Biimskwaaguk. Biimskwaashik Anishinabe Zhigaawin!

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Swing and sway the Anishinabe way!

Nimi’iding – Dance (Literally to bend at the knee-  look at how we dance, this is a very good description!)

Note to Pow wow go-ers : Do not EVER CALL the dancer’s outfits Costumes! Refer to the outfits as outfits or regalia. This is our culture, NOT Halloween! Miigwetch. Also ask before you touch anything on a dancer or on a trader’s table, and do not take photos without asking permission first, and the proper way would be to offer the dancer tobacco:  / a tobacco tie / Loose tobacco/ or a cigarette. Miigwetch.

Jiingtamok – Gathering / Dance/ Pow Wow

Dewe’igan – Drum

Dewe’iganatig- Drumstick

Dewe’iganing – At the drum

Mishike zhiishiigan – Turtle rattle

Zhiishiigan – Rattle

Ngamwin – Song

Niimwin – Dance

Ngamo ininiwag – Male Singers

Ngamo kwewag – Female Singers

Bama api and Have fun on the Jiingtamok miikana!

Corrections  from Charles :D!! :

“M[i]tigoon boodaajigan – Turtle rattle”: really? Is there something that I’m not understanding here, because I read that as a “Wooden Horn”.

So I asked “How would you say turtle rattle? Mishike zhiishiigan?”

“That all depends. If you’re using a shell of a miskwaadesi as a ladle, then it is a mishiikenh-emikwaan. If the same turtle shell is used as a rattle, then yes, mishiikenh-zhiishiigwan. But a turtle shell itself is not zhiishiigwan, as that means “rattle”. The word for a shield or a turtleshell is widashwaa, so what a turtle has is a mishiikenh-widashwaa, opposed to the Romans with their Biiwaabiko-widashwaa.”


Zaagidawin miinawa Wiidaged

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Zaagidawin miinawa wiidaged – to love and be married.

I noticed that people have been using internet search engines to learn Odawa words for love, so I thought I would post the word love and other things to say when snagging or after you are snagged here.

Awenen giin gidodem? – What is your clan?

___ nindodem. I am ___ clan.

Or you could say:

Migizi ndodem, awenen giin gidodem? – I am Eagle clan, what is your clan?

Why ask your clan first? Well for those of you who do not know, it is a no-no to date within your own clan, sort of like dating your family… even if the tribal affiliation is different and is a cultural no – no.

Also might be good to run through relatives names… just in case your cousins…. lol

Zaagidawin – to love / love

Wiijiiwshin – Come with me.

Gisaagi’in – I love you

Jiimshin! – Kiss me! (as a command)

Gikinjigwenshin! -Hug me! (as a command)

Wiipemishin. – Lie down with me.

Gi ginaajiwi  / gi mikwaadizi – s/he is handsome / beautiful

Ninmoshen – My pet/ My sweetheart

Gi wii wiidigemin – I want to marry you.

Wiidigemishin – Marry me.

Wiidaged – Be married

Wiidagemaad – To be married to someone

Niibwid – Get married to someone

Ninaabem – My husband

Niwiiw – My wife

Days of the Week and Months of the Year

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Also note that the Days of the Week are not a traditional concept for our Anishinabe people. This is a modern way of counting time, always prior to this we counted by season and winters. We technically have more “months” than the Christian calendar which refer to things happening in the early spring and later spring time. There are two ways to count the days, one is based on the Christian belief system and  one is a non religious way of counting/saying the days of the week. In some communities Saturday is called “wash day” . It all depends on what is going on during the week and months because that is how Anishinabemowin works… it describes things.

Days of the Week

(o) name giizhigad – Sunday ( pray day)

(I)shkwa (o)name giizhigad – Monday ( after pray day)

Niizh giizhigad – Tuesday (2nd day)

Abta giizhigad – Wednesday ( half day)

Spinganwan – Thursday ( consecration day)

Jibaatoo giizhigad – Friday – cross day

Maanii giizhigad – Saturday – its mary’s day

Also Wednesday can be called Zozep giizhigad – st josephs day


Aname giizhigad – pray day

Ntam giizhigad – first day

Niizh giizhigad – second day

Nswi giizhigad – third day

Abtaying – half

Naanan giizhigad – Fifth day

Ngodwaaswi giizhigad – sixth day

The Months of the Year depend on the location and the weather/ season…

The following are the months of the year for the central Michigan area.

