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Introduction to the Narragansett Language:

A Study of Roger Williams


A Key into the Language of America
By

Moondancer

Strong Woman

Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication Data


OBrien, Francis Joseph, Jr. (Moondancer)
Jennings, Julianne (Strong Woman)
Introduction to the Narragansett Language: A Study of Roger Williams' A Key into the
Language of America, 1643 (First Edition).
p. cm.
Includes bibliographical references.
1. Algonquian Indian Languages (Narragansett). 2. Grammar, Vocabulary, Phonology of
Narragansett language.
I. The Massachusett Language Revival Project.
Library of Congress Catalog Card Number: 2001116679

They want to dry the tears that drowned the sun


They want laughter to return to their hearts
They want to go home xo to Mother and Grandmother
They want to hear their ancestral voices round the fire

Wunnohteaonk

MAY PEACE BE IN YOUR HEARTS

Copyright 2001 by Moondancer and Strong Woman


Aquidneck Indian Council, Inc., 12 Curry Avenue, Newport, RI 02840-1412, USA. All rights reserved.
No part of this publication may be reproduced, stored in retrieval system, or transmitted, in any form
or by any means, electronic, mechanical, photocopying, recording, or otherwise, without the written
permission of the Aquidneck Indian Council, Inc. Printed in the United States of America.

Introduction to the Narragansett Language

Annotated Edition

Aquidneck Indian Council, Inc.


A Public Foundation Preserving the Past

TABLE OF CONTENTS

FOREWORD
PRONUNCIATION GUIDE

A Key into the Language of America


Retranslated and Annotated
To the Reader
Chapter I.

Of Salutation

Chapter II. Of Eating and Entertainment


Chapter III.

Of Sleepe

Chapter IV.

Of Their Numbers

Chapter V.
Chapter VI.

12

17
19

Of Relations of Consanguinity, &c.


Of House, Family, &c

Chapter VII. Of Parts of Body

26
36

23

Chapter VIII.
Chapter IX.

Of Discourse and News

Of Time of Day

43

Chapter X. Of Seasons of the Yeere


Chapter XI.

Of Travell

39

45

48

Chapter XII. Of the Heavenly Lights


Chapter XIII.

Of the Weather

Chapter XIV.

Of

Chapter XV.
Chapter XVI.

56

The Winds

Of Fowle

54

58

60

Of the Earth and Fruits Thereof

Chapter XVII. Of Beasts and Cattell


Chapter XVIII.

Of the Sea

67

71

Chapter XIX. Of Fish and Fishing

74

Chapter XX. Of Their Nakedness and Clothing


Chapter XXI. Of Religion, the Soule &c.

91

78

80

Chapter XXII. Of Their Government and Justice


Chapter XVIII. Of Marriage

63

87

Chapter XXIV. Concerning their Coyne


Chapter XXV. Of Buying & Selling

94

98

Chapter XXVI. Of Debts and Trusting

103

Chapter XXVII. Of Their Hunting, &c

195

Chapter XXVIII. Of their Gaming, &c.


Chapter XXIX. Of Their Warre, &c
Chapter XXX. Of Their Paintings
Chapter XXXI. Of their Sicknesse

110
117
116

Chapter XXXII. Of Death and Buriall,

GRAMMAR TABLE

122

REFERENCES AND SOURCES


CREDITS & ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
About the Authors

126
130

198

&c.

120

Foreword

Introduction to the Narragansett Language: A Study of Roger Williams' A Key into the
Language of America, 1643 is a companion volume to Indian Grammar Dictionary for NDialect: A Study of A Key into the Language of America by Roger Williams 1643. Together
these volumes comprise a modern summary of the Narragansett language. Our goals are
threefold: (1) to provide a modern re-translation of the Narragansett language recorded by Roger
Williams in 1643 in A Key into the Language of America, (2) to provide a text in dialogue
structure which the reader, with concentrated effort, can acquire a fair amount of knowledge, at
the elementary level, of an extinct language, (3) to provide teachers with a useful text to teach
this language.
The reader is assisted in two major ways. First, the Indian Grammar Dictionary provides an
index to the present text (based on the 1936 5th edition) as well as a compact summary of
grammatical information. Second, the text is supported by almost 1,000 footnotes which guides
the reader through the text with special emphasis on understanding the verb structure in reference
to a well-structured Grammar Table summarizing the main verb classes in Roger Williams'
elementary book.
Thus, by diligent study, the reader may gain proficiency in understanding this fascinating
language, and gain insight into the First Americans of Rhode Island.
The editors have used this work to produce elementary dialogue for a television documentary
"Mystic Voices: the Story of the Pequot War" (http://ourworldtop.cs.com/pequotwar/index.htm). Also, we have produced an audiocassette tape of songs
Nkas-I Come from Her, sung by Strong Woman, in this dialect and other regional tongues.
Introductory Language Lessons have been conducted at the Rhode Island Indian Council with
some measure of success. Moondancer thanks Darrell Waldron, Executive Director and Charlie
Harold, Board Chairman, and the Staff at the Council for their support.

Aquene
Moondancer Strong Woman
Monday, February 26, 2001
Newport, Rhode Island

A Key into the Language of America


[facsimiles of Title Page & pp. 7, 10; Courtesy, University of Pennsylvania]

EENNTOWASH

SPEAK INDIAN

A Brief Pronunciation Guide for


Narragansett Language

PRONUNCIATION GUIDE for A Key


SPELLING

APPROXIMATE SOUND

(Roger Williams)

(some are uncertain)

uh in sofa
ou in bought
ah in father

ah

ah in father
ou in bought

an, aum, aun

nasal sound

au

ou in bought
au in caught
ah in father

aw

ou in bought
aw in raw
ah in father

b in big
p in pig

c, cc

k in cow, account
kw in queen

ca, co, cu

k in call, cold, cut

cau

cow
caw

ce, ci

s-sound in cede, civil, acid


z- or sh-sound as in sacrifice, ocean

ch

ch in chair

ck

k in cow
ch in child
kw in queen

ckq [before w]

k in cow
kw in queen

d, dd

d in din, muddy
t in tin, putty

STRESS
MARKS 

ii

ddt, dt

d in din
t in tin
tee-ah [fast tempo] (a complex
sound between ch & t)

e in he

ea

e in he
ea in yeah
ah in father

ee

ee in beet

ei

e in he
uh in sofa

emes [word ending]

ee-mees

ese [word ending]

ees

eu

eu in feud

g [before w]

k in cow
kw in queen
guttural sound like German ach

g, gg, gk [word middle after a vowel]

k in cow
kw in queen
guttural sound like German ach

g, gk [word ending]

k in cow
kw in queen
guttural sound like German ach

uh in sofa
e in he
i in hit

ie

e in he

ih

uh in sofa

ee [?]
ee-uh [?]
ee-ih [?]

STRESS
MARKS 

e in he
e in bed
uh in sofa
silent [no sound at end of word]

iii

k, kk

k in cow
kw in queen
guttural sound like German ach

k [before consonant]

kuh in cut

m, mm

m in mud, hammer

n [before consonant]

nuh in nut

n, nn [middle, end of word]

n in tan, tanning

uh in sofa
ah in father
oo in food

o [after w]

ah in father
ou in bought
au in caught

oo,

oo in food

oa [after w]

ah in father
ou in bought

oh

uh in sofa
oh in go [?]

om, on

nasal sound

p, pp

b in big, bigger
p in pig, happy

q [word beginning & before vowel]

kw in queen

q [before w]

k in cow
kw in queen
guttural sound like German ach

s [word beginning & after consonant]

s in sip, racks

s, ss [after vowel ]

s in sip [one s sound]

sc

sk in skill

sh [word beginning, word ending & before

sh in she, push

vowel]

sh [before consonant]

s in sip

shk

sk in skill

shq

sk in skill

sk

sk in skill

STRESS
MARKS 

iv

skc

sk in skill
guttural sound like German ach

sp

sp in spell

sq

skw in squid
guttural sound like German ach

d in din
t in tin
tee-ah [fast tempo] (a complex
sound between ch & t)

tt

t in tin, putty
d in din, muddy
tee-ah [fast tempo] (a complex
sound between ch & t)

tch

tch in itch

te [word beginning ]

tee-you [fast tempo] (a complex


sound between ch & t))

tea, ttea [after a vowel]

tee-ah [fast tempo] (a complex


sound between ch & t)

teau, teu, tteu [word middle or end]

tee-ah [fast tempo] (a complex


sound between ch & t)

uh in sofa
ah (short version).
some think that at the beginning of
some words, a u was a whistling
sound (see w)

w, ww

w in won (one w heard) [perhaps a


whistling sound in some words
beginning with w]

y in yes

s in sip

STRESS
MARKS 

Title Page <>A Key into the Language of America, 1643

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

To the Reader1

NOTE: to understand the unique grammar of the Narragansett Algonquian language in A Key, the student should
obtain the companion volume, Indian Grammar Dictionary for N-Dialect: A Study of A Key into the Language of
America, Moondancer Strong Woman, Newport, RI: Aquidneck Indian Council, 2000. There the reader will
find much grammatical information on word formation. This dictionary also serves as a page index and will assist
the reader in locating words, roots, stems, and grammatical information. In this manner, the reader can do his or her
own analysis of the grammatical structure of the language.
Many of the original English translations given by Roger Williams in A Key have been modified to make
interpretation easier or to correct translation errors in light of modern understanding of the Narragansett language.
We tend to write a simple literal "grammatical translation" which we believe simplifies the presentation and
understanding of the grammar for the beginning student.
The information in parentheses ( ) gives literal translation or expansion on translation. Information enclosed in
quotation marks (" ") means usually a literal translation such as a red fox ("red animal"). The information in
brackets [ ] is the editors editorial comments to interpret further R. Williams' translation or to provide additional
explanation. In footnotes we use bold for grammatical information and italic for Algonquian.
PRONUNCIATION NOTE: Occasionally we suggest pronunciations, which are based on the following simple
conventions: we write "ah" for a in father; "uh" for a in sofa; "oo" for oo in food; "e" for e in bed; "i" or "h" for i in
hit; "kw" for qu in queen. We also tend to suggest a "g" sound for a letter spelled "k"; a "d" sound for spelled "t", a
"b" sound for a word spelled "p". These changes tend to make reconstructed spoken Narragansett more intelligible
to Indians who still have a related "living" language such as our friends of the Tobique Band of the Maliseets in
N.B., Canada.

67

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

Nnnnuock
Ninnimissinnwock3
Eniskeetompawog4
Nanhigganuck7

People of our Tribe


Indian People not of our tribe6
Indians in general
Narragansetts

Massachusuck

Massachusett Indians

Cawasumsuck

Cawsumsett Neck Indians8

Cowwesuck

Cowweset Indians

Quintikock9

Indians of the long river (Connecticut)

Qunnipiuck

Quinnipiac Indians

CHAP.

PG.

To the
Reader

To the
Reader
To the
Reader
To the
Reader
To the
Reader
To the
Reader
To the
Reader

Original text reads Nnnuock . The ending -ock (or -ag or -uck with a connective "glide" pronounced as "y" or
"w") makes words plural (more than one) for the type of noun referred to as "animate" (creatures that are alive and
move) plus others we can't understand the rule for at this time. The ending -ash is the plural for "inanimate nouns".
See footnote, Ch. IV, pp. 25-26 for more information on Algonquian gender (animate/inanimate)
3
Missin = "other nnin (captive people, inferior men)". Double consonants in the middle of a word (like nn in
Nnnnuock, or hh, gg, ss, in other words, etc.) are pronounced like one letterjust as we do in English; for example
the word "supper" is said with one "p" sound. Also, note that in Narragansett, the stress or emphasis in a word falls
where we see any of the three stress marks used by Roger Williams


(and so on for the other vowelse, i o, u)
So, for Nnnnuock, we might say "Nuh-NIN-nuh-wahck" with the "i" as in "hit" (the stress is on the second syllable
NIN because thats where we see the stress mark). Often the cluster uock seems to insert a "w" for speech ("wahck")
(called a "glide").
4
Sketomp ("SKEE-dahb") ="a man", a common Algonquian word used among surviving languages like Maliseet.
Some believe the word, Eniskeetompawog, means "original surface-dwelling people" (Iron Thunderhorse, 2000).
Wosketomp is a similar word suggesting a "young warrior) (woskehteau = "harms or destroys" with perhaps root
-wask- = "young." The key root is -omp = "free, unbound".
5
Those like us; "We are all alike". [nnin = "people, human beings of our tribe"; see Ch. V]
6
Those not like us.
7
Original text has ~ over the e (as do a number of other words). We use the circumflex ^ throughout the book. The
plural ending -uck ("ee-yuhck") is translated (incorrectly) "the people of". The endings "-ock, -og" for simple
pluralizaton have the same meaning as -uck. So, Nanhigganuck ("Nah-hih-gah-NEE-yuhck") has been translated,
"The People Of The Small Point Of Land". Massachusuck is translated "People of the Great Hills". Cawasumsuck
means "People of the Sharp Rock". Cowwesuck means "People Of the Small Pine Place". Qunnipiuck = "People
of the long-water place" (quinni-auke-pe) or "People of the place where the route changes". Pequtog is translated
usually "Destroyers". Muhhekanuck means either "The Wolf People" or, in Prince & Speck, 1903, "People of the
tide river".
This analysis of a word into its elementary units of root/stems is guided by the principal of polysynthesis (see
the editor's book, Understanding Algonquian Indian Words (New England)). English-language words can be
understood in a similar manner; e.g., the words <telescope, telephone, television, telegraph, telegram, telepathy,
telemetry> all have in common the Greek root tele (far off, at a distance) which goes into these words. The other
roots (-scope, -phone &c) all have their individual meanings which when combined with other roots give us new
words such as <microscope, periscope, Dictaphone, microphone, & c). Our manner of teaching Algonquian is quite
similar to the word-analysis we just presented for English-language words.
8
Probably Pokanoket/ Wampanoag of Sowams who occupied lands from Sowansett River to Pawtucket River
within Cawsumsett Neck in Bristol & Warren, RI
9
The recent book by Iron Thunderhorse is a good reference for Indian place names in southwestern New England.

67

NARRAGANSETT
Cawtntowwit & Cautntouwit

ENGLISH

Pequtog10

The Great Spirit or The Place of the Great


Spirit (in the Southwest)
Pequot Indians

Mosk & Pauknnawaw

A bear11

Sowaniu

Towards southwest12

Muhhekanuck13

Mohegans

Qunnibtcut14

Connecticut River15

Wequash

A man who was a Pqut captain [a Christian


Indian and friend of Roger Williams]
A man who wrought great miracles among
Native peoples [perhaps a legendary figure.
His name may mean "cousin" or "kinsman";
see Ch. V, Pg. 29]

Wtucks

CHAP.
To the
Reader
To the
Reader
To the
Reader
To the
Reader
To the
Reader
To the
Reader
To the
Reader
To the
Reader

PG.

10

These are ancestors of the Modern Pequots, including groups known as Mashantucket, Paucatuck, Eastern Pequot
Indians, inter alia, in and around Ledyard, Conneticut.
11
See Ch. XII, p. 80.
12
Where we come from and where the souls of people go when they cross over; a very sacred place from where our
primary foods of beans, squash, and corn come. See chapter on Religion for ideas on two souls of people.
13
Adopted and modified from an editorial footnote in A Key into the Language of America. Providence, RI:
Narragansett Club, 1866 Edition, J. R. Trumbull, Editor. The Trumbull edition has many useful comments from
historical sources. We are indebted to Dr. Trumbull for some historical editorial remarks used in the present book.
14
Ordinarily no "b" is written (Qunnitcut "Kwih-nih-DIH-kuht").
15
"On the long tidal river", home of the Pequots, Mohegans and other tribal groupings.

68

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Chapter I. Of Salutation
What cheare Ntop16?

Greeting used by English to Indians

Ntop

Friend, my friend

Netompaog

Friends, my friends

Nen, ken, ew17

I, you, he (she)

You and I

Good morrow (a greeting)

How do you do ? ["still your time?"]

I am very well

I am glad you are well ["thanks that you are


well"]
My service to you ["I serve you"]

Sachem, Indian village leader, Prince


[Indian chief]
I pray your favor ["I greet you"]
I pray your favor ["I salute you"]

Ken ka neen
18

As cowequssin or
As cowequassunnmmis19
As kuttaaquompsn ?
20

As npaumpmantam

21

Taubot paumpmataman
Cowanckamish22
23

Sachim

Cowanckamish &24
Cuckqunamish25

16

Ntop ("NEE-dahb") = "my friend"; ktop = "your friend"; wtop = "his friend". Root is -(t)op-;recall earlier
footnote on -omp-. The reader may know that later, in Colonial times, the word netop became the racially
derogatory, degrading, insulting "n word" by which Indians were routinely addressed by Whites. Nowadays, of
course, such practices are considered unlawful in this day and age when it is legal to be Indian; see the book by Joey
L. Dillard (1972). Black English: Its History in the United States. NY: Random House. Today, among native
peoples ntop is used in its original meaning, "my friend," "friend".
17
When a comma is used, the English translation is given in the same order (Nen = "I," ken = "you," ew = "he,
she."); ew is often used for "him".
18
The English word or means that either expression given is used in this situation. Notice that verbs relating to
"your" or "we" (inclusive form) begin with either a c or k, but we use only the k form in the Grammar Table.
19
The ending -mis may be the question form; perhaps meaning "Is your light (spirit) still shining?" It may also
indicate the Passive Voice (see the Ind. Gram. Dict.). In Pequot (co)wequassin, translated "good morning," seems
to mean "may you live happily" (from week = "sweet"). So, As cowequssin may mean "may you continue to live
happily ('sweetly')"
20
We have separated As from the verb paumpmantam (and word above) to highlight the grammar. See Ch. II, pg.
10, "Have you eaten yet?" & Ch. III, pg. 18, "Are you asleep yet?" and also Ch. XI, pg. 72. Also see Aspeyau (Ch.
VI, pg. 34). As may be related to the word asq ("yet, not yet, still, before that"). Thus, As npaumpmantam may
mean, "I live yet," "I am still on my journey," "Still I journey".
21
This is a Subjunctive verb (Type I) of the form ***aman. (Study the Grammar Table to understand why).
Hagenau uses "Mood" in his morphological classification whereas we use the synonymous "mode" to refer to the
basic four verb classesInfinitive, Indicative, Imperative, Subjunctivewith or without specified subject-object
relation.
22
Type C Objective-Indicative verb (I-you (sg.)).
23
In historic times, Europeans recorded the word "Sagamore". They thought a Sagamore was lesser in rank than a
Sachem, but in fact they may have simply misunderstood the language. The Algonquian word sagimau means "He
is the Sachem". It is this word the Europeans may have heard and mistakenly misinterpreted.
24
The ampersand & means the words are said both ways with the same meanings (according to R. Williams). We
use &c to mean "etc."

69

NARRAGANSETT
26

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Cowankamuck

He salutes you

As paumpmantam
Sachim ?
As paumpmuntam
commttammus27 ?
As paumpmantamwock
cummuckiag28 ?
Konkeeteug

How is the Sachim ?

How is your wife ?

How are your children ?

