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Fun With Words

Here are some words used in our every day American language that are derived from Wôpanâak:


Pôhpukun (ponh-pu-kun) = ‘grows forth round’


Mahkus (mah-kus) = ‘Covers the whole foot’


Sukôk (su-konk) = ‘Ejects body fluid’

Additionally there are many locations that still retain the place names in the original Wôpanâak language. Here is a sampling of some of those locations:

Original Name:


Current Name: Waquoit

Translation: Place of Light.

Original Name:


Current Name: Monamascoy

Translation: Abundant grass and herb place.

Original Name:

Current Name: Aquinnah
Translation: The end of the island. 


M8s (moos) = ‘moose’


Pawâw (pa-waaw) = ‘s/he is healing/heals (someone)’

Original Name:

Sôty8ut (sonh-too-ut)

Current Name: Santuit

Translation: Sachem's place. This refers to the residency or burial ground of a Sachem.

Original Name:


Current Name: Sippewisset

Translation: Brook Place. This refers to a particular brook there.

Original Name:


Current Name Ashumet

Translation: Fresh water spring place. This refers to a particular spring there.

Original Name:

Mâsach8sut (maa-sa-choo-sut)
Current Name: Massachusetts
Translation: Place of the foothill. This was probably referring to the Blue Hills.

Original Name:

Mâseepee (maa-see-pee)

Current Name: Mashpee

Translation: Big water. This refers to Mashpee Pond.

Original Name:

Kut8ut (ku-too-ut)

Current Name: Cotuit

Translation: Talking place. This was most likely a place for meetings.

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