
  • chilacayote — "Cucurbita ficifolia squash" — Classical Nahuatl chilacayohtli
  • chilaquiles — "traditional Mexican dish of fried tortilla chips topped with salsa" — Classical Nahuatl chīlātl (pepper-water) (from chīlli (pepper) + ātl (water)) + quilitl (edible plant or vegetable)
  • chile (also: chili) — "spicy fresh or dried fruit of any of several cultivated varieties of capsicum peppers" — from "chilli"
  • chilli (or: chili) — "dish made with peppers and other ingredients, such as beans and meat" — Nahuatl chilli (pepper)
  • chiltepin (also: chiltepe) — "Capsicum annuum var. glabriusculum pepper" — Nahuatl chilli (pepper) + tecpin (flea)
  • chiltoma — "Capsicum annuum"/"any sweet pepper" — Nahuatl (perhaps a combination of chilli (chili, pepper) and tomatl (tomatillo), or perhaps from chīltōtōtl (brightly-coloured bird))
  • chinampa — (historical, in Mesoamerica) "small, rectangular floating island of fertile arable l and to grow crops on the shallow lake beds" — Classical Nahuatl chināmitl (cane fence)
  • chipotle — "smoked, dried jalapeño" — Classical Nahuatl chīlli (chile, pepper) + pōctli (smoke)
  • chocolate — "food made from ground roasted cocoa beans", "dark, reddish-brown colour like that of the food" — Nahuatl chocolātl (chocolate) or a similar term referring to chocolate or to an instrument used in chocolate production
  • cocoa — "chocolate" (historically), "unsweetened brown powder made from roasted, ground cocoa beans, used in baking and chocolate production: cocoa powder", "cocoa liquor: pure liquid chocolate extracted from the cocoa bean", "cocoa butter: theobroma oil, a pale-yellow, pure, edible vegetable fat extracted from cocoa beans", "hot cocoa: hot chocolate: hot drink made with milk, cocoa powder, and sugar" — (metathesis of "cacao")
  • copal — "aromatic tree resin, in a stage of polymerization and hardening intermediate between that of gummy resins and that of amber" — Nahuatl copalli (incense)
  • coyote — "American jackal, prairie wolf (Canis latrans), canine native to an area stretching from Panama to Canada" — Nahuatl coyōtl (coyote)
  • epazote — "pungent herb used in Central and South American cooking and tea making (Chenopodium ambrosioides)" — Classical Nahuatl epazōtl
  • guacamole — "avocado-based green dip" — Nahuatl āhuacamōlli (dish made from avocado)
  • haricot — "bean, kidney bean" — probably from Nahuatl ayecotli (bean), with the spelling influenced by the unrelated word "haricot" for "stew" (from French)
  • hoatzin (also: hoactzin, hoazin) — "blue-faced, crested bird Opisthocomus hoazin, which has an enlarged crop used as a rumen" — Nahuatl (not Classical Nahuatl) huāctzin (which probably designated a different bird)
  • huipil — "traditional blouse worn by women (from various Central America peoples including the Maya and Zapotec" — Classical Nahuatl huīpīlli (woman's blouse)
  • huitlacoche — "corn smut, considered as food" — Classical Nahuatl ear of maize infected with fungus
  • jícama (also: jicama) — "Mexican vine Pachyrhizus erosus", "edible tuberous root of this plant, which resembles a potato" — Nahuatl xicamatl
  • macpalxochitl — "Chiranthodendron pentadactyllon, a tree which has red, five-fingered hand-shaped flowers" — Nahuatl mācpalxōchitl (palm (of the hand) flower)
  • mescal (or: mezcal) — "intoxicating drink made from fermented agave juice", "agave which is used to produce this drink", "peyote" — Nahuatl mexcalli (intoxicating drink made from agave) (see also "peyote")
  • mescaline — "psychedelic drug of the phenethylamine class found naturally in several cactus species" — (from "mescal")
  • mesquite — "any of several deciduous trees of the genus Prosopis, which have long, beige seed/bean pods which may be dried and ground into a sweet, nutty flour", "wood of these trees, or charcoal made from it, used when smoking food" — Nahuatl mizquitl (mesquite tree)
  • metate — "flat stone with a slightly concave surface, used with a mano, another stone, for grinding maize or other grains" — Classical Nahuatl metlatl (grinding stone) ("mano" is from Spanish)
  • mole — "any of several spicy sauces typical of the cuisine of Mexico and neighboring Central America, especially the sauce which contains chocolate and which is used in cooking main dishes, not desserts" — Nahuatl mōlli (sauce; stew; something ground)
  • nahual (also: nagual) — "animal form a person may take", "person who may take an animal form" — Nahuatl nahualli (sorcerer, spirit, animal form a person may take) (see also "tonal")
  • nahualism (also: nagualism) — "the (Mesoamerican instance of) belief in the transformation of humans into animals" — from "nahual"
  • nahuatlato — "interpreter of an indigenous language, especially but not always Nahuatl", "scholar of Nahuatl" — Nahuatl nāhuatlahtoh, nahuatlato (interpreter, translator)
  • nixtamal — "hominy: maize/corn kernels which have undergone nixtamalization, that is, which have been hulled and soaked and cooked in an alkaline solution" — Classical Nahuatl nextamalli (hominy), from nextli (ashes, lime) + tamalli (something wrapped)