They are well

Taubotne29 paumpmauthttit
30

I am glad they are well


31

Tnna Cowam ? or
Tuckteshana ?
Y nowam

Whence come you ? [singular]

I came that way ["There I came"]

I
I

3
3

Nwwatuck nteshem32

I came from afar

Mattasu nteshem

I came from hard by (near here)

Wtu

House, wigwam

Wetumuck34 nteshem

I came from the house (wigwam)

Acwmuck notshem

I came over the water

33

25

These two verbs show the Objective-Indicative Mode (study the Grammar Table to understand whyget in the
habit of consulting the Grammar Table to see the pattern whenever verbs are discussed in the footnotes or main body
of the text).
26
Objective-Indicative Mode (of form k'***uck, He-you (sg.)). In many places "he" could be read "he or she". If
we fail to add "she" or "her" the reader should assume we meant to include it.
27
Not the question form, commttammus is the whole word for "your wife.
28
Example of a possessive noun declined (my boy, your boy, his, her boy, our boy, &c) with the structure:
possessive pronoun + noun + plural. Mucki is "child" (usually a boy) and -aug is plural for animate nouns. The
prefix cum- makes it "your " children. Thus, in morphological form, k' + mucki + aug. "My children" starts with an
n to give, nummuckiag (n' + mucki + aug). "His, her children, their children" drops the prefixmuckiag ( mucki
+ aug). Many relations are given in the editor's book, A Massachusett Language Book, Vol. 1, Aquidneck Indian
Council.
29
In Pequot, pronounced TAH-buht-nee; literally, "thanks for that" (nee="that").
30
It seems that "how, what, where" is given as <ta, taa, tac tou, tuc, tuck>; and "whence, whither, where" is given
as <tunna, tunnock>.
31
"You" is ambiguous in this line just as it is in English. Is it singular or plural? We translate "you" as singular
because we know from the verb-rules of grammar that Cowam is Type I verb (You, singular) as shown in the
Grammar Table. In general, to distinguish "you (singular)" from "you (plural)", the reader should consult the
Grammar Table.
32
Nteshem seems to be a present-tense verb, which is used here as a past-tense verb. (In other dialects some verbs
are used as the same for present and past tense.) More often Williams uses mesh to make past tense verbs from
present-tense ones (see Ch. I, pg. 8; "I came by boat"). Although the past tense has its own verbs in other dialects,
Williams seems to have not used them very much (see footnote, Ch. VI, p. 35). This may be unique to Narragansett
or the depth of Williams knowledge of the language, or his decision to present only the bare rudiments of the
grammar for the beginning English learner, who was not going to try very hard to master this very complex
language. Rest assured, Algonquian grammar is far, far, far more involved than this example in A Key. (See
Pentland article which is on Internet).
33
Some believe wetu is a verb ("he is at home," "he houses"). The words Natick weekuwout or weekuwomut ("in
their house") are the basis for the word "wigwam". In 1907, Prince said the last speakers of the Cape Cod
Wampanoag Mashpee dialect remembered the old word wigiwam for Indian wigwam.
34
The endings -uck, -ick, -it all mean "at, from, of" (location words) when attached to nouns (See Ch. I, pg. 3:
"I came from the village"). The ending -uck is also used with Objective-Indicative verbs; see above ("He salutes
you") and Ch. I, pg. 8 ("He loves you").

70

NARRAGANSETT
35

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Otn

A village

Otnick notshem

I came from the village

Acawmenakit

Land on the other side (of the bay, river,


lake, ocean, etc.)

Tunnock kuttme36 ?

Whither go you ?37

Wkick nittme

I go to his, her wetu

Nkick nittme

I go to my wetu

Kkick nittme

I go to your wetu

Tuckowkin ?

Where dwell you ?

Tuckuttin ?

Where keep (live) you ?

Mat nowetumeno39

I have no wetu [notI have none, a wetu]

Tou wuttin ?

Where lives he ?

Awnick chick ?

Who are these (people)?

Awan ew ?41

Who is that ?

Tnna mwock ? or
Tunna wutshaock42 ?
Yo43 nowkin

Whence come they ?

I dwell here

Yo ntin

I live here

Is it so ?

38

40

44

Eu ? or Nnu ?
Nx

45

Yes

35

"ah-DAHN". Keihtotan = "a great, large village" (in Natick dialect, northeast of Narragansett Country); the root
keih-, keiht- = "great" (cf. "Great Spirit"). "Villages" is otnnash; "small village" is otanmes; otanemsash =
"small villages" (the accents are conjectural).
36
Read this as one word, Tunnockuttme. Say last part as either "kuh-DOOM" or "kuh-DAHM".
37
See page 70.
38
Perhaps said "tuh-kuh-TEE-in" or "tuh-kuh-TEEN"
39
The original text reads Matnowetumeno. We separated mat to highlight the grammar. Mat means "no", "not".
Also, matta means the same, but seems to be used to further indicate displeasure, unhappiness, annoyance,
unpleasantness. See Ch. VI, pg. 38 ("I knew nothing"). The word machage (or mateg & other spellings) means
"never," "not, "nothing," & "not at all." Wetuo is common for wetu combined with other elements; e.g.,
wetuomanit="The wetu Spirit". Note that the prefix no- & suffix -meno signify "none of". See Ind. Gram. Dict..
And see p. 10, "Have you no water?" We have taken liberty to make these changes throughout the text to emphasize
understanding the grammar. An audio-tape will someday accompany this book to teach reconstructed
pronunciation.
40
Plural for "who". chick seems to mean "these men" (yeug in Natick). The next line gives the singular form for
"who".
41
The pronoun ew ("he, she") usually said after the verb or noun. The pronouns nen ("I") and ken ("you")
usually said before the verb or noun. See Ch. I, pg. 7, Ken ntop = "Is it you friend?" Sometimes the pronouns are
added just for emphasis or clarification.
42
The verb esh (come, go) is embedded here. The word breaks down to: W' + (t)esh + auock. The t is inserted
because the stem esh begins with a vowel. (see Appendix, Ind. Gram. Dict., "accommodating t"). This verb is Type
III Indicative. Maybe the word is mispelled (e left out).
43
Yo means "here, there, hence, thence". It is spelled in different ways throughout the book. In the closely related
Natick dialect (Wampanoag) it seems to be said "you".
44
Appears close to Pequot, "yes" = nawih (Prince & Speck, 1904); cf. p. 57 ("It is true").

71

NARRAGANSETT
Mat nippomitmmen

46

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

I have heard nothing

A name

What is your name ? [How are you called?]

Ntssawese50

Do you ask me my name ?


["How am I called ?"]
I am called ______ [My name is_____].

Mat nowesunckane

I have no name

Nownnehick nowsuonck

I have forgot my name

Tahna ?

What is his name ? [[How is it called?]

Tahossowtam ?

What is the name of it ?

Tahttamen ?

What do you call this ?

Tequa ?

What is this ?

47

Wsuonck

Tocketussawitch ?

48

Taantssawese ?49

51

52

Y nepoush !

Youstay or stand there!

Mttapsh !

Yousit down !

Nonshem or Nonnum

I cannot or I am unable

Tawhitch kuppeeyamen 53?

What come you for (why have you come) ?

45

In speech, we hear "Ah-h" or a nasal sound, "u"; Mayhew (1722) talks about "nukkies" as "yes".
Indicative Mode, "I hear nothing (of this)".
47
Nouns ending in -onk, -onck are "abstract nouns" (indicating a collection or classification, state of being or
action or abstract ideas <justice, love, truth, strength, &c>).
48
-itch suffix is confusing, appearing to be Subjunctive verb for nondirect inquiry. For Tocketussawitch, the verb
is underlined (ketussawitch). When we add the "what" (pronounced tah or taa) to the verb, it sounds in speech
liketocketussawitch. Williams often blends the verb with other words, we assume, because thats how it sounded
to him. But, to understand the grammar, we must be able to pick out the verb. See the next entry, Taantssawese
where we have underlined the verb (ntssawese = "my name is ___"). Taa means "what" as mentioned earlier. The
next entry teaches us that ntssawese means "I am called ___ " ("My name is ___").
49
This verb is considered "unclassifiable" in Ind. Gram. Dict. The Grammar Table does not include its forms. Not
enough examples were given by Williams of this verb type to make analysis possible. See Chap. VII. p. 52 for the
forms for Indicative Mode.
50
In the verb ntssawese, the final e is probably silent because similar dialects dont have an e for this type of word.
Why Williams wrote words with letters not pronounced, we can only guess at, but in English a number of words
have final e not said (drove, home, gone, etc.). So, ntssawese may be said as "nuh-DUH-sah-wees". A silent e
also occurs on other words that end in -ese & -emes such as nipwese ("a little water"). Words like wuttne (said
"wuh-DOON") have silent e. But other words (usually adjectives and other modifiers) do say final e such as wme
("WAH-mee") & aquie ("ah-KWEE"). We think many (most?) words do not say the final e, except for adjectives,
adverbs and one Objective-Indicative verb. This problem of "silent e" is one of the issues challenging us in the
recovery of the language.
51
Ta means "what" in this and the next two lines. The verb follows upon ta. Perhaps Passive Voice, Type II
("How is he called"?)
52
We use this format to distinguish the different types of commands. "You" refers to a single person.
"You (plural)" refers to more than one person. We use the exclamation mark! for commands or imperative
pleadings even when the original text omits it (see Grammar Table for the different forms; the form You (sg.)
[ending in -sh] is the most common one used by Williams, and thematic throughout the Algonquian languages,
Trumbull, 1876). This verb and next show Imperative Mode.
53
The word for "why" is spelled about 6 different ways throughout A Key, according to Aubin (1972). Here it is
spelled Tawhitch; on page 8, he spells it Tawhitche (with an extra e; the "e" at the end may be evidence that he does
use a silent e at word-end).
46

72

NARRAGANSETT
Taqua kunnantamen ?

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

What do you fetch (what are you looking for)


?
When came you (when did you come) ?

Y commttamus ?56

Just or
Even now (just now)
I came just now [I have appeared, become
present, just now]
Is this your wife ?

Yo cuppppoos ?

Is this your child (papoose) ?

Y cummckquachucks ?

Is this your son ?

Y cuttanis ?

Is this your daughter ?

It is a fine child [It is becoming, turning into,


a fine, good, beautiful child]
Why stand you outdoors ?

Why come you not in ?

Awssish !

Youwarm yourself !

Mttapsh yteg !

Yousit by the fire !

Tocketnnawem ?

What say you ?

Ken ntop ?

Is it you, my friend ?

Peeyush ntop !

Come hither, my friend !

Ptitees !

Come in ! [Enter!]

Kunnnni ?

Have you seen me ?

Kunnnnous ?

I have seen me you

I thank you for your kind remembrance

Tabotne anawyean

I thank you

Tabotne aunanaman

I thank you for your love

Cowmmaunsh

I love you

Cowammanuck

He loves you

Cowmmaus

You are loving

Chenock cuppeeyumis54?
Mash or
kittummyi
Kittummyi nippeam55

57

Wunntu

Tawhich neepouweyean58
pucqatchick ?
Tawhtch mat petiteyean?

Taubot mequaunnaman
59

60

54

The endings -is or -mis or -us on verbs usually indicate a question, but R. Williams does not always use this
grammatical rule. See also Ch. I, pg. 8 ("Came you by land?"). Chenock seems to means "when?"
55
The reader must distinguish among three similar root words for "come" used in A Key: peeyau (or peyau)
meaning "come from some place" (Type II verb), and pee (to be present) (Type I verb) and petite (to come, go
into an enclosed structurelike a wetu) (Type III verb).
56
This and the next 3 lines do not show either the question suffix form (-is, -mis &c) or the diminutive form (-es, -s).
57
In the sentence wunntu nt, "my heart is good, pure" or "my heart grows good, pure", we sense that wunntu has
multiple meanings, but the root -etu- implies "growth, becoming".
58
Subjunctive Mode.
59
We seem to see the root/stem -anawa- for "speak, words", so Tabotne anawyean might mean "Thanks for
your words" in the context of the dialogue. Mode is Subjunctive, of form ***ean. "I thank you" in Natick is
written kuttabotomish (Objective-Indicative, k'***ish). In Pequot, "TAW-buht-nee" is "thank you" (or "thanks
for that" where ne= "that")
60
Objective-Indicative Mode, He-You (sg.).

73

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Cowutam ?

Do you understand ?

Nowatam

I understand

Cowwtam tawhitche
nippeeyamen ?
Cowannantam ?

Do you know why I come?

Have you forgotten ?

Youspeak English !

Eenntowash !

Youspeak Indian !

Cutehanshishamo

Knnishishem ?

How many were (are) in your company ?


How many are (were) with you ?
Are you alone ?

Nnshishem

I am alone

There are two of us

Nanshwishwmen

We are 4

Npiuckshwmen

We are 10

Neesneechecktashamen

We are 20 &c.

Nquitpausuckowashwmen

We are 100

Did you come by boat (canoe) ?

Came you by land ?

I came by boat (canoe)

I came by land

Nippenowntawem

I am of another language

Penowantowawhettock

They are of a divers (different) language

Mat nowawtauhettmina !

We do not understand each other!

Nummachenm

I am sick

Cummachenem ?

Are you sick ?

Tashckqunne68 cummauchenamis ?

How long have you been sick ?

61

Awanagusantowosh !
62

Naneeshumo

63

64

Comishoonhmmis ?
Kuttiakewushamis65 ?
Mesh nomishoonhmmin

66

Mesh ntiaukwushem
67

61

The word awanagus refers to an English colonist; it means literally "a stranger, foreigner" (someone not Indian).
The root -antow- is "speak" and the ending -ash is the command suffix. The entire word translates, "Speak the
foreigner's talk".
62
Here we see the root word een- meaning "ordinary, plain" as in the word nnin (one of us, the tribe, the people);
The root -antow- is "speak" and the ending -ash is the command suffix. The entire word translates, "Speak our
people's language". See youspeak again!, Ch. XXII, p. 142.
63
As expected these verbs are "we-exclusive". Why this verb does not end in -men we cannot say (cf. next 4 lines) .
Perhaps the sentence is really a question.
64
Comishoonhmmis = Co (you) + mishoon (canoe) + hom (go, come) + (m)is (question marker)
65
Kuttiakewushamis = k' + (t)auke (land) + wush (go) + is (question). See Appendix, Ind. Gram. Dict..
66
Mesh is used to show past tense, or action which has already occurred (I came by boat). The word pitch is used
to indicate future tense, or action which has not yet occurred (see Ch. VII, pg. 57 for Tatt ptch, & see Ch. VI, pg.
34, "I could not come")
67
This word is carved on a monument at the University of RI, Kingston (main library entrance). See Ch. VI, p. 41
("Remember thou me") for another translation carved on this monument.
68
The root tashe- means "how many, how much". The root qunne is "long, extended." Check the Ind. Gram. Dict.
for other places in A Key where these roots are used in other words.

74

NARRAGANSETT
Nummauchmin or
Ntannetimmin
Saop cummauchmin

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

I will be going

Machish ! or nakish!

You shall go tomorrow ["Tomorrow you


go"]
Yoube going!

Kuttannwshesh !

Youdepart !

Mauchi or nittui

He is gone (is on his way right now)

Kautanashant

He being gone (Being that he has left)

Mauchhettit or
Kautanawshwhettit70
Kukkowtous71

When they are gone

I will lodge with you

Y cwish !

Yousleep here!

Hawnshech !

Youfarewell !

Chnock72 wonck cuppeeyeumen ?

When will you come again?

Ntop tatt

My friend, I cannot tell (dont know)

69

69

Passive Voice verb; Ind. Gram. Dict., Appendix.


Subjunctive Mode.
71
Use of "accommodating t" for speech. See Ind. Gram. Dict..
72
"When again you come"? Chenock means "when"; Wonck means "again"
70

75

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Chapter II. Of Eating and Entertainment


As cmetesmmis73 ?

Have you eaten yet ?

II

10

Matta niccattuppmmin

I am not hungry

II

10

Niccwkatone

I am thirsty

II

10

Have you no water ?

II

10

Nip or Nipwese

Give me some water

II

10

Nmitch commetesmmin

Youstay, you must eat first

II

10

Tequa cummitch ?

What do you eat ?

II

11

Nkehick

Parched (roasted) meal eaten with water

II

11

Aupmmineanash

The parched (roasted) corn

II

11

Aupminea-nawsamp

The parched (roasted) meal boiled with


water at their houses, which is the most
wholesome diet they have
Boiled corn whole

II

11

II

11

Manusqussdash

Beans [probably bush bean]

II

11

Nasump79

A kind of uncooked meal pottage

II

11

Puttuckqunnge

A cake (or bread) ["long and round thing"]

II

12

Puttuckqunngunash,
puttckqui
Tegun kuttiemanch81 ?

Cakes or round loaves

II

12

What shall I dress (prepare) for you ?

II

12

Assmme !

Yougive me to eat ! ["feed me"]

II

12

Mannippno74 ?
75

76

Msckquatash77
78

80

73

Three different words are known for "eat". First meech (Type V verb) means "he eats 'inanimate' food" like fruit
& vegetables. Meech is used as a transitive, inanimate verb ("he eats it"). Second, the root moowhau or mohowau
(Type C verb) means, "he eats that which has life" (including cannibalism); used as a transitive animate verb ("he
eats him") as Williams discusses in the text. Lastly, the root metesi, meetzu (Type II verb) means "eats food (in
general)"; used as an animate intransitive verb. ("he eats"). Other verbs for "eat" included cattup ("hungry") &
assame ("to feed") & natup ("feed, graze").
74
Ma- means "no, not, none". When prefixed to nouns (nippe), ma- is often accompanied by a suffix (-no-, -uo,
&c.) to mean, "have you any ____?" See Ind. Gram. Dict., Part II (alphabetical by Narragansett listing).
75
The ending -ese (or -wese, -s, etc.) for nouns means "little", "small". Thus, Nipwese means "a little water".
But for verbs an ending "-ese" does not mean this; e.g., see Ch. VII, pg. 52: Cummnnakese ("You are strong"). The
-ese here is a part of the conjugation of this verb "strong". Compare also the verb ntssawese ("I am called
______"). The pronunciation of -ese is probably "ees" (last e is silent).
76
This is the ground corn beaten to a powder and carried in a bag as a ready-made meal when mixed with water.
The English called it "nocake".
77
"Succotash" comes from this word.
78
The other type of beans were called Tuppuhqumash ("They roll, turn") (Natick dialect)kidney beans.
79
"From this English call their Samp, which is the Indian corne, beaten and boiled, and eaten hot or cold with milke
or butter...."
80
Puttuki = "(it is) round" (see Ch. VI, p. 7). Qunni = "(it is) long, extended". Final -ge means "the thing that" ("the
thing that is long and round", applied to cakes, breads, etc.)
81
Objective-Indicative (I-You (sg.)), Type B

76

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Ncttupummin82

I am hungry

II

12

Wnna83 ncttupummin

I am very hungry

II

12

Nippaskanantum

I am almost starved

II

12

Yougive me drink !

II

12

Youpour forth !

II

12

You have poured out too much

II

12

Wuttttash !

Youdrink !

