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Fun With Words

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

Image by Matt Eberle
Image by Matt Eberle

Pumpkin:

Pôhpukun

(ponh-pu-kun)

‘grows forth round’

Mocs.png
Mocs.png

Moccasin:

Mahkus (mah-kus)

‘Covers the

whole foot’

Image by Bryan Padron
Image by Bryan Padron

Skunk:

Sukôk (su-konk) ‘Ejects body fluid’

Moose
Moose

Moose:

M8s (moos) ‘moose’

20220730 - HMG - Wampanoag Heritage Day_Low_Rez - 044.jpg
20220730 - HMG - Wampanoag Heritage Day_Low_Rez - 044.jpg

Powwow:

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

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:

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.

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:

Seep8eesut

Current Name: Sippewisset

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

Original Name:

Ahshum8ut

Current Name Ashumet

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

Original Name:

Weeqay8ut

Current Name: Waquoit

Translation: Place of Light.

Original Name:

Mônâmashkayut

Current Name: Monamascoy

Translation: Abundant grass and herb place.

Original Name:

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

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