Manidoo Giizis – Spirit Moon – January

Makwa Giizis – Bear Moon – February

Naabidin Giizis – Snow Crust Moon – March

Bopogaame Giizis – Walk on lakes/ Broken Snowshoe Moon March –  / April

Ziisibaakadake Giizis – Sugar Moon – April

Nmebine Giizis – Sucker Moon – May

Waabgonii Giizis – Blossom Moon – June

Miin Giizis – Berry Moon – July

Mnoomni Giizis – Ricing Moon – August

Waabagaa Giizis – Changing Leaves Moon – September

Bnaakwii Giizis – Falling Leaves Moon – October

Baashkaakodin Giizis – Freezing Moon

Manidoo Giizisoohns – Little Spirit Moon

Another note, we call years biboon (winters) like when we say our age is is in “winters” the winter count.
Ntam giizhigad, Nmebine Giizis, Niizhtana shi nswi, Niizhing mdaaswaak shi bezhig shi bezhig. Monday (the first day), May, 23, 2011.

Another note: I found this on another website

I think you should realize what you say when you say the following:

One week- Ningo anami’e giizhig
One month- Ningo giizis
One year- Ningo biboon

Ningo anami’e giizhig – literally one pray day

Ningo giizis – Literally one sun. I would not say it this way, I would say Ningo dibik giizis – One Moon

and Ningo biboon is literally One winter.


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Anish ezhiwebak niijiikwenyaag? – Whats happening my friends?

I was woken up this morning by a police officer – Dakoniwewinini. Our cars and 11 others had been broken into in the middle of the night. So I thought I would post the word for Policeman – Dakoniwewinini and Policewoman – Dakoniwewikwe

Dakoniwewidaabaan – Police car

Odaabaan – Car

Dakoniwewigamig – Police Station

Gashkaabika’w – Lock someone up

Gashkaabika’ – Lock someone up (as a command)

Dibaakonigewigamig – Court House

Mi iw sa (That is all)

Bama api gi waabamin (see you later)


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Aanish ezhiwebak Niijiikwenyag? – Whats happening my friends?

Today I thought I would add a  quick post.

Jiibakwewigamig – kitchen

Oshki Ikidwenan – new words

Giziidoone’on – napkin

Jiishada’igan – broom

Giizisoo mazina’igan – calendar

Baakaakoshigan – can opener

Giziiyaabika’igan – dish towel

Gibozige – s/he bakes things

Giishkada’igan – cleaver

Giziigiiginaagane – s/he washes dishes

Mikwamii makak – Refrigerator (Ice box)

Jiishada’ige – S/he sweeps

Gigii wiisin ina  zheba? – Did you eat this morning?

Kawiin, Niwii wiisin nagadj. No, I will eat later.

Gego ina giwii miijin? – Do you want anything to eat?

Awegonen eteg? – What is there?

Wawnon miinawa gookoosh wiiyaas miinawa pakwezhigan. – Eggs and bacon and bread.

Niwii giziibiigidopwin. I am going to wash the table.

Niwii giziibiiginaagane. I am going to wash the dishes.

Anishinabemowin Sound Chart

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Boozhoo Niijiinkwenyag!