II

12

Nquitchetmmin

Let me taste ("I taste")

II

12

Qutchetash !

Youtaste !

II

12

Is the water cool ? ("Is it coolthe water ?")

II

12

Saunkopagot

Cool water ("water when it is cool")

II

12

Chowhsu

It is warm

II

12

Aquie wuttttash !

Youdo not drink !

II

12

Aquie wamatous !

Youdo not drink all (of it)!

II

12

Necwni mich tequa

First eat something!

II

12

Tawhitch mat mechan88 ?

Why dont you eat ?

II

12

It is too hot

II

13

What shall I eat ?

II

13

Is there nothing already boiled (cooked)?

II

13

Mateg mcho ew

He eats nothing

II

13

Cotchiksu assamme92

Cut me a piece

II

13

Cotcheknnemi weeyos

Youcut me some meat

II

13

Metesttuck !

Let us go eat !

II

13

84

Putous notatm !
Skenish !
Cosame sokenmmis

85

Sanqui nip ?
86

87

89

Wussame kuspita

Teguun nummitch ?
90

Mateg keesitunano ?
91

82

Original text reads Ncttup. This is a present-tense verb even though it ends in -up . See "I have long been here,"
Ch. VI, pg. 34.
83
Original text reads ncttupummin. Wunna seems to be an "intensifier" meaning "very, much" when used with
some verbs describing hunger, thirst, sleep and similar human needs. See Ch. III, pg. 20 ("You sleep much"). The
word achie means the same thing but is used with other types of verbs ("I am very angry"). Also the word wusme
(wussume) means "it is too much, it is exceedingly".
84
"Youbring to me, I drink".
85
Could this be a question since -mis is attached to the verb? Perhaps it is Past Tense Subjunctive Mode; cf.
waantomos ("If you were wise"), Eliot 1666 Grammar. See p. 132, "He alone made all things".
86
The common roots -paug & -pag & -pg & -baug , etc. all mean "water at rest" (ponds, lakes, bays, etc.). In
turn, -paug is derived from water (nippe) and land (ake).
87
Aquie means "do not do" in commands; ntaquie means "I do not do"since the personal prefix n is affixed (notice
also the need for "accommodating t" because of the root's first letter (avowel)); cf. Ch. 28, p. 179.
88
"Why are you not eating?" Subjunctive Mode (you, sg. ), Type V.
89
Original text reads kuspira. Wussame = "it is too much".
90
See Ind. Gram. Dict.; (-uo)
91
Ew is for emphasis "Nothing he eatshim".
92
"He cuts (me) some food" (?). This doesn't seem Imperative Mode.

77

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Pautinnea93 mchimucks !

Youbring me hither some victuals (food)!

II

13

Numwutous !

Fill the dish !

II

13

Tree-eaters

II

13

Trees

II

13

Mauchepwean

After I have eaten

II

13

Machepwucks

After meals

II

13

Machepwut98

When he has eaten

II

13

Pashaqua machepwut

After dinner

II

13

Wyyeyant machepwut

After supper

II

14

Nquittmantash !

Yousmell it !

II

14

Weetimquat

It smells sweet

II

14

Machemqut

It stinks

II

14

Wekan

It is sweet

II

14

Machppiquat

It is sour

II

14

Awusse wekan

It is sweeter (more sweet)

II

14

Askn

It is raw

II

14

Nonat

Not enough

II

14

Wusume wkissu

Too much either boiled or roasted

II

14

Wamet, Tabi

All is eaten, it is enough

II

14

Wuttattumtta !

Let us drink !

II

14

Enough for 20 men

II

14

Mattacuckquw

A cook

II

14

Mattaccquass !

Youcook or dress the meat !

II

14

Mat cuttssamin ?

Will you not give me to eat ?

II

14

Keen mitch !

YouI pray eat !

II

14

Squuttame100

Give me your pipe

II

15

Petasnna or Wuttmmasin

Give me some tobacco

II

15

Ncattantum or
Ncttiteam

I long for that

II

15

Mihtukmchakick

94, 95

96

Mihtchquash

97

Neesneechhettit tabi
99

93

Objective-Imperative Mode (You (sg.)-me), Type IV; stem = paut ("bring")


-kick or -ick or -chick are suffixes indicating the 3rd person plural, and translated "they who are";notice the roots
for "tree" (mihtuck) and "eats" (mech)
95
An alleged reference to the Mohawks.
96
One root for "tree" is -tuck or -tugk. Notice how Williams spells it in Ch. XVI, pg. 94.
97
Subjunctive Mode. Mauche- in this form and the next four lines is a modifier meaning "action completed",
"cessation of action"; the sequence -che- may imply "separation".
98
-ut is a locative suffix ("at, in, of, from"), so that this sentence signifies all together, machepwut = "at the time
when he was finished eating".
99
Matta+ aucuck + quaw: he/she who is maker of large kettle
100
Seems to mean "a pipe with lit tobacco in it" (because we see the word sqtta ("fire))".
94

78

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Muchinaash nowpiteass101

My teeth are naught (bad)

II

15

Nummashackquneamen

II

15

Mashackquineug

We are in a dearth
(we are in trouble)
We have no food

II

15

102

Acuck

103

A kettle

II

15

Mshquockuk

A red copper kettle

II

15

Ntop kuttssammish

Friend, I have brought you this [food]

II

15

Qumphash !

Youtake up out of the pot !

II

15

Quamphominea !

Youtake up for me out of the pot!

II

15

Eppoquat

It is sweet

II

15

Tequa aspckquat ?

What does it taste of ?

II

15

Nowtipo

I like this

II

15

Wenmeneash

Grapes or raisins

II

15

Wawecocks104

Figs, or some strange, sweet meat

II

15

Nemaanash

Provision for the way

II

15

Nemauannnuit

A snapsack (knapsack)

II

15

To grind corn

II

15

Tackhuminnea !

Youbeat for me parched (roasted) corn!

II

15

Pishquhick

Unparched (raw corn ?) meal

II

15

Nummachip or nummauchepmmin107

We have eaten everything

II

15

Cowump ?

Have you enough ?

II

16

Nowump

I have enough

II

16

Mohowagsuck or
Mauquuog from
mho to eate108
Cummhucquock109

The Cannibals, or, Men-eaters, up into the


west, two, three or foure hundred miles from
us.
They will eat you

II

16

II

16

Tackhmmin105
106

101

Nowpiteass means "my teeth". For body parts, the plural ending -ass is usually written -ash. See Ch. VII, Pg.
50, "His, her teeth."
102
Plural is Acuckquock. It seems this is one of the few words of its class (tools, instruments) that is "animate" in
all of the related Algonquian languages (Trumbull, 1876, "Algonkin verb", p. 149). Acuck may be animate because
in a kettle, so much is going on at onceall of the spirits of the natural, preternatural and supernatural worlds (air,
wood, fire, stone, water) join together in the process of making food and fire for life.
103
Mishquesu+ acuck. Made of soapstone ot steatitelike the smoking "truth" pipe.
104
The ending -s suggests diminutive form "small, little figs".
105
Infinitive.
106
Objective-Imperative (you (sg.)-me)
107
Original text reads Nummachip nup mauchepmmin. The first verb seems to be past tense (ending in -up or
-ip; in Natick is seen -up, -op ). See example in Ch. XXII, p. 149. The second seems to be Indicative Mode
(exclusive we of form n***men (min))
108
Reference to the Mohawks who are said to have been "cannibals". Recall moho is one form for "eat" (animal or
human flesh); see Ch. II, p.10 footnote.
109
Objective-Indicative Mode (They-you (sg.)). Of form k***uckwock.

79

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

80

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Chapter III. Of Sleepe


Nsowwushkwmen

I am weary (tired)

III

17

Nktaquaum

I am sleepy

III

17

Shall I lodge here with you ?

III

17

Shall I sleep here?

III

17

Will you lodge here with me?

III

17

Youwelcome, sleep here !

III

17

I will lodge abroad

III

17

Puckqutchick nickoumen

I will sleep outdoors

III

18

Mouaqumitea !

Let us lie abroad!

III

18

Cowwtuck !

Let us go to sleep !

III

18

Kukkuene114 ?

Are you asleep ?

III

18

Cowwke !

You (plural)Sleep, sleep!

III

18

Cowwwi

He is sleeping (now) ["present definite"]

III

18

They are sleeping

III

18

Are you sleeping yet?

III

18

It is a cold night

III

18

It is a warm night

III

18

There is an alarm or
There is great shouting
Fine mats to sleep on

III

18

III

19

Straw or hay [to sleep on]

III

19

Kukkowetos110 ?
111

Yo nickowmen
112

Kukkowti

Wunngin, cwish !
Nummouaqumen

113

Cowwwock
115

As kukkwene

Takitppocat
116

Wekitppocat

117

Wauwhutowaw nawat or
Wawhautowwog
Matnnauke118 or
Mattannaukanash
Maskituash119

110

This verb and the next eleven like it (root = kowe, cowe, coue) illustrates very well the grammatical forms for a
Type II verb (see Grammar Table, Indicative). The verbs "sleep and "lodge" are from these roots. We change
original meaning when "sleep" may take on conventional connotation of "sleeping with" which we don't think
Williams was trying to convey in this passage.
111
Indicative Mode, Type II. Here the verb structure is: n' + kowe + men; the -ck- spelling represents a k sound (as
in the word "nickle") which is blended together (said: "nih-kou-WEE-men")
112
Objective-Indicative Mode (you (sg.)-me).
113
This verb shows the segment moua meaning "completes action", "ceases action" (also spelled mau & maua). It
modifies the main verb quo (to sleep, lodge). On pg. 19 in this Chapter, we see the verb ntunnaqumen modified
by segment tunna (meaning "good" from unna or wunni (with a t inserted)) modifying the verb quo. There we
also see verb Nummattaqumen and the segment matta (meaning "bad").
114
Most likely a verb in Passive Voice (see Ind. Gram. Dict., Appendix).
115
Also Passive Voice (see 4 lines above).
116
-wek- = "sweet, nice, warm"; -tippoc- = "night, evening".
117
See footnote, Ch. XXIX, p. 184.
118
W see roots -mat- (or -matta-) = "large"; auke = "earth:"; -an- = "spread out", or Matnnauke ="large thing
spread out on ground".

81

NARRAGANSETT
120

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Wudtckqunash ponamuta !

Let us lay on wood (to make a fire)!

III

19

Mauatanamoke !

You (plural)mend the fire !

III

19

Mauataunamtta !

Let us mend the fire!

III

19

Toktuck !

Let us waken!

III

19

Tokish !

Youwake up !

III

19

You (plural)wake up !

III

19

Youwake him up !

III

19

Kitumyi tokan

As soon as I wake up

III

19

Ntunnaqumen124

I had a good dream

III

19

I had a bad dream

III

19

Wunna kukkssaquam

You sleep much

III

20

Peeyantam126

He is praying

III

20

Peeyantamwock

They are praying

III

20

Tnna kukkowmis ?

Where do you sleep ?

III

20

Awaun wkick kukkoumis ?

At whose [his] house do you sleep ?

III

20

121

Tokeke

122

Tkinish

!
123

Nummattaqumen
125

119

Also means "herbs" (for medicines) and "grass" (plural).


Original text reads Wuddtckqunash. A wudtuck is a branch or bough (probably on the ground) used as wood
for burning (it seems related to "oar, paddle", spelled wutkunck; see Ch. XVIII, p. 108). It is said that fires burned
365 days a year in the village (Bragdon, 1996).
121
Original text couples this with previous line with translation, "wake, wake".
122
This is a Type II verb of Objective Imperative mode. Toktuck & Tokish give clues that the verb is Type II In
the Grammar Table, the form is: ***inish. Tkinish should be translated: "You (sg.) wake him!" Here the "o" is
probably said like oo in food in all the forms.
123
Subjunctive Mode (***ean, stem = toke).
124
Structure: ntunnaqumen = n + (t)(unna)quo + men, where we see "accommodating t", compound element
(unna = "good"), stem (quo = "dream, sleep"). This verb is more complicated than most in A Key, but not as
complex as one might see in living Algonquian languages (see Pentland).
125
-kusse- = "very much."
126
The word comes from pee- ("small") and -auntam ("minded"). Hence, praying is making oneself humble or
"small minded" before the Creator.
120

82

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

Chapter IV. Of Their Numbers


Nqut

CHAP.

PG.

127

IV

22

Nesse

IV

22

Nsh

IV

22

Yh

IV

22

Napnna

IV

22

Qtta

IV

22

nada

II

22

Shwsuck

IV

22

Paskgit

IV

22

Pick

10

IV

22

Piuck nab naquit

11

IV

22

Piuck nab nese

12

IV

22

Piuck nab nsh

13

IV

22

Piuck nab yh

14

IV

22

Piuck nabna pnna

15

IV

22

Piuck nabna qtta

16

IV

22

Piuck nab nada

17

IV

22

Piuck nabna shwsuck

18

IV

22

Piuck nabna paskgit

19

IV

22

Neesnechick129

20

IV

22

Neenechick nab naqut

21,
&c
30

IV

23

IV

23

31,
&c
40

IV

23

IV

23

IV

23

Napanne tashincheck

41,
&c
50

IV

23

Napanne tashincheck
nab naquit

51,
&c

IV

23

128

Shwncheck
Shwncheck nab naqut
Yownicheck
Yownicheck nab naqut

127

For numbers over 10, we have rearranged the spellings to show the grammar. For instance, 11 is literally
translated "10 + 1" (+1 is given as nab naquit , where naquit = 1, and nab seems to mean "plus").
128
Perhaps silent e ("neese").
129
For the plural animate form, some interpret neesnechick to mean: neese (number 2) + nicheke ("hand" ). The
word also may be interpreted to mean: "2nd time of counting on the hands" ( "# of fingers on each hand").
Indians of ancient times were known to be very practical, and this interpretation makes some sense.

83

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Qutta tashncheck

60

IV

23

Qutta tashncheck
nab naquit
Enada tashncheck

61,
&c
70

IV

23

IV

23

Enada tashncheck
nab naquit
Shwoasuck tashincheck

71,
&c
80

IV

23

IV

23

Shwoasuck tashincheck
nab naquit
Paskugit tashincheck

81,
&c
90

IV

23

IV

23

Paskugit tashincheck
nab naquit
Nquit pwsuck

91,
&c
100

IV

23

IV

23

Nees pwsuck

200

IV

23

Shwee pwsuck

300

IV

23

Ywe pwsuck

400

IV

24

Napanne tashe pwsuck

500

IV

24

Qtta tashe pwsuck

600

IV

24

Enada tashe pwsuck

700

IV

24

Shoasuck tashe pwsuck

800

IV

24

Paskugit tashe pwsuck

900

IV

24

Nquitte mittnnug

1000

IV

24

Neese mittnnug

2000

IV

24

Nishwe mittnnug

3000

IV

24

Yowe mittnnug

4000

IV

24

Napanne tashe mittnnug

5000

IV

24

Qutt tashe mittnnug

6000

IV

24

Enada tashe mittnnug

7000

IV

24

Shoasuck tashe mittnnug

8000

IV

24

Paskugit tashe mittnnug

9000

IV

24

Piuckque mittnnug

10000

IV

24

Neeseneecheck tashe mittnnug

20000

IV

24

Shwincheck tashe mittnnug

30000

IV

24

Yowincheck tashe mittnnug

40000

IV

25

Napanne tashincheck mittnnug

50000

IV

25

Qutta tashincheck tashe mittnnug

60000

IV

25

Enada tashincheck tashe mittnnug

70000

IV

25

Shoasuck tashincheck tashe mittnnug

80000

IV

25

Pskugit tashincheck tashe mittnnug

90000

IV

25

84

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

NumbersPlural Animate Form130


Pwsuck

IV

25

Neswock

IV

25

Shog

IV

25

Ywock

IV

25

Napanne tasog

IV

25

Qut tasog

IV

25

Enada tasog

IV

25

Shoasuck tasog

IV

25

Paskugit tasog

IV

25

Piucksog

10

IV

25

Piucksog nab naquit

11

IV

25

NumbersPlural Inanimate Form131


Pwsuck

IV

26

Nenash

IV

26

Swnash

IV

26

Yownnash

IV

26

Nappanne tashnash

IV

26

Qutta tashnash

IV

26

Enada tashnash

IV

26

Shoasuck tashnash

IV

26

Paskugit tashnash

IV

26

Pickquatash

10

IV

26

Pickquatash nab naquit

11

IV

26

130

Used with nouns that are "animate" form: (Spirits, people (not body parts), animals, fish, stars, birds, some trees,
etc.) The plural of these nouns ends in -og, -ock, -uck. What is "animate" form in one dialect may be "inanimate"
form in another dialect.
131
Used with nouns that are "inanimate" form: (stones, water, tools and instrument, vices & virtues, fruits,
vegetables and other foods, clothing, geographic features, body parts, etc.). The plural of these nouns ends in -ash
or rarely
-ass. What is "inanimate" form in one dialect may be "animate" form in another dialect.

85

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Chapter V. Of Relations132 of Consanguinity, &c.


Nnn133 & sketomp134

A man

27

Nnnnuog &
sketompaog135
Squws136

Men

27

A woman

27

Squwssuck

Women

27

Kichize

An old man (Elder)

27

Kichzuck

Old men(Elders)

27

Hmes138

Old man

27

Old men

27

Kutchnnu

A middle aged man

27

Kutchinnuwock

Middle aged men

27

Wuskene

A youth (young)

27

Wuskeenesuck

Youths

27

Wnise

An old woman

27

Wensuck

Old women

27

Mattantum141

very old and decrepit

27

A husband ["Her husband"]

28

A wife, my wife

28

137

Hmesuck
139

140

142

Wsick

143

144

Wewo & Mittmmus & Wullgana


Nowewo& Nummttamus 145

&

132

The reader will profit from our book, A Massachusett Language Book, Vol 1. 1998 [Chapter III, "Grammar &
Vocabulary Lessons"]; it contains over 200 terms for relations, relationships. The book is housed at the
Mashantucket Pequot Museum Library.
133
Nnn means "a tribesman" (of your people) ("He is just like us, one of us"). Sketomp may mean "a warrior, brave
from our tribe". Also sanomp means "a (common?) man, male (in general)". It was understood by Colonists in the
1600s to imply "he is my man" (as in "husband", "boyfriend", "lover") as suggested in the Mary Rowlandson
captivity tale [ A True History of the Captivity and Restoration of Mrs. Mary Rowlandson, a Minister's Wife in NewEngland. London: Joseph Poole, 1682]
134
"SKEE-dahp", very common Algonquian word. See footnote in section, To the Reader.
135
We use separate entries for singular and plural because Roger Williams manner of combining them in one entry
is usually confusing to the beginning learner. Notice how the plurals for animate forms are spelled differently by R.
Williams (-auog, -suck, -ock). He's trying to stress how the words sound.
136
Nowadays "squaw" is an insulting word. It has the meaning of a female that a man can use for his sexual
satisfactionforcibly or not. The original meaning of "squaw" was not vulgar, we believe.
137
Female Elders are Kechsqawsuck .
138
-es suggests diminutive form ("little"); maybe, "He moves about a little" is the meaning of hmes.
139
Getting old.
140
A little bent over.
141
Poorly minded, maybe feeble.
142
For relations, relationships, the same structure for "declined nouns" is used (recall footnote on "my children"; cf.
Ch I., p. 3). Relations of "my ___" we start with an n; "your" starts with a k (or c); "his, her" start with w. Thus
nsick = "my husband"; ksick = "your husband", and wsick = "her husband".