  • nixtamalization (or: nixtamalisation) — "soaking and cooking of hulled maize/corn kernels in an alkaline solution" — from "nixtamal"
  • nopal — "prickly pear cactus from the genus Opuntia, which has edible leaves" (often, the plural "nopales" is used when the leaves are an ingredient in a dish) — Nahuatl nopalli (prickly pear cactus)
  • ocelot — "dwarf leopard (Leopardus pardalis), pale yellow-orange wild cat covered with blackish ocellated spots and blotches" — Nahuatl ōcēlōtl (jaguar)
  • octli — "pulque: milk-colored, somewhat viscous alcoholic drink, which produces a light foam, made by fermenting the sap of certain types of agave plants" — Nahuatl octli (particular alcoholic beverage)
  • oyamel — "sacred fir (Abies religiosa), South American evergreen conifer" — Nahuatl *oyamel
  • peyote — "small, spineless cactus Lophophora williamsii which produces button-like tubercles which have psychedelic effects upon consumers of them" — Classical Nahuatl peyotl (see also "mescal")
  • pinole — "coarse flour made from ground toasted maize kernels, often mixed with herbs, eaten by itself (sic) or incorporated into drinks" — Nahuatl pinolli (maize flour; any powder)
  • pozole — "pre-Columbian soup made from hominy, other things and seasonings" — Nahuatl/Classical Nahuatl pozolli (stew of maize kernels)
  • pulque — "octli: milk-colored, somewhat viscous alcoholic drink, which produces a light foam, made by fermenting the sap of certain types of agave plants" — (via an erroneous Spanish adoption of) Nahuatl octli poliuhqui (spoilt octli)
  • quetzal — "strikingly colored bird in the trogon family" — Nahuatl quetzalli (large tail feather of the quetzal)
  • quetzalcoatlus — "North America pterodactyloid pterosaur from the Late Cretaceous (Maastrichtian stage, about 68–65.5 million years ago)" — Classical Nahuatl Quetzalcohuātl (feathered serpent, a deity)
  • sapodilla — "Manilkara zapota, a long-lived, evergreen tree, which has edible fruit" — related to "sapote"
  • sapote (also: zapote, sapota, zapota) — "edible fruit of the sapodilla tree" — Nahuatl tzapotl (sapote (fruit))
  • shack — "crude, roughly built hut" — (some authorities derive it from Nahuatl xacalli (adobe hut), but others consider this phonologically impossible and relate the word to English "ramshackle")
  • sotol — "any of several plants of the genus Dasylirion, of the agave family", "distilled spirit made from the Dasylirion wheeleri" — Nahuatl zotolin (palm tree)
  • tacamahac (also: tacamahaca) — "particular resinous product", "any tree yielding such resin, especially the balsam poplar" — Nahuatl tecamac
  • tamal (or: tamale) — "dish, consisting of a masa (meal, often cornmeal) shell filled (e.g. with meat) and steamed or boiled in a leaf or corn-husk wrapper (which is discarded before consumption)" — Nahuatl tamalli (tamale) (in English, "tamale" is a back-formation from "tamales", but it continues the Nahuatl syllabification)
  • tegu — "any of 7 species of large South America lizards of the genus Tupinambis" — from "teguexin"
  • teguexin — "large South American lizard with yellowish spots" (a "gold tegu"?) — Nahuatl tecoixin (lizard)
  • telpochcalli — (historically, in Aztec society:) "school at which young commoners received military training and a very basic education" — Nahuatl tēlpōchcalli, a compound of tēlpōchtli (young man, son) + calli (house)
  • teosinte — "grass of the genus Zea, sometimes cultivated as a fodder plant" — Nahuatl teōcintli
  • tequila — "alcoholic drink made from the blue agave plant" — named for the town where it was produced; the placename is Nahuatl (Tequillan)
  • tlachtli — (Nahuan version of the Mesoamerican ballgame) — Classical Nahuatl tlachtli (other names include "ulama", "ullamaliztli")
  • tomato — "widely cultivated plant, Solanum lycopersicum", "savory fruit of this plant, which is red when ripe" — Classical Nahuatl tomatl
  • tonal — "animal companion which accompanies a person from birth to death; animal to which a person acquires a spiritual link upon birth" — Nahuatl tōnalli (day, day sign)
  • tule — "hardstem bulrush, viscid bulrush (Schoenoplectus acutus)" — Classical Nahuatl tōllin
  • ulama — (Nahuan version of the Mesoamerican ballgame) — Classical Nahuatl ōllamaliztli (other names include "tlachtli", "ullamaliztli")
  • ullamaliztli — (another version of the Mesoamerican ballgame) — Classical Nahuatl ōllamaliztli (other names include "ulama", "tlachtli")
  • xochinacaztli — "earflower (Cymbopetalum penduliflorum)" — Nahuatl xōchinacaztli (ear-flower), from xōchitl (flower); so called because it resembles an ear
  • xocomecatlite — "orthorhombic telluride mineral which occurs as aggregates or spherules of green, needle-like crystals" — Nahuatl xocomecatl (grapevine) (+ English -ite)
  • zopilote — "buzzard or vulture" — Classical Nahuatl tzopīlōtl