This is the Anishinabemowin Sound Chart we had to learn in one of my language classes. Our kinoamage inini made us repeat this at the beginning of our classes for the first few weeks of our semester. It does help you approach words and to learn to pronounce them better. Another tip, if you encounter a long word you are having trouble pronouncing, sound it out backwards ( example makademashkikiwaaboo sounded out from back to front like this: waaboo, kiwaaboo, kikiwaaboo, mashkikiwaaboo, makademashkikiwaaboo), or sound it out by syllable (mak  ade   mash  ki  ki  waa boo).

b — ba –baa–be–bi–bii–bo–boo





j–ja–jaa– je–ji–jii–jo–joo












Double Vowels

aa-ah in About

ii – e as in bee

e – a as in may

oo – as in food

Short Vowels

a- uh in cut

i -ih as in lit

o as o in low

Cooking/Kitchen Verbs and Sentences

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Minikchiwagan-Something you drink out of (cup)

Boskina’gun – Bowl (Talks about its curviness) (Bea Collwelliban)

Desinaagan/Desinaaganan – Bowl / Bowls

Onaagan / Onaaganan – Plate / Plates

Ataasowin – Cupboard

Ataasowinan – Cupboards (you can tell that this word refers to something inanimate by the plural ending –an)


Emkwaan/Emkwaanan- Spoon/Spoons

Badak’jigan/ Badak’jiganan – Fork / Forks

Mookman/Mookmanan – Knife / Knives

Kchi mookman – Big knife

Pots and Pans

Akik/ Akikwag – Pot / Pots

Zaasgokwaan / Zaasgokwaanan – Frying Pan / Frying pans

Aniibiishakik/ Aniibiishakikan – Tea Kettle / Tea Kettles


Bischigeh- to bake (Literal meaning  – it raises)

Zhaabkizgan(Bea Collwelliban) or Gizhaabkizigan (Neganigwane Pheasant) – Stove


Esasskodek – Frying

Esasskodekweshigan – Fried bread

Table words

Dopwin/ Dopwinan – Table/Tables

Ta’magat dopwining – On top of the table

Namayiin dopwining – Underneath the table.

Anamowishin ziinzibaakwad. – Hand me the sugar.

Anamowishin zhiitaagan miinawa wiisagat – Pass me the salt and pepper.

Daga Anama’wishin – Please pass it to me / hand it to me.

About the Cook

Jibaakwe inini – Male cook.

Giwii jibaakwe ina? – Do you want to cook?

Jiibawaadan – Cook it.

Jibaakwe – S/he is cooking.

Ni jiibaakwe – I’m cooking.

Eating Words

Wiisini – To eat someone or something. The use of the word “someone” is due to animals and plants being animate and having a spirit so we acknowledge that in our words about eating.

Gwii minikwe na? – Do you want a drink?

Wegonesh waa miijiiyan? / Awegonen wa miijiiyin? (example of dialect difference, which doesn’t matter because they both say the same thing)  – What do you want to eat?

Gojipidan – Taste it.

Gojipidan maanda – Taste this.

Minopogozid na? – Does it taste good?

Miigwetchiwendan – Give thanks for it.

Ziigwebinan – Spill it.

Desa’an – Flatten it.

Wewiiginan – Wrap it up.

Gondan – Swallow it.

Nabonan – Fold it.

Webinan – Throw it away.

Wiisini – To eat.

Bakade – To be hungry.

Ni minikwe – I’m drinking.

Ni wiisin – I’m eating.

Ingii minikwe – I drank.

Ingii wiisin. – I ate.

Gigii wiisin’ na? – Did you eat?

Wiisiniwag Ininiwag – The men are eating.

Mino Pogozi – That 1 thing tastes good.

Mino Pogwaad – That (all of it) tastes good.

Maji Pogozi – That 1 thing tastes bad. (note, we Anishinabeg would never insult the cook by saying this, however you could use it if you were tasting something you made yourself or something purchased from the store, like an energy drink or something you could say it tastes bad.)

Gid ayaawaa ina’ makademashkikiwaaboo? – Do you have some coffee?

Gid ayaawaa ina’ opineek? – Do you have potatos?

Ndoo apachigo nimbakade / Ndoo apijige nimbakade – I’m really hungry.

G’depsinii na? – Are you full?

Ehn, n’depsina. – Yes, I’m full.

Kawiin n’depsiniisii – No, I’m not full.

N’depsina – I’m full / I’ve had enough.

Mishiiminag – Apples (You can tell that apples are animate because of it’s plural ending –ag)

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