86

NARRAGANSETT
146

Osh

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

A father

28

147

My father

28

148

Your father

28

Have you a father ?

28

A mother

28

My mother

28

His, her uncle

28

Nisses

My uncle

28

Papos154

A child/infant (papoose)

28

My papoose

28

Nsh
Csh

Cuttso ?
149

Oksu

& Wtchwhaw

151

Nkace

& ntchwhaw

152

Wssese

153

Nipppoos
155

150

156

Nummckiese

My child

28

Nummckquchucks

My son

28

Nittanis

My daughter

28

Nonnese

A suckling child/baby

28

Muckquachuckqumese

A little boy

28

Squsese

A little girl

28

Wemat158

His, her brother

28

My brother

29

Wticks & Wesummis

A sister

29

Wematttuock

They are brothers161

29

How many brothers do you have ?

29

157

Nemat

159

160

162

Cuttashemattin

143

Perhaps, "She is married".


Perhaps, "His wife".
145
Nowewo & Nummttamus mean "my wife". The other words seem to mean "wife" or "a wife". Wullgana
maybe be Nipmuck dialect (the letter "l" is not Narragansett proper).
146
This word has caused a lot of scholarly ink to be spilled, esp. in the 19th c. We believe it translates "his father".
147
I come from him.
148
You come from him.
149
Oksu is the basis for the word ake meaning land, earth, "Mother Earth" (a is from oksu, -ke means "land,
earth").
150
He comes from her & his/her mother (?).
151
"My mother" is nkas in Natick ("I come from her").
152
By mother's side?
153
Perhaps this should this be spelled Nissse? ("Nuh-SEES") since final e is probably silent as in a number of other
words in this chapter and throughout A Key.
154
The English word "papoose" comes from this Narragansett word.
155
Mukki- is "child" (literally, "he is bare bottomed")
156
Boy or girl.
157
Little squaw.
158
Root word = -mat-.
159
Following the rules of grammar, we would say "your (sg.) brother" as kemat; neemat = "my brother"
160
By birth, male speaking. See A Mass. Lang. Book, Vol. 1 for distinctions of male/female speakers.
161
By birth.
144

87

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH
163

Natncks

My cousin

CHAP.

PG.

29

Your cousin

29

Watncks

His cousin, a cousin

29

Nullquaso166

My ward or pupil

29

Wattonksttuock

They are cousins

29

Khtuckquaw

A marriageable virgin

29

Fatherless children

29

164

Kattncks
165

167

Towiwock

162

Originally spelled Cutchashemattin. A similar mistake ("ch" for "t") is made on page 66, Ch. X ("How many
years since you were born?"). Apparently, handwriting in Roger Williams' times could cause one to see "ch" for "t".
163
Female?
164
Female?
165
A kinsman, kinswoman. Natncks may be "my kinswoman".
166
Nipmuck dialect?
167
Toueu (towew) = "deserted, solitary" (as in touohkpmuk = "forest, ["a solitary place"]) in Natick .

88

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Chapter VI. Of House, Family, &c.


Wetu168

Wigwam

VI

31

Wetumuck

At home (in the wetu)

VI

31

Nkick

In my wetu, at my wetu

VI

31

Kkick

In your wetu, at your wetu

VI

31

Wkick

In his wetu, at his wetu

VI

31

Nicqunum

I am returning home to my family (after a


long absence)
A round house

VI

31

VI

31

Puttuckakunese

A little round house

VI

31

Wetuommese171

A little wetu

VI

31

Nesquttow172

A longer house with 2 fires

VI

32

Shwshcuttow

A longer house with 3 fires

VI

32

Abockqusinash

Wetu mats

VI

32

Wuttapussuck

Long-house long poles

VI

32

Munnotabana

Embroidered mats in wetu

VI

32

Nte173

Fire [in general]

VI

32

Yte

[Domestic] fire

VI

32

Chckot

[Destructive] fire

VI

32

Sqtta

A fire in general & a fire spark ?

VI

32

Notwese & chickautwese

A little fire

VI

32

Pck

Smoke from wetu-fire

VI

32

It is smoky

VI

32

Nippckis

The smoke bothers me

VI

32

Wuchickapuck

Birch or chestnut bark to cover wetu in


summertime
I will divide house with you, or dwell with
you

VI

32

VI

32

Puttuckakun169
170

174

Puckssu
175

Cuppoquittemin

168

Some believe wetu is a verb ("he is at home," "he houses"). The Natick dialect words weekuwout or weekuwomut
are the basis for the English word "wigwam", although Prince (1907) recorded wigiwam.
169
May refer to a natural earthen structure (we see the root -ak = "earth") or a temporary shelter.
170
Puttucki = "it is round"; -ese = "little".
171
Menstrual hut or Moon Lodge used by women kept here during menstrual cycle, not working or engaging in
conjugal relations.
172
Neese-sqtta = "2 fires"
173
Seems to be a domestic fire, and common Algonquian term.
174
Yte is used to create word "Fire Spirit" (Yotanit).
175
-es suggests diminutive, "I am smoked-out a little".

89

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Nckquiquatch or
Nuckqusquatchmin
Potouwssiteuck !

I am cold

VI

33

Let us make a fire!

VI

33

Wdtuckqun

A piece of wood

VI

33

Wudtckquanash Ponamuta !

Let us put on some wood!

VI

33

Pawacmwushesh !

Youcut some wood !

VI

33

Let us make a good fire !

VI

33

Npaacmwushem

I will cut wood

VI

33

Asneshesh !

Youfetch small sticks !

VI

33

Wnck, Wnckatack

More, another

VI

33

Wonckataganash177
nus !
Netashn & Newuchshinea

Youfetch some more !

VI

33

There is no more

VI

33

176

Maumashinnaunamata

178

Wequanntash !

Youlight a fire !

VI

33

Wequanantig

A candle or torch

VI

33

Wequanantganash

Candles, torches

VI

33

Wkinan

A lit fire (It is lit)

VI

33

Who is at home ? (Anybody home ?)

VI

33

Mat Awawannno

There is nobody here

VI

33

Unhppo Ksh ?

Is your father home?

VI

33

Where is the Sachim ?

VI

34

Mat ape

He, she is not at home

VI

34

Peyu

VI

34

Wche peyu kemat181

He, she come or


he, she is coming
Your brother is coming with him, her

VI

34

Ptawash !

Youmake a fire !

VI

34

Potuntash !

Youblow the fire !

VI

34

Peeyuog

They are coming

VI

34

Wme
Pashe
Tawhch mat peyyean ?

All
Some (half)
Why arent you coming ?

VI

34

VI

34

I could not come

VI

34

Awuo ?
179

180

Tckiu

Schim ?

Mesh nonshem

182

peeyan

176

We see root -mash = "big," and perhaps the first two syllables mauma suggest the "frequentative" or emphatic
function (perhaps iterative action of piling on the wood for the fire). We don't see a root/stem for fire, so we
assume the word means "let's make a very big one".
177
Plural of Wnckatack.
178
Original text reads "A light fire". Narragansett word literally means "Make some light!"
179
See -uo in Ind. Gram. Dict., Pt. II.
180
Literally, "Where is he" [-iu =directional suffix; cf Sowaniu ("towards the southwest")]
181
With-he comes-your brother
182
The word nonshem seems to mean "I cannot" (see Ch. I, pg. 6)

90

NARRAGANSETT
183

Mocena

nippeam

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

I will be there by and by

VI

34

As peyu or asqum

He has not come yet

VI

34

Y atant msh nippeam

VI

34

Wskont peyuog

I was here the sun so high [raising the arm


to make an angle with the horizon]
They will come

VI

34

Tequa nantick ew?

What does he come for ?

VI

34

Yo ppitch ew !

Let him sit here !

VI

34

Unhapp ksh ?

Is your father at home ?

VI

34

He is there

VI

34

Nppeyup nwwot

I have long been here

VI

34

Tawhch peyuyean ?

Why have you come ?

VI

35

Taguun kunnantamun?

What are you seeking ?

VI

35

Awun ew ?

Who is that ?

VI

35

Nowchiume

He is my servant

VI

35

Wcum !

Call !

VI

35

Nus !

Fetch !

VI

35

Petiteata !

Let us go in !

VI

35

Noonapmmin autashhettit

VI

35

Taubapmmin

There is not room enough for so many


people
There is room enough

VI

35

Nonat

There is not enough room

VI

35

Asquam

Not yet

VI

35

Nim & nmitch

By and by

VI

35

Instantly

VI

35

Just, even now

VI

35

Where ?

VI

35

Would you speak with him?

VI

35

Yes

VI

35

He is busy

VI

35

Unnugh
184

185

Mce

or unuckquaquse

Mish, kituminay
Tckiu ? or Tyu ?
186

Kukkekuttokwmen
187

Nx

188

Wuttammuntam

183

Akin to Natick mos and Pequot mus ("will") to show, "future, time (events, things) to come" (used in
composition) (e.g., mosnunnup = I must die). In Natick, past tense suffix is -up, -op
184
The verb ending -up or -ip refers to past tense. Williams rarely uses this grammatical form. For past tense, he
usually uses mesh with a verb in present tense (e.g., Mesh nowwwwon = "I lost my way"). See also Ch. XI, pg. 70
("The way you went before"). Sometimes the present tense is used for past tense. Hagenau (1959) in his thorough
Master's thesis at Brown University finds only this one example of a true "past tense (preterit) verb".. Our analysis
finds more examples.
185
Probably silent e. See footnote on mocena, p. 34
186
Indicative Mode, despite Williams' translation.
187
See p. 5, "yes".
188
One of the few Indicative Mode verbs with 3rd-person prefix w' seen in A Key (but which the missionary J.
Eliot ("Apostle to the Indians") uses routinely in his writings.

91

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Ntop notammuntam

Friend, I am busy right now

VI

35

Cotammuntam ?

Are you busy ?

VI

35

Cotmmish

I hinder you

VI

35

Cotamme

You (one person) trouble or hinder me

VI

35

Cotammmme

You (plural) trouble or hinder me

VI

35

Nqusstam

I am removing myself from here

VI

36

Notmmehick ew

He hinders me

VI

36

Maumachuash

Goods, belongings

VI

36

Aquiegs189

Household things

VI

36

Tuckiuash ?

Where are they ?

VI

36

Wenawwtu

(He is) rich

VI

36

(He is) poor

VI

36

Wenawetunckon

Wealth

VI

36

Kphash !

Youshut the door!

VI

36

To shut the door

VI

36

Yeash !

Youshut the door after you !

VI

36

Wungin

Well, or good

VI

36

Machit

Naught, bad, or evil

VI

36

Cowatam ?

Do you understand ?

VI

36

Machug

No, or not or nothing

VI

36

Wunnug

A tray

VI

36

Wunnauganash

Trays

VI

36

Kunm

A spoon

VI

36

Kunnamuog

Spoons

VI

36

Tckunck195 or Wskhunck

Pounding mortar

VI

37

Wunnauganmese

A little tray

VI

37

Taqua cunnatnne ?

What do you look for (seek) ?

VI

37

Natnnehas !

Yousearch !

VI

37

Kekneas !

Youlook here !

VI

37

Machge cunnamiteuwin?

Do you find nothing ?

VI

37

Wnckatack

Another

VI

37

190

Machtu
191

Kuphmmin

192

193

194

189

-eg means "the thing that is"; final -s means "little".


"They" refers to "inanimate" things since the -ash ending implies this.
191
Abstract noun.
192
Infinitive of Type II.
193
Wunnagit = "in the tray"; nuwwunnagit = "in my tray".
194
Possibly from "makes him drink" (?)
195
Imitative sound of poundingtah-kunk, tah-kunk.
190

92

NARRAGANSETT
Tunnati ?

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Where ?

VI

37

I cannot look or search

VI

37

Ntauhaunanamiteowin

I cannot find

VI

37

Waseck & Eissunck & Moctick &


Punntunck & Chaquock 197
Chaquaquock

Knife

VI

37

Knife-men, swords-men 198

VI

38

Namacwhe Cwaseck

Lend me your knife

VI

38

Wonck Commsim ?

Will you give it to me again ?

VI

38

Mtta nouwauwone or Matta nowhea

I knew nothing

VI

38

Mat mesh nowhea

I was innocent (Not did I know)

VI

38

Patous200 !

Youbring hither !

VI

38

Pautuog !

You(plural) bring hither !

VI

38

Machatous !

Youcarry this !

VI

38

Niutash ! & Wawhush !

Youtake (carry) it on your back !

VI

38

Awn

There is somebody there

VI

38

Kekneas Squauntmuck201 !

Yougo and see who it is at the door!

VI

38

Awun ken ?

Who are you ?

VI

38

Ken ntop ?

Is it you, my friend ?

VI

38

Pauquanaminnea !

Youopen the door for me!

VI

38

Wunnauchicomock

A chimney

VI

39

YouHelp me !

VI

39

I will help you

VI

39

Kuttnnummi ?

Will you help me?

VI

38

Shoo204 kekneas !

Youlook at this !

VI

39

Nummouekkineam

I have come to see

VI

39

Tou autg ?

Do you know where it is?

VI

39

Tou nckquaque ?

How much ?

VI

39

Ntauhaunanatinnehmmin

196

199

Aunnema
203

Neen

202

kuttnnmous

196

The segment tauhauna in ntauhaunanatinnehmmin means "unable" and is compounded with the main verb
natinneha ("search"). The following verb ntauhaunanamiteowin also has the segment used with the verb
namite ("to find").
197
Seems to be words from different dialects. Original text reads Chaqock . We conjecture ~ waseck & eissunck
= "two-edged knife"; moctick = "small knife"; punntunck = "round-stone knife with wooded handle (ancient tool)
" & chaquock = "long, sharp knife".
198
One of the Indians names for Englishmen.
199
Example of turning a noun (waseck) into the possessive form (cwaseck= "your knife"). The rule for doing this
is: n + noun = "my____"; c (or k) + noun = "your____". For example, "my knife" is probably said as nwaseck.
200
Type IV Imperative Mode (you, sg.). Next line is Type IV Imperative (you, Plural).
201
"At the door" (entrance). Some claim the root for "squaw" (to enter) is seen in this word.
202
As an exercise, try to find the type for this verb in Ind. Gram. Dict..
203
Neen apparently used for emphasis for the verb proper contains the I-you (sg.) reference required in the grammar.
204
Shoo seems to mean "Hey!"; "Lo!" Compare with chuh! in Natick.

93

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Yo naumwuteg

Thus full (full so much)

VI

39

Aque !

Leave off, do not do it !

VI

39

Waskche

On the top

VI

39

Numatuck

On the bottom

VI

39

Aqunnish !

Youlet it go !

VI

39

205

Downwards

VI

39

206, 207

Keesuckqiu

Upwards

VI

39

Aumunsh ! &
Ausuonsh !
Aumunamke !

Youtake it away !

VI

39

You (plural) take it away !

VI

39

A nurse, or keeper

VI

39

Nanowwnemum

I nurse, look after or keep

VI

39

Wauchunama !

Keep this for me !

VI

40

Cuttatashinnas !

Youlay these up for me!

VI

40

Peewuqun

Have a care

VI

40

Nnowauchunum

I will have a care

VI

40

Kuttaskwh !

You (plural)stay for me!

VI

40

Kttasha?& Cowauchunum?

Have you this or that ?

VI

40

Pkesha &
Pokeshwwa
Mat coanichgane ?

It is broke

VI

40

Have you no hands ?209

VI

40

210

VI

40

Aukeeaseiu

Nanuwetea or Naunuwheant
208

Tawhch ?

Why do you ask me

Nonshem Pawtuckqummin

I cant reach it 211

VI

40

Aquie pokeshttous !

Youdo not break it!

VI

40

Pokeshttouwin

To break

VI

40

Asstu & Assko213

A fool

VI

40

Youdont be foolish !

VI

41

Some people are coming

VI

41

They are laden

VI

41

212

214

Aquie

asskish !
215

Awnick

216

Niutamwock & Pauchewannuog

205

Towards the earth, ground [ake]


Original text reads Keesuckgiu.
207
Towards the heavens, the sky.
208
See footnotes for p. 141; Ch. XXII of text for entry "Ruler, noble, Council Member, lord
209
Perhaps humorous. This example and others should challange the cinematic portrayal of the humorless American
Indian.
210
Literally why?
211
"Cannot to be reached".
212
Infinitive.
213
Both show example of Glottal Stop. See Ind. Gram. Dict., Appendix.
214
"Cease from"=aquie (called "prohibitive").
215
Literally, Who (plural)?
206

94

NARRAGANSETT
Mttappeu & Qushenawsui

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

VI

41

Moce ntnnan

A women keeping alone in her monthly


sickness [menstrual cycle]
I will tell him by and by

VI

41

Cowequetmmous

I plead with you

VI

41

Wunniteuin

To mend anything

VI

41

Wnniteous ! or Wssiteous !

Youmend this !

VI

41

I shall be chidden (scolded)

VI

41

Nickmmat

Easy (to do)

VI

41

Sickat

Hard (to do)

VI

41

Do you remember you ?

VI

41

Thou remember me !

VI

41

Puckqatchick

Outdoors

VI

41

Nissawhcunck ew

He puts me outdoors

VI

41

Kussawhki ?

Do you put me outdoors ?

VI

41

Put them outdoors !

VI

41

Why do you put me outdoors?

VI

41

Swwhush !

Yougo forth (get out)!

VI

41

Sawhke !

You(plural) go forth (get out)!

VI

41

Wussauhemtta !

Let us go forth (get out) !

VI

41

Matta nickquhick

I dont want it

VI

42

Machag nickquehickmina

I want (desire) nothing

VI

42

Pwsawash !

Youdry this !

VI

42

Pawsunnmmin

To dry this or that

VI

42

Cuppausummnnash

Dry these things

VI

42

Apissumma !

Warm this for me !

VI

42

Pauctche

Already (its done)

VI

42

Cutsshitteos !

Youwash this !

VI

42

Tatgginish !

Youshake this !

VI

42

Napnsh !

Youlay it down !

VI

42

Wuch machag

About nothing

VI

42

217

Wskont

nochemckqun

Cummequwname ?
218

Mequaunaminnea

Kussawhocowog !
219

Tawhtch kussawhokian

220

216

They take on their back; they are carrying a lot of stuff.


This word seems to be a modifier meaning "I fear I shall" or "I will" or "it may happen" (see Ch. XI, pg. 76).
218
This word is carved on a monument at the University of RI, Kingston (main library entrance). Recall that Ch.I, p.
9 also shows a word carved there.
219
Objective-Subjunctive.
220
Infinitive.
217

95

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Puppuckshckhege

A box

VI

42

Paupaqonteg

A key (opening instrument )

VI

42

Mowshuck

Iron (Black metal)

VI

42

Wuki

Its crooked, bent

VI

42

Sampi

It is straight

VI

42

Aumpanimmin

To undo a knot

VI

42

Ampanish !