from Numic languagesEdit

  • sego (or: sego lily) — "perennial bulb lily, Calochortus nuttallii, which has trumpet-shaped flowers" — Ute siγoʔo

from O'odhamEdit

  • tepary — "particular bean, Phaseolus acutifolius" — Tohono O'odham t'pawi (it is a bean)

from ShoshoneEdit

  • kooyah (sometimes: kuya) — "(large, internally bright yellow, edible root of the) Valeriana edulis, which tastes and smells like tobacco until cooked, when it becomes sweet" (eaten by Native Americans in the Great Basin and Northwest) — Shoshone ("Snake language") kuya, kuyu (bitterroot, Valeriana edulis)
  • pogonip — "ice fog which forms in valleys in the Western United States" — Shoshone paγinappih (thunder cloud) or a related word
  • yamp — "umbelliferous plant Perideridia gairdneri which is native to California and has edible tubers" — probably from the same source as "yampa", "yampah"
  • yampa (or: yampah) — "any of several plants of the genus Perideridia, especially Perideridia gairdneri, which has an edible root" — Shoshone *yampa

from Taracahitic languagesEdit

  • saguaro — "large cactus in the genus Carnegiea, native to the Sonoran Desert, characterized by its arm-like protuberances" — from a Taracahitic Uto-Aztecan language, probably Mayo or Opata

from Wakashan languagesEdit

from MakahEdit

from NootkaEdit