Youuntie this !

VI

42

Paushinmmin

To divide into two

VI

42

Youchoose one!

VI

42

Youthrow hither !

VI

42

Yousend for him !

VI

42

Yousend this to him !

VI

42

He sends something to me

VI

43

Nowwta

No matter

VI

43

Muo

To cry and bewail (he cries)

VI

43

Machemqut

It stinks

VI

43

Machemqussu

A vile and stinking person ["he is ...."]

VI

43

Wnnckshass

Mingled, tangled

VI

43

Wnnckshan

To mingle, tangle

VI

43

Nsick & nashqua

A comb

VI

43

Tetpsha

To fall down

VI

43

Ntetpshem

I fall down

VI

43

Tou anckquaque ?

How big ?

VI

43

Wunnshpishan

To snatch away

VI

43

Tawhtch wunnashpishyean ?

Why do you snatch away ?

VI

43

Wuttsh !

Yougive me !

VI

43

Enick or wwusse

Further

VI

43

Nneickomsu & awwassse

A little further

VI

43

Wuttushenaquish !

Youlook hither (here) !

VI

44

Yo anaquyean

You should look about

VI

44

Muks !

Yougive this!

VI

44

Mugoke !

You (plural)give this!

VI

44

Yo commish

I will give you this

VI

44

221

Pepnash !
222

Nawwuttnsh pawtwtees

Negutowash !
Negauchhwash !
Nneguchemish

223

224

221

Also used for "right, correct, just".


"Throw" = pawtwtees.
223
Unique example of Verb Participle (see Ind. Gram. Dict., Appendix).
224
Perhaps Passive Voice (see Ind. Gram. Dict., Appendix)
222

96

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Qusscqun

Heavy

VI

44

Nukon

Light

VI

44

Kuckqssaqun

You are heavy

VI

44

Kunnuki

You are light

VI

44

Nickttash !

Youleave, or depart !

VI

44

Nickttammoke !

You (plural) leave, or depart !

VI

44

Nickattamtta !

Let us leave, or depart !

VI

44

Ywa

Thus

VI

44

Ntowwaukumen

I use this

VI

44

Awawkwni

It is used

VI

44

Yo awutees !

Youuse this !

VI

44

Thus far

VI

44

Yo mesh nowkeshem

I went thus far

VI

44

Aytche & Cnkitchea

Often

VI

44

Ayatche nippeam

I am often here

VI

44

Paktash !

Youfling it away !

VI

44

Npaketamnnash226

I will cast (fling, throw) it away

VI

44

Give me tobacco

VI

44

I take none

VI

44

Men eaters, cannibals

VI

45

Tobacco

VI

45

Wuttmmagon

A tobacco pipe [calumet]

VI

45

Hopunck

A tobacco pipe [small, personal pipe]

VI

45

A cock or

VI

45

The cock crows

VI

45

VI

45

Yo wque
225

Wuttmmasim
Mat nowewuttmmo

227

Mauquuwogs228

229

Wuttammuog
230

231

Chicks

Chcks nawat232
233

Neesquttnckqussu

234

A prater

225

-wek- (from weque) "as far as".


Another unique example of Verb Participle (see Ind. Gram. Dict., Appendix).
227
See Ind. Gram. Dict., Part II ( -uo )
228
Reference to Mohawks. The "s" is unexplained (maybe a confusion with pluralization rule for English).
229
What they drink [i.e., smoke]. In the 17th century, the sacred act of smoking tobacco was referred to as
"drinking tobacco".
230
Some thinkers have called this "the peace pipe" (with characteristic racial stereotyping); some have called it "the
truth pipe" (probably closer to its original conceptionsmoking tobacco in the calumet is understood to mean that
a man's heart will grow good, pure, true before the coming talk takes place which will be witnessed by the Creator)
231
A word borrowed from the English with plural suffix -suck.
232
nawat means "speak, say". ("The chickhe speaks")
233
Looks like verb in 3rd person singular ("He ___"), Type II Indicative. Many options for the suffix for 3rd person
sg. exist for Type II, III, IV. This fact makes it difficult to reconstruct some 3rd person verbs, forcing us to borrow
paradigms from the Natick (not always a 1-1 match as Hagenau found out in his MA thesis work at Brown
University).
226

97

NARRAGANSETT
Cunneesquttonckqussmmin

235

ENGLISH
You squawk like a hen

236

CHAP.

PG.

VI

45

Nantateem

I keep house (live) alone

VI

46

Aque kuttnnan

Do not tell

VI

46

Aque mooshkishkttpous237 !

Youdo not disclose !

VI

46

Teg yo augwhttick ?

What hangs there ?

VI

46

Yo augwhttous !

Youhang it there !

VI

46

Pemisqui

It is twisting or winding

VI

46

Penyi

It is crooked

VI

46

Nqusstam

I am removing (relocating)

VI

46

238

234

A gabber, cacklerlike a hen.


Seems to related to "2" and "throat" (see Ch. VII, p. 50), maybe meaning, " You make/talk like you have two
throats" (the double high pitch of a crowing "chick").
236
Humorous perhaps.
237
The -shk- cluster is pronounced like sk in skill.
238
Compare with word waki ("it bends"), Ch. VI, pg. 42.
235

98

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Chapter VII. Of Parts of Body


Uppaquntup

The head, a persons head ("his ___")

VII

48

nuppaquntup

My head

VII

48

Wsheck

The hair ("his hair")

VII

48

Wuchechepnnock

A great bunch of hair tied behind

VII

48

Mppacuck

A long lock of hair

VII

48

His, her brain

VII

49

Mauquaogs

240

Men-eaters

VII

49

Mscttuck

The fore-head

VII

49

Wuskesuck

His, her eye

VII

49

His, her eyes

VII

49

Tiysh kusskesuckquash ?

Can you not see ?

VII

49

Wuchan

His, her nostrils

VII

50

Wuttwog

His, her ear

VII

50

Wuttwogqush

His, her ears

VII

50

Wuttne

His, her mouth

VII

50

Wenat

His, her tongue

VII

50

Wpit

His, her tooth

VII

50

Wpitteash

His, her teeth

VII

50

Pummaumpitenck

The tooth ache

VII

50

Sitchipuck

The neck

VII

50

The throat

VII

50

Timeqassin

To cut off the head

VII

50

Mapnnog

The breast

VII

51

Wuppttene

His, her arm

VII

51

Wuppttenenash

His, her arms

VII

51

Wutth

His, her heart

VII

51

239

Wuttp

Wuskesuckquash
241

242

Quttuck
243

239

Original text reads "The braine". Throughout this chapter, we believe R. Williams made a number of errors in
translation. We have supplied the correct translations (based on a comparison with the closely related dialect called
Natick). For reference on body parts, words starting with n mean "my ___", and those starting with k mean "your
___", and those starting with w mean "his, her ___", and those starting with m are a general reference to "a __ " or
"the ___" as "The forehead". See footnote in Ch. V, p. 28 (wasick). Those body parts starting with neither m, n, k,
w are the indefinite (A ____, the ___). See A Massachusett Language Book, Vol. 1 for extensive listings of body
parts.
240
Reference to the Mohawks; as before, the last -s is not correct Algonquian grammar in this context.
241
Where are your eyes?perhaps with humorous intent.
242
Perhaps should be weenan.
243
Infinitive Mode.

99

NARRAGANSETT
244

Wunntu nitt

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

My heart is good (true)

VII

51

The veins

VII

51

Mishqu or Nepuck

The blood

VII

51

Uppusqun

The back

VII

51

My back or at my back

VII

51

Wunncheke

His, her hand

VII

52

Wunnckgannash

His, her hands

VII

52

Mokssuck

Fingernails

VII

52

Wunnks249

His, her belly

VII

52

Apme

The thigh

VII

52

Apmash

The thighs

VII

52

Wusste250

His, her foot

VII

52

His, her feet

VII

52

Wunnichganash

His, her toes

VII

52

Tou wuttnsin ?

What manner of man ?

VII

52

Tou nckquaque ?

How big is he ?

VII

52

He, she is white

VII

52

He, she is black

VII

52

A coal-black man

VII

52

245

Mishqunash

246

Nuppusqunnick
247

248

Wussttash
251

Wompsu252
253

Mowsu & sucksu


254

Suckutacone
244

A very solemn expression among Indian peoplesthe ultimate promise that the truth is being told. Indians did
not lie!
245
We see the inanimate noun root mishqui = "it is red".
246
Nepuck may be a Pequot word ("My blood"?). The word mishqu means literally "(it is) red" and is an inanimate
adjective and verb (mishqusu is animate form, meaning "he, she is red").
247
"My hand" =nunncheke. This form (seplled variably) is commonly seen in the land deeds and other documents
written by Native writers to indicate "here I sign this document". See Goddard and Bragdon's Native Writings in
Massachusett. Misquan or meesk = "elbow" (Natick). The length of the middle finger to the elbow is called a
"cubit". Some Algonquian words for measuring involve verb form -ishquanokkod- = ishquan (elbow) + -ogk
(counting or measuring) + -od (=-it?)
248
This seems to be an error, because the plurals for body parts always end in -ash. Perhaps mokssuck is the
singular ("a fingernail"). Mokssucquash may be "fingernails".
249
To interject some disjecta membra, let us record some Pequot words taught to Prince & Speck (1904): MUHskuht = "anus" (cf. "back" above); PIH-shkut = "penis"; suh-BOOD="anus". See their article for others.
250
Some scholars like 19th c. philologist (old-time linguists) J. H. Trumbull who wrote the only adequate dictionary
we have for our regional dialects, talk about the root for "foot" (seet) as meaning "the doer, worker". Obvioulsly the
feet were very important since it was the primary means of locomotion. "My foot" = nusste ("nuh-SEET"); "your
foot" = cusste ("kuh-SEET");"foot" = musst; "feet" = musstash; "my feet" = nusstash.
251
To express "His, her toe" we would probably write Wunniche (last e is probably silentnot pronounced, as in
so many Narragansett words recorded by Roger Williams).
252
"A white-colored person". Wompsu is used with any "living" creature (and some others) to mean "white
colored". The same can be said for the word "black" (Mowsu). For animate nouns, adjectives, we add the suffix esu (for inanimate we add -i) in Natick.
253
"A black-colored person". Mowsu means "he is black", and sucksu means "he is dark-colored" (like purple,
etc.) The words refer to people, animals, fish, birds and other "living" things (even stars, some trees, etc.)
254
"An Africandark-colored coat-wearer.

100

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

255

Watacone

CHAP.

PG.

A coat-wearer

VII

52

Coatmen

VII

52

Cummnakese

You are strong (1-person)

VII

52

Miniksu258, 259

Strong

VII

52

Minioqusu

Weak

VII

53

Cumminiocquese

You are weak

VII

53

He, she is a tall person

VII

53

Qunnauqusstschick

Tall men, women

VII

53

Tiaqunqussu

He, she is a short person

VII

53

Short men, women

VII

53

Wunntu

He, she is proper

VII

53

Wunntuwock264

They are proper

VII

53

256

Wautaconuog

257

260

Qunnaqussu
261

Tiaqunqusschick

262

263

255

Any non Indian.


Reference to any of the Colonial Europeans for their habit of wearing coats.
257
This verb is not given in the Grammar Table. We can conjugate the Indicative form for this type of verb (based
on Natick forms). See Ch. I, p. 5 for another ex., "Do you ask my name")
256

CONJUGATION

Reconstructed verb
(in the example, the root is -minak- (strong), indicated by ***)
I
n'***ese
nummnakese
I am strong
You (sg.)
k'***ese
cummnakese
You are strong
He, she
(w')***esu
minaksu
He, she is strong
We (exclusive)
n'***esemun
nummnakesemun
We are strong (some of us)
We (inclusive)
k'***esemun
cummnakesemun
We are strong (all of us)
You (pl.)
k'***esemwoo
cummnakesemwoo
You are strong
They
(w')***esemwock
minaksemwock
They are strong
258

Probably Type II, Indicative, of form ***su.


He, she is strong.
260
He, she is weak.
261
"They who are tall".
262
"They who are short".
263
Just right in body build
264
Just right in body build.
259

101

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Chapter VIII. Of Discourse and News


Aunchemokauhettttea !

Let us discourse, or tell news !

VIII

54

Tocketeaunchim ?

What news do you have ?

VIII

54

Aaunchemkaw

He tells news

VIII

54

Cuttaunchemkous

I will tell you news

VIII

54

When I have finished telling the news

VIII

54

I have finished my news to you

VIII

54

VIII

54

Wutaunchmocouog268

[He is a ] god (one of extraordinary


power, intelligence, knowledge)
I will tell the news to them

VIII

54

Awaun mesh aunchemkau ?

Who brought this news ?

VIII

54

Awaun mesh kupptouwaw ?

Who did you hear this from ?

VIII

54

Uppanunchim

Your news is true

VIII

54

He tells false news

VIII

54

I have spoken enough

VIII

55

Nsouwussnneme

I am weary from speaking

VIII

55

Npenowauntawumen

I cannot speak your language

VIII

54

Matta nippnnawem

I do not lie

VIII

55

Cuppnnowem

You lie

VIII

55

Matta nickoggachosk or
Mat ntiantacmpaw or
Mat ntiantsampwwa
Achie nonumwem

I am no lying fellow

VIII

55

I speak very truly

VIII

55

Kukkita

Listen to me

VIII

55

Kukkakittos

I hear you

VIII

55

Cuppttous or
Cowutous270
Machage nowutam

I understand you

VIII

56

I do not understand

VIII

56

We do not understand each other

VIII

56

Mautaunchemokouan265
266

Cummautaunchemkous
267

Manitito

Cowawwunnunchim
Nummautanme

269

Mat nowawtawmina

271

265

Subjunctive Mode with compound element mau/t/, as in next line.


Objective Indicative (I-you (sg.)).
267
See footnotes, Ch. XXI.
268
The root/stem for this word is aunchemok ("He tells of himself; He narrates his experiences"; "News",) and
Williams original text seems to have omitted the m (Wutaunchocouog). Recently we created a word based on
this root to mean "we are making history": kukkeesitaunchemkamun (literally, "We (incl.) create/make the telling of
our experiences" = k' + keesit (make) + aunchemok (news/exprience) + amun, Indicative, Type III,of form
k'***amun
269
Maut = "finish, complete; (t)anum may be stem for "speak".
270
This and the previous line show contrast of c & k spellings.
266

102

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Wunnumwash !

Youspeak the truth !

VIII

56

272

Coanumwem

You do speak the truth

VIII

56

Wunnumwaw ew

He speaks the truth

VIII

56

Cuppannawutous273

I do not believe you

VIII

56

Cuppannawuti ?

Do you not believe me ?

VIII

56

Nippannawutunck ew

He does not believe me

VIII

56

Michme nippannawutam

I shall never believe it

VIII

56

Pannuwa awun or
Awaun keesitteuwin
Tatt ptch275

Somebody has told this lie

VIII

57

I cannot tell or It may come to pass

VIII

57

Nnu276 or eu

It is true277

VIII

57

Mat enno or Mat eno

It is not true

VIII

57

Kekuttokunta !

Let us speak together !

VIII

57

Youspeak !

VIII

57

Why do you not speak ?

VIII

57

Taqua ntnnawem ?or


Taqua ntawem ?

What should I say, speak?

VIII

57

Wetapmmin

To sit down

VIII

57

Wetapwuwwas !

Yousit and talk with us!

VIII

57

Tapowaw

A wise speaker

VIII

57

Enapwuwwaw280 or
Eississmo
Matta nowawwuon or
Matta nowhea
Pitch nowuwon

He speaks Indian

VIII

57

I know (understand) nothing of it

VIII

57

I shall know the truth

VIII

57

Faithfulness, truthfulness

VIII

57

274

Kukkkash !
278

Tawhitch mat cuttan

279

281

Wunnaumwuonck

271

This seems to an Objective-Imperative ( we-us) Type I verb except there is usually no prefix n' for this form (
form is ***amiinnea). If Imperative, it should perhaps read mat wawtawmina (stem is waut). See Appendix for
other forms.
272
This word and the next are used as great compliments especially to the Schem whom they consider to be a god.
273
Panna in the verb Cuppannawutous is a modifier that reverses the meaning of the main verb. Here the verb is
wut (to understand, believe, know).
274
He- lies somebody or Somebody made it.
275
Pitch is used with verbs to indicate the future. Mesh (as mentioned) refers to past actions.
276
Original text reads nni (cf. p. 5)
277
It is so or It came to pass.
278
Subjunctive ModeI, Type V.
279
Our modern word "Powwow" is based partly on this word. A "Powwau" is a Holy Man. See Ch. XXI, p. 127.
280
En = "of tribal people"; ap seems to have same root as above word; wau = "know"; -waw = "state, condition".
We conjecture that "I speak Indian" might be understood as nuttenapwawawem or nuttenapwawem , Type III,
Indicative Mode (with /t/ inserted).
281
Some words ending in -onck are called Abstract Nouns because they refer to abstract ideas like "truthfulness,
justice, wealth, love, strength, &c."

103

NARRAGANSETT
Wunnaumwyean

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

If he speaks the truth

VIII

57

The old high Sachim of the Nariganset Bay


(a wise and peaceable Prince)
If the Englishman speaks true

VIII

57

VIII

58

Wunnaumwuonck

Faithfulness, truthfulness

VIII

58

Tocketunnntum ?or
Tocketunname ?or
Tocketentam ?
Ntunnntum or
Ntentum
Nnick nteetum

What do you think?

VIII

58

I think

VIII

58

I think so, too

VIII

58

Nteatmmowonck

This is my thought, or opinion

VIII

58

Mat ntunnantmmen or
Mat nteeantmmen
Nowecntam or
Noweetentam
Coanumatous

I do not think so

VIII

58

I am glad

VIII

59

I believe you

VIII

59

Coannumatous

I will obey you

VIII

59

Yo aphttit287

When they are here

VIII

59

Yo peyhettit

282

Canounicus

Wunnaumwyean283 Englishman
284

285

286

When they have come

VIII

59

288, 289

Englishman

VIII

59

290

Englishmen

VIII

59

Englishman

VIII

59

Englishmen

VIII

59

Chuquaquock

Englishmen

VIII

59

Wautacnisk295, 296

An English woman

VIII

59

Wautaconmese297

An English youth

VIII

59

Awaunagass

Awaunagassuck
291

Watacone

Wataconenaog292
293, 294

282

See notes in Ch XXII for references to this famous Sachem.


Subjunctive Mode (he, ***ean).
284
Absttact Noun.
285
Appears to be Abstract Noun, Indicative Mode.
286
Same word as above, different meaning.
287
Subjunctive Mode, as in next line.
288
Original text reads Awaunagrss . In the similar dialect, Pequot, "White man" is waunux (plural, waunnuxuk)
(from awaun = "who"); in Prince & Speck, 1904.
289
Stranger.
290
Strangers.
291
Coat wearer.
292
Coat wearers (from "he covers it")
293
Original text reads Chuquaqock.
294
Sword-men
295
The ending -isk is probably said "squaw", meaning "female".
296
"Female coat-wearer"
297
Small Coat-wearer
283

104

NARRAGANSETT
298

Wske peyyean

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

When you first came

VIII

59

When English-men first came

VIII

59

Twhitch peyhettit ?

Why have they come here?

VIII

59

Matta mihtuckqunnnno ?

Have you no trees ( in England)?

VIII

60

Mishunetash or
Munetash
Maunuog Wussaumemaunuog

Great store, plenty [of trees]

VIII

60

There are too many (people)

VIII

60

Noonapock

VIII

60

Aumumuwaw puasha

They dont have enough room or space for


all
A messenger comes

VIII

60

Wawwhawtowuog

They holler

VIII

60

Wauwhatowaw

It is an alarm [enemies, etc.]

VIII

60

To paint

VIII

61

Wske peyhetit Wautaconuog


299

Wussuckwhmmin

300

301

Wussuckwhke or
Wussckwhonck
Wssckquash !

A letter

VIII

61

Youwrite me a letter !

VIII

61

Wussuckwheke, ymmi302 !

You (plural)write me a letter!

VIII

61

Quenowuog

They complain

VIII

61

Tawhitch quenwyean ?

Why do you complain ?

VIII

61

Mucc

It is true you say

VIII

61

Tuckaw ntawem ?

What should I say to it ?

VIII

61

298

Original text reads peyeyan (Subjunctive Mode).


This word peyhettit ("they coming") is in Subjunctive mode (Type I, of form ***hettit). The two sentences
above are also subjunctive verbs. (see Grammar Table)
300
Infinitive Mode; the verb is transferred for "write"
301
Based on word for painting. Thus "letter" is translated for "a painted story" (pictograph).
302
Yimmi means "Youmake this for me". Wussuckwhke = "You (pl.) paint!" Wussckwhonck is an Abstract
Noun ("Painting")
299

105

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Chapter IX. Of Time of Day


Mautubon or
Chichuquat wompan
Aumpatuban

It is day (morning) or It is day-break (daylight)


It is broad day

IX

62

IX

62

Tou wutttan ?

How high is the sun (what time of day is


it)?
It is sunrise

IX

62

IX

62

Nummttaquaw

Forenoon

IX

62

Yhen Pushaquaw

Almost noontime

IX

62

Noon ["It is half way"]

IX

62

After dinner

IX

62

Nawwuwquaw

After noon

IX

63

Yo wutttan

The sun so high

IX

63

waiyuw

Almost sunset

IX

63

308

The sun sets (is setting)

IX

63

Evening

IX

63

Pppakunnetch , auchugotch

Dark night

IX

63

Tppaco311 & Otematppocat312

Toward night

IX

63

IX

63

IX

63

Break of day

IX

63

I will be here when the sun is so high

IX

63

Come when the sun is this high

IX

63

This day

IX

63

Pspisha303
304

Pweshaquaw
305

Quttkquaquaw

307

Yhen

panicmpaw

Wayawi

309

Wunnuquit

310

313

Nanashowatppocat
314

Choueatch

306

Midnight
About cock-crowing time

Kitompanisha316
Y taunt nippeyean

317

Yo tunt cuppeeyumen
318, 319

Anamakesuck

315

303

Same word for "flower" meaning "He blooms forth''. Verbs ending in -sha seem to be Passive Voice (unless it
is a Type III Indicative ("he"); Appendix, Ind. Gram. Dict.)
304
Recall -waw = "state, condition".
305
From "he goes down (sun sets)".
306
"He stands, looks sideways".
307
"Almost".
308
To say "when the sun sets, has set," we'd write wayont .
309
-it = "when it is, at, in" (see Ind. Gram. Dict., Part II (Narr.)).
310
"When it is very dark"; -otch has same sense as -atch. ("when it is").
311
"In the dark night".
312
May mean "time of darkness" or "between evening and morning".
313
Midway of the darkness.
314
Recall -atch indicates "when it is, when it has".
315
Just before sunrise.
316
Passive Voice with reference to "freeing, breaking"
317
Raising arm, to make angle with horizon.
318
Keesuck is related to "gives life to".

106

NARRAGANSETT
Saop
320

Wussume ttsha

321

Tiaqunnockaskesakat

Quawquonikeesakat322
323

Quawquonikesaqtcheas
324

Nquittakeesiqunnckat &
Nquittakeespmmishen325
Pauknnum
326

Wequi

327

Wequshim

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Tomorrow

IX

63

It is too late

IX

63

[It is ] a short day

IX

63

[It is ] along day

IX

63

Long days

IX

63

[It is ] one days walk

IX

64

[It is ] dark

IX

64

The light

IX

64

Moonlight

IX

64

319

Anima = "this" ?
Passive Voice.
321
Original text reads Tiaquockaskesakat. Sun goes down early.
322
Sun stays up longer.
323
-as is the plural in this word whereas plural marker -ash is normal for "inanimate nouns".
324
Original text reads Nquittakeesiquckat . "Of one sun's length". Length of time always includes the root "long"
(qunne).
325
"Of one sun's walk" Of interest is the distance Colonial era Indians could travel on foot. Roger Williams (see Ch.
XI, p. 171 footnote) relates that a good runner could cover about 100 miles in one day, and return in two (after a
good rest, we presume).
326
It is light.
327
"light-ish. The letters -sh- often indicate something "less than, inferior, a little," etc. For example, the light of
the moon is less bright than that of the sun; could also describe "dull, dim or scanty moonlight".
320

107

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Chapter X. Of Seasons of the Yeere


Nquittaqnnegat328

1 day

65

Neesqnnegat

2 days

65

Shuckqunckat

3 days

65

Yowqunnckat329

4 days &c

65

Piuckaqnnegat

10 days

65

Piuckaqunnegat nab naquit

11 days

65

Piuckaqunnegat nab neeze

12 days &c

65

Neesneechek tashuck
qunnckat
Neesneechektashuck
qunnckat nab naqut

20 days

65

21 days &c.

65

Squan330

The Spring, Springtime

65

Spring or seed-time

65

Nepun & Quaqsquan

Summer

65

Taqunck

Fall of leaf & Autumn

65

Winter

65

Sasquacup

This Spring last

65

Yo neepnnacup

This Summer last

66

Y taqunticup

This harvest last

66

Papapcup

Winter last

66

Yanedg

The last year

66

The sun

66

The moon or a star in general

66

The moon

66

66

Aukeetemitch

331

Papne
332

333

Nippaus

Munnnnock
334

Nanepashat

335

Nquitpawsuck nepaus

336

1 month (one moon)

328

Literally, "in one day" (qunne = "duration, length")


Original text reads Yowunnckat.
330
Early Summer. The Indian year seems to have had at least 6 seasons
1. Aukeetemitch ("when he plants") SEED TIME
2. Squan ("When water runs again" or "When water is long?") EARLY SPRING
3. Nepun MIDSUMMER
4. Nnnowa ("The corn dries, grows dry") HARVEST TIME
5. Taqunck ("Beginning of cold") FALL OF THE LEAF
6. Papne WINTER
331
-itch means "when it is, when it has". For example, in the next line we expect neepunitch "when it is summer" or
"the summertime".
332
Ending -up or -ip for verbs means past tense. See Ch. VI, pg. 34 (and other places cited in Ind. Gram. Dict.).
333
Used as lunar month.
334
Spiritual nameThe Moon Spirit.
329

108

NARRAGANSETT
337

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Neespausuck npaus

2 months (two moons)

66

Shwepausuck npaus &c

3 months (three moons)

66

Neesnehettit

2 months, when 2 moons have passed (?)

66

Shwinnehettit

3 months, when 3 moons have passed (?)

66

4 months, when 4 moons have passed (?)

66

Sequanakeswush

Spring Month

66

Neepunnakeswush

Summer Month

66

Taquontikeswush

Harvest Month

66

Paponakeswush &c

Winter Month

66

One year

65

Tashecautmmo?

How many years ?

66

Tashecautmmo341 cuttppemus?

How many years since you were born?

66

Neesecautmmo

2 years

66

Shwecautmmo

3 years

66

Yowecautmmo

4 years

67

Piuckquecautmmo

10 years

67

11 years

67

How many winters ?

67

Ahauqushapapne

A sharp winter

67

Kesqush

By day

67

Keesuckqui

It is day

67

Nukocks

By night

67

It is night (this night)

67

338

Yowinnehettit
339

Nquittecautmmo

340

Piukquecautmmo nab naquit &c342


343

Tashnash papnash

344

345

Nokannwi

335

Original text reads Nqnitpawsuckenpaus.


The Indian "calendar" had thirteen months, based on the 13 full moons in one year (which are "calculated" on the
squares of a turtle's outer shell). In one northern dialect (Abenaki), the seasons of the year corresponding to our
names of the months are
< Great-Cold Moon (January) Fishing Moon (Feb.) End-of-Fishing Moon (Mar.) Herring Moon, or Sowing
Moon (Apr.) Covering Moon, or Corn-Planting Moon (May) Howing Moon (June) Berry Moon, or Eel
Moon (July) Moon-of Great-Sun, or Long-Day Moon (Aug.) Acorn Moon (Sept.) Thin-Ice Moon, or MoonWhen-Margins-Of-Streams-Freeze (Oct.) Beaver-Catching Moon, or Moon When-Holes-Are-Made-In-The-IceAnd-Watched-For-Beavers (Nov.) Long Moon (Dec.) <
337
Same as word above, spelled Nippaus.
338
Is this Subjunctive, ***hettit (They) ?
339
-keeswush = "season, 'moon', month" (cf. keesuck = "day, time, sky, heavens"). The season names are then
prefixed.
340
cautmmo = "year"
341
Original text reads Chashecautmmo .Translation is "...you have been here" with accommodting /t/.
342
100 years = nquit pwsuckcautmmo. 2000 years = neese mittnnugcautmmo. We pick a number from Ch. IV
pp. 22-25 + cautmmo
343
Note inflection of "How many" & "winters"; both require the inanimate plural suffix -ash.
344
This day.
336

109

NARRAGANSETT

345

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

The "present definite" (it is going on right now).

110

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Chapter XI. Of Travell


Myi346

A Way (path, trail)

XI

68

Is there a way (path, trail)?

XI

68

There is no way (path, trail)

XI

68

Peemyagat

A little way (perhaps narrow path)

XI

68

Mishimmayagat

A great path (wide trail)

XI

68

Machpscat

A stone path

XI

68

Nnatotemckaun

I will ask the way

XI

68

Kunnattemous

I will inquire of you

XI

68

Kunnatotem?

Do you ask me ?

XI

68

Where lies the way (path, trail) ?

XI

69

Show me the way!

XI

69

Yo inshik myi

There the way (trail, path) lies

XI

69

Kukkaktemous

I will show you the way (path, trail)

XI

69

Yo cummittamyon

There is the way you must go

XI

69

Yo chippachusin351

There the way divides

XI

69

Machatea

A guide

XI

69

Machase !

Yoube my guide !

XI

69

Ance wnawash !

Youhire him !

XI

69

Kuttnnoonsh

I will hire you

XI

69

Kuttnckquittaunch

I will pay you

XI

69

I will pay you well

XI

69

What will you give me ?

XI

69

I will conduct (guide) you

XI

69

Y anta

Let us go that way

XI

69

Y cuttunan

Go that way

XI

69

Mayo ?347
348

Mat mayannno
349

Tou nishin myi ?


Kokoteminnea myi

350

352

Kummuchicknckquatous
353

Tocketaonckquittinnea
Cummuchanish
354

346

Most trails were very narrow, no more than several feet wide.
Notice that for a question (as previously noted), the ending -uo or -unno or -no on a noun has the effect of
asking "Is there?" See Ch. II, p. 10 ("Have you no water?"). See Ind. Gram. Dict., Pt. II (Narragansett) for other
examples cited throughout the text.
348
See footnote for -uo above.
349
Ending -at implies "on, at, by".
350
Objective-Imperative (You (sg.)-me).
351
Indicative, Type IV (it).
352
Mauch- = "go".
353
Ambiguous, seems Imperative, of form ***iinnea.
354
Imperative (Us).
347

111

NARRAGANSETT
Yo mtnnock

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

The right hand (to the right side?)

XI

69

Yo nmnnatch

The left hand (to the left side?)

XI

69

Cowchaush

I will go with you

XI

70

Wtash !

Yougo along !

XI

70

Cowchaw ew

He will go with you

XI

70

Cowechautmmin

I will go with you

XI

70

Let us accompany (go along with you)!

XI

70

Tabot wtyean

I thank you for your company

XI

70

Pitch cowwwon358

You will lose your way

XI

70

Mesh nowwwon

I lost my way

XI

70

Nummauchmin or
Ntannitemmin
Mammauchtuck! or
nakiteunck!
Memauchwi or nittui359

I will be going

XI

70

Let us be going !

XI

70

He is gone

XI

70

They are gone

XI

70

They are gone

XI

Tunnockuttmme362 ? or
Tunnockkuttoyeim ? or
Tunnockkuttnshem ?
Nnegnshem

Whither go you ?

XI

70

I will go before (lead the way)

XI

70

Cuppompish

I will stay for you

XI

70

You go before (lead)!

XI

70

The way you went before

XI

70

I will follow you

XI

71

Cuppahmmin

Stay for me

XI

71

Tawhich quaunquaquan ?

Why do you run so ?

XI

71

Nowecntum pmmishem

I have a mind to travel (I like to travel)

XI

71

Konkenupshuta !

Let us go apace (at the same speed) !

XI

71

Konkenppe !

Go apace (at the same speed)!

XI

71

355

356

Wechauatttea !
357

360

Memauchegushnnick
Anakugushnnick

361

Negnshesh !
363

Mittummayacup
Cummttanish

364

355

-atch seems to mean "when, from" and seems to differ in meaning from -ock ("in, of, from, at") in previous
entry.
356
Objective-Imperative, Type II (We-us).
357
"Thanks for your company", Subjunctive Mode, Type II (***ean).
358
This line and the next shows clearly the difference between pitch (future tense marker) and mesh (past tense
marker) for the same verb.
359
Both verbs are "present definite" (right now he is on his way).
360
"They who are gone"
361
See above footnote.
362
See Ch. I, p. 4.
363
Seems to be simple past tense because of -up suffix.
364
-matta- (?) & -mitti- (above line) = "to where".

112

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.
365

PG.

Michme nquaunquaqumin

I always run (have always run)

XI

71

Yo ntoyamushem

I go at this pace

XI

71

Yo wuch

From hence (here)

XI

72

nckquaque yo wuch ?

How far from hence (here)?

XI

72

Y anckquaque

366

So far

XI

72

Yo anuckquaquaquse

So little a way

XI

72

Waunaquse

A little way

XI

72

They go by land

XI

72

They go or come by water

XI

72

Naynayomewot

A horse

XI

72

Wunna Naynayomewot

He rides on horseback

XI

72

Aspummwi370

He is not gone by

XI

72

They are not gone by yet

XI

72

Who comes there ?

XI

72

Awanick negonshachick ?

Who are those people in front of you ?

XI

72

Yo cuppummesicmmin

Cross over into the way there

XI

72

Cuppimachug

Thick woods373

XI

72

Nps

Pond

XI

73

Nipsash

Ponds

XI

73

The woods are on fire

XI

73

To view or look about

XI

73

Wussaumpatmoonck

A prospect (view)

XI

73

Wuttockmin

To wade (in water)

XI

73

Tocektuck !

Let us wade !

XI

73

Tou wuttuqussin ?

How deep is it ?

XI

73

XI

73

367

Aukeewushaog

Mshoon368 hmwock
369

371

Aspummwock
372

Awanick

paynchick ?

374

Wta wtedg
Wussaumpatmmin

375
376

Y ntaqussin

377

Thus deep

365

"They are generally quick on foot, brought up from the breasts to running: their legs being also from the wombe
stretcht and bound up in a strange way on their Cradle backward, as also annointed; yet have they some that excell"
so that I have knowne many of them run betweene fourescoure or an hundred miles in a Summers day, and back
within two dayes...." [Roger Williams, pg. 71]
366
We assumewith some sort of body language to show how far.
367
Auke + (w)esh + auog ("Landthey go bythem")
368
Canoe.
369
Introduced by Europeans, the name for "horse" means "creature that carries on the back".
370
He is still coming.
371
They are still coming.
372
Plural for "who" with Indefinite Subjunctive Mode ("who are they who are coming")
373
A swampa hiding place.
374
Nips means "little, small body of water" (because of ending -s).
375
Infinitive.
376
Abstract Noun.

113

NARRAGANSETT
Kunnish

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

I will carry you

XI

73

Kuckqssuckqun

You are heavy

XI

73

Kunnukon

You are light

XI

73

Pasckqusish !

Yourise up !

XI

73

Anakish ! or Machish !

Yougo !

XI

73

Quaqush !

Yourun !

XI

73

Youmeet him!

XI

73

Let us meet !

XI

73

I did meet

XI

73

Mesh kunnockqus ? or
Mesh kauatmmin ?
Yo kuttauntapmmin

Did you meet ?

XI

74

Here we rest here

XI

74

Kussackqutuck !

Let us sit down !

XI

74

Yo appttuck !

Let us sit here !

XI

74

Nisswanis or
Nissownishka
Nickqssaqus

I am weary

XI

74

I am lame

XI

74

Ntouagonnausinnmmin382

We are in distress, misery

XI

74

Teno wonck nippeam

I will be here again by and by

XI

74

Mat kunnckansh

I will not leave you

XI

74

Aquie kunnckatshash !

Youdo not leave me !

XI

74

Why do you forsake me ?

XI

74

Wuttnho384

A staff or walking-stick

XI

74

Y ish wuttnho

Use this staff

XI

74

Taquttin

Frost

XI

75

Auke taqutsha

The ground is frozen

XI

75

The river is frozen

XI

75

Nownnesin

I have forgotten

XI

75

Nippitt aknnamun

I must go back

XI

75

Nippanishkokmmin or
Npussgokommn386

I have let something drop

XI

75

378

379

Nokuskuatees

Nockuskauattea !
Neen mesh nckuskaw380
381

383

Tawhch

385

Sip

nickatshian ?

taquttin

377

With hand action to show, we assume.


Root is "rock, heavy"= qussuck.
379
Type II , containing /t/: Nokuskua(t) + ees
380
"At the place of the meeting".
381
Appears to be question form, -us.
382
Lost in woods, no more food, etc.
383
Original text reads Tavvhch.
384
That whereby he rests himself.
385
Common word in Algonquian with meaning "extended, stretched out". We say "zeeb".
378

114

NARRAGANSETT
Mattasu

387

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

A little way

XI

75

Nawot

A great way off

XI

75

Nwwatick

Far off at sea

XI

75

Ntaquatchuwamen

I go uphill

XI

75

Taguatchwash !

Yougo uphill !

XI

76

Downhill

XI

76

Maunshesh !

Yougo slowly, gently !

XI

76

Mauanishuta !

Let us go gently !

XI

76

Tawhch chechequnnuwyean ?

Why do you rob me ?

XI

76

Aquie chechequnnwash !

Youdo not rob me !

XI

76

Chechequnnuwchick

Robbers

XI

76

Chechequnnttin

A robbery has been committed

XI

76

They murder each other

XI

76

Wmumsu

388

389

Kemineantock

390

Wskont wan nkemineucqun

I fear some will murder me

XI

76

Cutchachewussmmin

You are almost there

XI

77

You are a little short (of your destination)

XI

77

Now you are there

391

Kiske

cuppeeyumen

Cuppeeyumen

XI

77

Muckqutu

392

Swift

XI

77

Cummmmuckquete

You are swift

XI

77

Cusssaqus

You are slow

XI

77

They are slow

XI

77

Will you pass by ?

XI

77

Let us pass by !

XI

77

I come for no business

XI

77

Sassaqushuog
Cuttineapmmishen ?

393

Wuttineapumushuta ! or
Keeatshata !
Ntinneapeeyamen394
386

First verb means "I let something fall"; the second means "I let something fall into (a ditch, hole, etc.)" Each
verb refers to an accident.
387
Not far.
388
He, she goes downhill
389
Root -kemine- = "murder".
390
Roger Williams may be mistaken here. The Narragansett could translate: "I fear someone will murder us". This
is because the verb nkemineucqun has ending -ucqun and that seems to mean plural (such as "us"). This ending is
also spelled -ickqun, -uckqun and other ways. It is thought to refer to plural objects (i.e. in the form "he-me", "me"
is the object, and in "he-you", "you" is the object). Thus, when one sees the -ickqun ending, it implies that the
object is plural. Thus the forms "he-me" & "he-you" should be "he-us" & "he-you (pl.)" when the Narragansett verb
is spelled with ending -ucqun, -ickqun, or -uckqun. Consult the Grammar Table for clarification. Other pages in A
Key where this translation error can be seen are: page 76, 123, 138, 174, 189-9 & 195.
391
Kiske = "near, beside".
392
He, she is swift.
393
The segment -tinnea- has no meaning as far as we know. It's not part of the verb. Pummish = "pass by". Some
believe -tinnea- is merely for ornamentation, letters or words added without meaning or for emphasis (like we do in
English when we say something like "you know ahhwhat I mean, eh?", etc.). This may be far-fetched and
awaits futher evidence.

115

NARRAGANSETT
Acowe

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

In vain or for no purpose

XI

77

Ntackwwepeyan

I have lost my labor

XI

77

Cummautssakou

You (plural) have missed him

XI

77

Kihtummyi wussuhumwi

He went just now

XI

77

Pittckish !

Yougo back

XI

77

Pittucktuck !

Let us go back !

XI

77

Pnewhush !

Youlay down your burden!

XI

77

395, 396

394

Original text reads ntinneapreyamen. We see -tinnea- here also. Notice how verb peeyau ("come") is spelled
differently 2 lines down.
395
Subjunctive Mode, compound verb; N + (t)(ackowwe)(peyau) + un.
396
I in vain come.

116

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Chapter XII. Of the Heavenly Lights


Kesuck397

The heavens (sky)

XII

79

Keesucquu

Toward the heavens (sky)

XII

79

Ake, Aukeeaseu

Earth, towards earth

XII

79

XII

79

XII

79

398

399

Nippwus

The sun
400

Kessuckqund

The Sun Spirit

401

402

Munnnnock

A name of the Sun and Moon

XII

79

Nanepashat

The Moon Spirit

XII

79

The moon

XII

79

A light moon

XII

79

The moon is up

XII

79

XII

79

XII

80

XII

80

403

Munnnnock

404

Wequshim
Pashpshea

405

406

To wutttan

So high

Y Ockquitteunk

A new moon

Paushsui

Half moon
408

407

Yo wompanmmit

The moon so old

XII

80

Wmpan

Day

XII

80

Anckqus

A star

XII

80

Ancksuck

Stars

XII

80

Great Bear constellation

XII

80

Constellation called The Golden Metewand

XII

80

The Morning star

XII

80

Mosk or Pauknawwaw409
Shwishcuttowwuog
411

Mishnnock

410

397

This word means either (a) visible heavens (b) the sun or (c) space of one day"one sun". The last k in kesuck
is pronounced with a strong guttural soundsay "cup" without the "p".
398
Literally "He rises". Word used for "a moon" or " month", as in neespausuck napas ("2 months, 2 moons").
399
Also moon, month.
400
The names for Spirits end in -and , -anit , -it, -at . The words for Spirits are based on a contraction or
shortening of the word manit for manito (Spirit).
401
Root is "alone, by self".
402
A star in general?
403
This word seems related to the word for "island" (munnoh="alone, by self, separate").
404
Faint light?
405
Indians were fairly accurate in measuring time, seasons &c by the sun & moon & stars. See Trumbull 1903
Dictionary for terms used to tell time. Also see Bragdon, 1996.
406
He indicates a distance, we assume.
407
Its half.
408
Moon that shines till wompan (dawn).
409
Both words mean "a bear". Mosk may be the black bear (female?). Pauknawwaw is the name of the
constellation, meaning "night walker" (compare with word for "dark", Ch. IX, pg. 64).
410
Belt of Orion; Literally wetu with three fires.
411
Great star.

117

NARRAGANSETT
Chipppuock

412

ENGLISH
The Brood-Hen

412

CHAP.
XII

PG.
80

Pleiades; (They sit apart).

118

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Chapter XIII. Of the Weather


Tocketussinnmmin kesuck?

What do you think of the weather (sky)?

XIII

82

Wekineaquat

Fair weather

XIII

82

Wekineaquocks

When it is fair weather

XIII

82

Tahki or Ttakki

It is cold weather

XIII

82

Tahkes

It is a little cold

XIII

82

Takocks

Cold weather

XIII

83

Kusitteks

Hot weather

XIII

83

Kussttah

It is hot weather

XIII

83

Nckqusquatch or
nnonakom
Mattqus

I am cold

XIII

83

A cloud

XIII

83

It is over-cast

XIII

83

Rain

XIII

83

It will rain today

XIII

83

Skenitch

When it rains

XIII

83

Schepo or
Cne418
Animanukock419 schepo

Snow

XIII

83

It will snow tonight

XIII

83

Schepwutch

When it snows

XIII

83

Mishnnan

A great rain

XIII

83

Puqui, pauuquaquat

It holds up, if it holds up

XIII

83

Nnppi

Dry

XIII

83

Nnppaquat

Dry weather

XIII

83

Tpu

A frost

XIII

83

Missittpu

A great frost

XIII

84

Capt420

Ice

XIII

84

413

414

Mttaquat or
Cppaquat
Skenun415 naquat
416

Anamakesuck

skenun

417

413

The ending -es means "little".


-quat related to "day" (overcast day)
415
Skenun (rain) means "he pours". naquat means "it is raining; when it is raining".
416
"This day". Anama may mean "this".
417
This word seems to add another category to our GRAMMAR table. See also "When it snows". Also see Ch. XIV.
& pp. 33, 63, 65, 69, 84, 119, 143-4. The rule will state: ***itch (***etch, ***utch) for Indefinite Subjunctive
(Type II).
418
Schepo is probably "snow falling". Cne is believed to be "snow on the ground" and corresponds to
neighboring Pequot (Prince & Speck, 1904). In Pequot it's written gn with said like u in "rule". In Pequot
dialect, we tend to hear our c or k sound as a hard g as in "go".
419
"This night". Anima may mean "this".
420
"When it is closed up or dense" . The same root is seen in above word cppaquat.
414

119

NARRAGANSETT
Nechipog

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

The dew

XIII

84

A thaw

XIII

84

Mchokatch

When it thaws

XIII

84

Missuppugatch

When the rivers are open (thawed out)

XIII

84

Cutshusha

Lightening

XIII

84

Neimpuog

Thunder

XIII

84

Neimpuog peskhmwock

Thunderbolts are shot

XIII

84

Pskunck

Flintlock rifle

XIII

84

Peskhmmin424

To thunder

XIII

84

Mchokat
421

422

423

421

Original text read Mchokateh.


Imitative sound?
423
Thunder stick.
424
This word means "to burst into pieces with a noise". We see the root word -shk- (or -shq- sometimes) to mean
"violence, disaster".
422

120

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Chapter XIV. Of The Winds


Wapi425
Wupanash
427

Tashnash wupanash

?
428

Nanmmatin & Sunndin


429

Chepewssin

The wind426

XIV

85

The winds

XIV

85

How many winds ?

XIV

85

The north wind

XIV

85

XIV

85

XIV

85

The northeast wind


430

Schimoachepewssin

Strong northeast wind

Woptin431

The east wind

XIV

86

Nanckquittin

The southeast wind

XIV

86

Touwttin

South wind

XIV

86

Papnetin

West wind [Papne is winter]

XIV

86

The northwest

XIV

86

Chkesitch

When the wind blows northwest

XIV

86

Tocketunnntum ?

What think you ?

XIV

86

Tou ptch wuttn ?

Where the wind be ?

XIV

86

Nqnouhck wuttn

I stay (wait) for the wind

XIV

86

Yo ptch wuttn suop

There is where the wind will be tomorrow

XIV

86

It will be southwest

XIV

86

Southwest direction 435

XIV

86

A great wind

XIV

87

A storm

XIV

87

Fair wind

XIV

87

When the wind is fair

XIV

87

432

Chkesu

433

Ptch sowwnishen

434

Sowwanu
Mishupan
436

Mishitshin

437

Wunngehan or
Wunngin wapi
Wunngitch wuttn
425

Word means "it is above". Other dialects say waban or wapan .


Perhaps, "it is windy".
427
Number-noun agreement with plural marker -ash.
428
Words for "wind" end in -tin , -din , -sin .
429
Word is said to come from cheppi or "evil spirit" from which comes this violent cold wind or "Noreaster" as New
Englanders now call it.
430
Word Schim gives meaning strong.
431
Original text reads noptin which we (along with Trumbull) think is probably a mistake.
432
From word
("violent, forcible") in Natick dialect.
433
Recall -itch = "when, from".
434
The most pleasing, warmest wind from the place of origin & destinnation of Indian peoples, where lives the
Great Spirit, Cawtntowwit (or Cautntouwit).
435
The most sacred direction where lives Kautntowwt.
436
"Big many winds".
437
Wunngehan = "the thing that is extended (the air or wind) it is good". Wunngin wapi = "It is goodthe
wind.".
426

121

NARRAGANSETT
438

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Mattgehan

A cross wind

XIV

87

Mattgehatch

When the wind is cross

XIV

87

Wunngehatch

When the wind comes fair

XIV

87

Cowunnagehckamen439

You have a fair wind

XIV

87

Cummattagehckamen

The wind is against you

XIV

87

Nummattagehckamen

The wind is against me

XIV

87

438

Matta + ge + (h)an = "Badthing that is extended all-over (air)".


Indicative, Type II, as are the next 2 lines (with translations involving roots -matta, au, ge <bad, extended,
go>.

439

122

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Chapter XV. Of Fowle


Npeshwog &
Pussekessuck440
Ntauchumen441

Fowl (plural)

XV

88

I am going to hunt animals or fowl

XV

88

Auchai

He has gone to hunt animals or fowl

XV

88

Pepemi

He has gone to hunt fowl

XV

88

Wmpissacuk442

An eagle

XV

88

Wompsacuskquog

Eagles

XV

88

443

Nyhom

Turkey

XV

89

Neyhommuog

Turkies

XV

89

Paupock

Partridge [quail?]

XV

89

Paupocksog

Partridges [quails?]

XV

89

444

Aunckuck

Heathcock

XV

89

Aunckuckquog

Heathcocks

XV

89

Chgan445

Blackbird

XV

89

Blackbirds

XV

89

Kokkehom & Ohmous

Owl

XV

89

Kaukont448

Crow

XV

89

Kaukonttuock

Crows

XV

89

Kautntouwit

Great Spirit

XV

90

Canadian goose

XV

90

446

Chganuck
447

449

Hnck

440

"Bird" or "fowl". The word psukses means "little bird" in Natick. The word pissuksemesog means "very small
bird".
441
N' + (t)auchau + men
442
Word may also mean include fishhawk or osprey. The word means "great white tail". The eagles feather was
worn by great warriors (turkey & hawk feathers also worn by warriors) .
443
Word is imitative sound.
444
Heathcock (pinnated grouse or prairie hen; may include partridge or pheasant ).
445
From spotted.
446
Millions of these pests ate up the corn planted in the fields. High-perched sentries of young boys were set up to
scare them away which became then "scare crow" of America.
447
Word is imitative sound. Other types of owls are (from Natick dialect) keche kookookhaus ("A great white owl");
weewees ("a screech owl") and kicheweeees ("great screech owl"). The owl is a feared animal because he dwells in
the dark and may represent an evil spirit. Indians are fearful of the dark, for night is the time when departed Spirits
dwell in the forest along with the animal Spirits. Some say the departed hunt the animals as in life on earth. Life
seems to go on therefor those who have crossed over to the Afterlife. Many stories are told about what happens to
people after death.
448
Word is imitative sound. The crow is a sacred animal (see Strong Woman, 1999).
449
Word is imitative sound. Interestingly this word is the sound we hear these majestic birds make by themselves in
a flock in flight. The next line indicates the sound made when more than one goose "honks" at once. One must
experience this phenomenon to know its significance.

123

NARRAGANSETT
Hnckock

ENGLISH
Canadian geese
450

Wmpatuck

Swan

451

CHAP.

PG.

XV

90

XV

90

Wmpatuckquuog

Swans

XV

90

Wequash

Swan

XV

90

Wequashshuog

Swans

XV

90

Munncks

Brant, Brantgoose

XV

90

Munnckssuck

Brants, Brantgeese

XV

90

452

Quequcum

Duck

XV

90

Quequcummuog453

Ducks

XV

90

Ktsuog

Cormorants

XV

91

Yo aquchmock

There they swim

XV

91

Nipponamouog

I lay nets for them

XV

91

Ptowi

It has fled, flown away

XV

91

Ptowewunshnnick

[When] they have fled, flown away

XV

91

Wunnp

A bird-wing

XV

91

Wunnppash

Birds-wings

XV

91

Wunnppanck nawhone

Wing-shot454

XV

91

456

XV

91

A pigeon

XV

91

Pigeons

XV

91

Pigeon country

XV

91

A little bird with Sachim-like qualities of


braveness in face of larger birds
They go (fly) southward

XV

92

XV

92

459

They fly northward

XV

92

Crane

XV

93

Cranes

XV

93

Hawk

XV

93

455

Wuhckgock

nwhone

Wuskwhn
Wuskowhnannaog
457

Wuskowowhananakit
458

Sachim

Sowwnakitauwaw
Chepewukitaog
460

Tanek

Taunekkaog
461

Wushwunan

Body-shot

450

Snow goose?
Snow geese?
452
Imitative sound.
453
They quack-quack.
454
Hit in [his] wing
455
Wu-hockg-ock ="His belly-in".
456
Hit in [his] body
457
"At the abode of pigeons" or "pigeon country". An actual place where this bountiful delicacy was taken in large
numbers; in present-day Worcester County, MA, in the northern part of the Nipmuc country .
458
Called King birdmay be a small hawk.
459
"Northeast".
460
Imitative sound?
461
Imitative sound? Other names included mashquanon ("large or long tail"); owhshaog (imitative sound?).
451

124

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

125

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Chapter XVI. Of the Earth and Fruits Thereof


Ake & Sanaukamck462

Earth or land

XVI

94

My land

XVI

94

Wuskukamuck

New ground

XVI

94

Aquegunntteash

463

Nttauke

& Nissawnwkamuck

Fields worn out

XVI

94

464

Trees

XVI

94

465

Pauchautaqun

A branch

XVI

94

Pauchautaqunnsash

Branches

XVI

94

Wunnpog

A leaf

XVI

94

Wunnpoguuash

Leafs

XVI

94

Wattp

A tree root

XVI

94

Mihtckquash

466

467

468

Sip

A river

XVI

94

Toysk

A bridge

XVI

94

A little river

XVI

94

A rivulet [a brook, or stream]

XVI

94

A spring (cool spring)

XVI

94

Is there a spring (here)?

XVI

94

Is there a river ?

XVI

95

Is there a bridge ?

XVI

95

An oak tree

XVI

95

A Chesnut tree473

XVI

95

Sepose
Sepomese

469

Takkum
Takekummo

470

Sepo ?
Toyusquano ?
Paugatemisk

471

Wmpimish472

474

Wmpimineash

Chestnuts

XVI

95

Anuchemineash

Acorns

XVI

95

Wssoquat

A walnut tree

XVI

95

462

This word refers to land enclosed & cultivated (a garden or field). The ending -kamuck (-komuck) means an
enclosed space or a structure like a Long House (qunnkamuck).
463
N' + (t)auke, "accommodating /t/"; see Ind. Gram. Dict., Appendix,
464
One root for "tree" is -tuck or -tugk. See the spelling for "trees" (Ch.II, pg. 13)
465
A number of place names are based on this root for "turn, braching" such as Pocasset, Pauchaug, etc.
466
"Good, beautiful, stands erect".
467
Pronounced zeeb. The word is compounded from se- ("extended," as in seepsin="he makes himself long
(sleeps)"), and -pe (nippe= "water").
468
Extended, stretched out.
469
Recall that ending -es means "little", "small". Ending -emese means "smaller", "very small".
470
As mentioned, the ending -uo on a noun has the effect of asking "Is there?"
471
Perhaps "white oak" The yellow oak is wesattimis.
472
We recognize the root word -min- (-men-) meaning "berry, fruit, corn"; see throughout this chapter.
473
White nut tree.
474
A delicacy, dried and stored in barns.

126

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Wusswaquatmineug

Walnut

XVI

95

Sasaunkapmuck

Sassafras tree

XVI

96

Mishquwtuck

The cedar tree

XVI

96

Cwaw476

Pine tree

XVI

96

475

477

Cwawsuck

Young Pine trees

XVI

96

Wenomesppaquash

The vine tree

XVI

96

Micckaskeete

A meadow

XVI

96

Tataggosktuash

A fresh meadow

XVI

96

Maskituash

Grass or hay478

XVI

96

Wkinash

A reed

XVI

96

Wkinashquash

Reeds (and "sweetgrass")

XVI

96

To cut or mow

XVI

96

A cherry tree

XVI

96

Wutthminneash

Strawberries

XVI

96

Wuchipoqumeneash

XVI

97

Sasmineash482

A kind of sharp barbary fruit [barberries


(red berries or prickly pears)]
Cranberries

XVI

97

Wenmeneash

Grapes

XVI

97

Wuttahminaspppaguash483

Strawberry leaves

XVI

97

Peshaiuash

Violet leaves

XVI

97

Mowinne

He gathers (foods)

XVI

97

Mowinnweaog

They gather (foods)

XVI

97

Atuntowash !

Youclimb the tree !

XVI

97

Ntuntawem

I climb

XVI

97

Punnowash !

Youcome down !

XVI

97

Npunnowamen

I climb down

XVI

97

Attitaash

Various types of hurtleberries (?)484

XVI

97

XVI

97

479

Manismmin
480

Qussuckominenug
481

Sataash

485

Currants

475

The red treevery sacred tree; its classification is animateonly cedar and pine trees and maple trees are
animate. Plural is perhaps mishquawtuckquog.
476
Word is based on root kous (having a sharp point). The name of the tribal group Cowesit is based on this root
("At the place of the small pine"). In English "pine" was once "pin" (as in "sharp pin")
477
-es = "small"
478
Also means herbs for medicines.
479
Root is "sweet". One of the few words that has a plural ending for a singular noun!
480
Tree with stone fruit.
481
Literally, Heart-shaped berries, a true delicacy for which is celebrated Strawberry Nickommo in modern
times and probably in ancient times as well. Original text reads wutthimneash.
482
From sour; a fruit with many uses, curing fevers, etc.
483
Original text reads Wuttahimnaspppaguash.
484
Blueberries/black-berries, etc.

127

NARRAGANSETT
Saututhig

ENGLISH
The delicacy dish made from Sataash

Ewchim

Corn (singular)

486

487

CHAP.

PG.

XVI

97

XVI

98

XVI

98

Ewchimineash

Corn (plural)

Scannmeneash

Seed corn

XVI

98

Wompiscannmeneash

White-seed corn

XVI

98

To plant corn

XVI

98

To plant corn

XVI

98

A laborer

XVI

98

Laborers

XVI

98

Planting time

XVI

98

Aukeetehettit

When they set (plant) corn

XVI

98

Nummautaukeeteamen

I have finished the planting

XVI

98

Anaskhmmin

To hoe or break up

XVI

98

Anskhig

A hoe or scrapper

XVI

99

Anskhiganash

Hoes, scrappers

XVI

99

Anaskhommontemin

They break (up ground) for me

XVI

99

Anaskhomwutowwin

A breaking up hoe

XVI

99

Monasknnemun

To weed

XVI

100

Monaskunnummatowwin

A weeding or broad-hoe

XVI

100

Petascnnemun

To hill the corn

XVI

100

Kepenmmin & Wuttnnemun

To gather corn

XVI

100

Harvest time

XVI

100

At harvest

XVI

100

Wuttnnemitch ewchim

When harvest (of corn) is in

XVI

100

Pausinnummin

To dry the corn

XVI

100

Skenug

A heap (pile) of

XVI

100

Pockhmmin

To beat or thresh

XVI

100

Aukeetamen

488

Quttunemun
489

Anakusu

Anakusichick490
491

Aukeeteamitch

492

493

494

495

Nnnowwa
Anoant

496

497

485

The dried raisin of Attitaash beat to a powder.


"The plant or corn in the field.
487
The gathered corn.
488
Example of Infinitive verb, Type III (see Grammar Table).
489
One who works in the fields.
490
"They who labor".
491
"When he plants.
492
Subjunctive Mode.
493
"Thing that digs".
494
"Much raw stuff." From maunet =It is abundant"; pl. Mautetash, maunuog.
495
The corn dries, grows dry.
496
When it is storedthe corn.
497
That which is poured out.
486

128

NARRAGANSETT
Npockhmmin

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

I do threshing

XVI

100

Are you threshing ?

XVI

100

Wuskokkamuckmeneash

Corn from a newly planted ground

XVI

100

Nquitawnnanash

One basketful of corn

XVI

100

Munnte

A basket

XVI

100

Munntetash

Baskets

XVI

100

Mseck

A great one (huge basket)

XVI

101

Peewsick

A little one (basket)

XVI

101

Wussaume pewsick

Too little (for use)

XVI

101

Pokownnanash

Half a basketfull

XVI

101

Neesowannanash

Two basketfulls

XVI

101

Shanash

Three basketfulls

XVI

101

Yowanannash

Four basketfulls

XVI

101

Anttash

Rotten (When they are rotted)

XVI

101

Wawekanash

Sweet corn

XVI

101

Tawhch quitchemuntamen ?

Why do you smell it ?

XVI

101

Auqnnash

Barns

XVI

101

Old barns

XVI

101

Asktasquash

Vine apples

XVI

101

Uppakumneash

The (squash ?) seeds

XVI

101

Cuppockhmmin ?
498

499

Newawnaquanash
500

Chapter XVII. Of Beasts and Cattell


Penashmwock501

Beasts

XVII

102

Netasog502

Cattle (plural)

XVII

102

498

New ground corn


"Bag" is notassen = "to lift up, take up". (cf. Niutsh!= "take it on your back!", Ch. VI, p. 38.
500
Squashes= things green or raw that may be eaten". We get the English word "squash" from this word. The
English took the part "squash" (which they did not realize was already plural!) and added "es" to make the new word
"squashes". Other words that may be of interest are: askootasquash ("cucumbers", an English import) and
quonooasquash ("gourds") and monaskootasquash ("melons"). All have the root -ask or -asq meaning "green, raw,
natural". The word asquash was used in general to mean "edible things green and raw".
498
"Animals, creatures". The prefix pe- perhaps means motion all about. The root -ashim (or -oshim) means
beast, animal and occurs in many words for animals (who are named also for their colors, traits, etc.whatever
outstanding characteristic made them stand out). Notice that the plurals for animals all end in the animate form: ock, -uck, -og, -aug, etc. often with a connector (usually w or y).
502
House-fed animals. European import. This word used for any domesticated or tamed animals, including birds.
Singular form is netasu (one such animal). From neetu (he grows) + assauma (he feeds him), or He grows by
being fed.
499

129

NARRAGANSETT
503, 504

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Muchquashim
Muchquashimwock
Moattqus

A wolf (in general)


Wolves (in general)
A black wolf505

XVII

103

XVII

103

XVII

103

Tummck506
Tummockquaog
Nosup
Noosuppaog
Smhup
Sumhuppaog
Mishqushim507, 508
Pquawus509, 510
Asup511
Ausuppnnog
Nkke512
Nkkequock
Pussogh513
Ockgutchaun514
Ockgutchaunnug515

A beaver [adult in general?]


Beavers [in general?]
A beaver [male?]
Beavers [males?]
A beaver [female?]
Beavers [females?]
A red fox
A gray fox
Raccoon
Raccoons
Otter
Otters
Wildcat
Woodchuck (or) groundhog
Woodchucks(or) ground-hogs

XVII

103

XVII

103

XVII

103

XVII

103

XVII

103

XVII

103

XVII

103

XVII

103

XVII

103

XVII

103

XVII

103

XVII

103

XVII

103

XVII

103

XVII

103

503

The word is probably said muh-kwah-shim. One European observer (Josselyn, [1674, 1675], cited in Trumbull
1866 ed.of A Key) remarked that there were two types of wolves: one with a rounded ball-foot and one with a flat
foot (deer wolf because they preyed on the deer). Below moattqus (and noatqusmaybe he feeds on deer," p.
174) may be the deer wolf because we seem to see the root for deer -attoq-, -atoq- (see p. 104). The final -us may
be a formative related to the Natick dialect word as meaning animal or animate being (see words for gray
fox & chipmunk & fish, p. 111).
504
Animal that eats live flesh. The wolf was the most feared (especially by the English-"emblem of a fierce blood
sucking persecutor", p. 174) and respected animal; a clan animal
505
Fur much valued by Native peoples. Plural is moattqussuck.
506
He cuts trees. Said tuh-MAHKW because plural has qu sound (a general rule).
507
mihs-KWAH-shim (we don't say sh in words with -sh- before a consonant). Roger Williams mentions a
black fox (no name recorded) which the natives prized and adored but could rarely catch. Perhaps one way to say
black fox is moshim (literally, black animal) modeled on the form for red fox; plural mooshmwock.
508
Red animal. Plural is mishqushimwock.
509
Plural is Pequwussuck. Why not said pequshim, we do not know, but perhaps it is from another dialect; for
example, in Pequot we see mucks for wolf (derived from mogkeaas, meaning great animal, where -eoaa- is
not spoken in the Pequot dialect). Different tribes sometimes had different names for the same animals; rivers, etc.
even though they spoke closely related dialects of the same language.
510
-awus = animal. Wonkus is a Natick word for fox (he doubles, winds + animal). This is the name of the
family Uncas of the Mohegans (Speck, 1928). Wonkus was used to describe King Philip and his tacticsattack and
double back.
511
Hold with hands; face washer?
512
He scratches, tears.
513
Also, "panther, mountain lion," or animals making a hissing sound "pussough".
514
He goes under roots, he burrows. Name given by Indians to the pig or swine of the English.
515
Name given by Indians to English pigs or swine.

130

NARRAGANSETT
516, 517

Mishnneke
Mishnnekquock
Anqus518, 519
Anquussuck
Watuckques520, 521
Attuck522
Attuckquock
Nonatch525
Nonatchaug
Mosquin526
Wawwnnes527
Kuttomp528
Paucottuwaw529
Aunn & quunke
Qunnequwese
Naynayomewot
Cwsnuck
Gatesuck
Hgsuck & Pgsuck

ENGLISH
(Great) squirrel
(Great) squirrels
Chipmunk
Chipmunks
The conie
Deer (or) roe (or) hart (or)roebuck 523
Many deer524
Deer (venison )
Many deer
Fawn
DeerYoung (small) buck
Deergreat buck
Deerbuck
Deera doe
Deerlittle young doe
Horse530
Cows531
Goats532
Hogs & Pigs533

CHAP.

PG.

XVII

104

XVII

104

XVII

104

XVII

104

XVII

104

XVII

104

XVII

104

XVII

104

XVII

104

XVII

104

XVII

104

XVII

104

XVII

104

XVII

104

XVII

104

XVII

104

XVII

104

XVII

104

XVII

104

516

From its use in Pequot (Prince & Speck, 1904), we can perhaps say red squirrel as mishqunneke [add -s and
you have little...]. The Great Red Squirrel is perhaps mishe-mishqunneke.
517
The large clawer? Perhaps a kw sound at end.
518
Little colored squirrel
519
Or stripped squirrel or ground squirrel.
520
He ducks between?
521
"Little rabbit, hare". Plural form adds suck. Much respected by Natives. Some tribes, like Delaware &
Mohegan, said they might be related to the rabbit and groundhog since both came from underground; these
penashmwock were not eaten (cited in Trumbull 1866 ed. Of A Key).
522
At the tree or he hunts", Also spelled ahtukq, ahtuhquog (plural)pronounced ah-tuhkw (a qu sound like in
queen is at end of word). This and many words ending in a k have the kw sound when the plural has this kw sound
(one reason it is important to know the plural for a word).
523
Possibly fallow deer or white-tailed deer.
524
Some meanings of deer include any animal of the family of hoofed, cud-chewing animals such as moose, and
other animals not thought to be of this region (caribou, reindeer, etc.). A roe is a non-American small, swift deer. A
hart is a male deer, esp. red in color after the 5th year life when the crown antlers are formed (also stag). A buck
is male, and doe is female; fawn is under a year old.
525
Wet nose or Doe with a fawn?
526
Smooth & female
527
"Small, turning around to look.
528
"kutt = great (large); -omp = male, said kuh-TEE-yahp or "kuh-TIE-yahp" (?)
529
He moves and turns.
530
European import; sound of horsenaynay + to carry.
531
European import & English word with plural.
532
European import & English word with plural.

131

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH
534

CHAP.

PG.

Dog
Dog535

XVII

104

XVII

105

Enewshim536
Squshim537

Male (4-legged) animal


Female(4-legged) animal

XVII

105

XVII

105

Mos538
Moossog
Askg540
Maskug541
Ssek542
Natppwock

Moose539
Many Moose
Snake
Black snake
Rattlesnake
They (cows, etc.) feed, are
feeding, grazing
What do they feed on?
Let them feed/graze on this
enclosed (fenced in) ground

XVII

105

XVII

105

XVII

105

XVII

105

XVII

105

XVII

105

XVII

105

XVII

105

Anm
Anm, Cowweset dialect
Aym, Narraganset dialect
Arm, Qunnippiuck dialect
Alm, Neepmuck dialect

Taqua natuphttit?
Natuphttitch543 yo sanukamuck

NOTE
For a larger listing of animals names in the language, see the Editors book:
A Massachusett Language Book, Vol. 1, Aquidneck Indian Council, 1998, Chapter III, Grammar
and Vocabulary Lessons (Animals and Insects).

Editors
533

European imports & English words with plurals.


Perhaps meaning takes hold of things by mouth or howls. Plural is anmwock.
535
Different dialects for word "dog. Those tribes saying anm called N-dialect by linguists. Those tribes saying
aym called Y-dialect speakers. Those tribes saying arm called R-dialect speakers, and those tribes saying alm
called L-dialect speakers. Perhaps the Indian dog was a hybrid, domesticated wolf. Dogs were a food source in
times of scarcity, and they were sacrificed by some tribes in ceremonies.
536
Male + animal . Plural, Enewshimwock.
537
Female + animal". Plural, Squshimwock.
538
He trims, smoothes or smooth dressed skin. Apparently a 1-syllable word. The word moosi means it is
smooth, bald, bare. We get Natick compound words from it like, moosompsk (smooth stone); moosontupan (he
is bald on the forehead).
539
Also called Great Ox or "red deer". Some were 12-feet high.
540
Related to raw, slimy. Plural, askgog.
541
Black + snake . Plural, moaskgog. This word shows the process of combining two or more words into one
word with the individuals words becoming contracted. Moaskug comes from he is black (mowsu) + snake on
previous line. The word mowsu became contracted or shortened to mo. Thus, to construct a word red snake, we
take animate form for red (mishqusu) + snake, or mishquskug. The most difficult aspect of analyzing
compound words is locating the original contracted words; sometimes but a single letter representing the original
root; cf. derivation for cattle, p. 102 or p. 144, You will be hanged.
542
Imitative sound of tail-rattling. Said SEE-sekw, the root word is s-s-k (where themeans letters go there to
complete a word); plural, sesekquog.
543
Subjunctive Mode.
534

132

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

Chapter XVIII.

CHAP.

PG.

Of the Sea

Wechkum544
Ktthan545
Paumpgussit546
Mishon547
Mishoonmese549
Wunnauanounuck550

The sea, ocean


The sea, ocean
Sea Spirit
Indian canoe or dugout548
Smaller canoe
A shallop551

XVIII

106

XVII

106

XVII

106

XVIII

106

XVIII

107

XVIII

107

Wunnauanounuckquse
Kitnuck553
Kitnuckquese
Mishttouwand
Peewsu555
Paugautemmissand
Kowawwand
Wompmissand556
Ogwhan557
Wuskont gwhan558
Cuttunnaminnea ! 559
Cuttunnummtta !560

A small shallop, skiffe552


A ship
Small ship
Great canoe554
A little one
Oak canoe
Pine canoe
Chestnut Canoe
A boat adrift, floating away
It will float away
You help me (to launch canoe) !
Let us launch (the canoes) !

XVIII

107

XVIII

107

XVIII

107

XVIII

107

XVIII

107

XVIII

107

XVIII

108

XVII

108

XVIII

108

XVIII

108

XVIII

108

XVIII

108

544

Perhaps from a word used by coastal Indians meaning it produces, gives fish.
"Great expanse. Plural kittannash.
546
From pummoh (in Natick dialect), an old word meaning sea.
547
Plural, Mishonnash. The root for canoe or dugout is -oon- (floater). A mishon is a large canoe (or dugout).
Perhaps a small (one-person?) canoe is called a peenoon. (Small oon). See Wood (1634) for information on
canoe-making.
548
Large one; some carry up to 40 men.
549
Plural, Mishoonmesash.
550
In the words for boat (shallop, skiff), we see a common root ounuck, -onuck, meaning vessel in the sense of
something which carries or transports; we get the word for cradle board (kunuk) from this root. Native peoples
created these words when they saw the large ships of the Europeans. They believed the Mayflower was an island
with a large tree.
551
A small open boat used by the English propelled by oars or sails and used chiefly in shallow waters.
552
Any of various small boats used by the English; especially: a flat-bottomed rowboat.
553
"A great tree, probably like the Mayflower.
554
Larger than mishoon?
555
It is little.
556
From chestnuts = white-nut tree.
557
In Natick, root is uhku (floating).
558
Original text reads Wuskon-togwhan. Wuskont = it will happen (Subjunctive Mode, He, Type II).
559
Objective-Imperative verb (You(sg.)-me, Type I).
560
Simple Imperative Mode (Type I).
545

133

NARRAGANSETT
Cuttnnamoke !
Cuttnnummous
Wtkunck561
Namacuhe cmishoon
Patous562 ne ntehunck !
Comishonhom?563
Chmosh !
Chmeck !564
Maumnikish ! &
Maumanetepweas !
Sepkehig565
Sepagehommata !
Wunngehan
Wuapunish !
Wuttuntnish !
Nkanish !
Paktenish !
Nikkoshkowwamen566
Nquawupshwmen567
Wussame pechepasha568
Maumaneetentass !
Paupatuckquash !
Knnequass !
Tickomme Knnequass !
Kunnsnep569
Chowwophmmin570

ENGLISH
You (plural) launch (your canoes) !
I will help you (launch the canoe)
A wooden paddle
Lend me your mishoon (canoe)
Youbring this here, my paddle !
Are you going, traveling by canoe?
Yourow !
You (plural)row !
Youpull up !
Yourow hard !
A sail
Let us sail !
We have a good wind for sailing
Youhoist it up (raise it upthe sail)
!
Youpull towards your-self !
Youtake it down (the sail) !
Youlet it go ! Cast away !
We shall be drowned
We overset, capsize
The sea comes in too fast upon us
You(plural) be of good courage !
Youhold water !
Yousteer (canoe) !
Yousteer right !
Anchor
To cast overboard

CHAP.

PG.

XVIII

108

XVIII

108

XVIII

108

XVIII

108

XVIII

108

XVIII

108

XVIII

108

XVIII

108

XVIII

108

XVIII

108

XVIII

108

XVIII

108

XVIII

108

XVIII

108

XVIII

108

XVIII

108

XVIII

108

XVIII

109

XVIII

109

XVIII

109

XVIII

109

XVIII

109

XVIII

109

XVIII

109

XVIII

109

561

"His wood stick".


Ne may mean this, as in Natick dialect; Imperative Mode (Type V).
563
Comishonhom = co (you) + mishon + hom (to go). Compare with mshoon hmwock (they go by boat,
Ch. XI, p. 72).
564
This appears to be a Type II verb. In Natick he rows is chem (chee-MAH-oo). So, for example, to say I
am rowing, we might say nicchemamen. Neg chemacheg = rowers or They who row.
565
"It spreads, extends". Since Indians did not have sailboats, we must presume that either they were loaned by the
English, or the Indians served as mariners for the English.
566
Example of exclusive we, Type I, Indicative Mode.
567
Indicative Mode (We, exlcusive).
568
May be a verb in the Passive Voice (see Ind. Gram. Dict., Appendix). Saume is an adjective meaning too
much; wussame means it is too much. Pechepasha seems to have roots water, divide.
569
Word seems misspelled since we see root for stone (-sen-).
570
Infinitive Mode (Type II verb).
562

134

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

Chouwphash !
Touwopskhmmke !
Mashittshin571
Awpesha572

Youcast overboard !
You (plural)cast anchor !
It is a storm
The storm calms

Awpu
Nanowashin
Tamccon
Nanashowetamccon573
Keesaqshin
Taumacoks
Mishittommckon
Machetam & skt
Mitteskat
Awnick padhuck 574?
Caupashess !
Caupaushuta !
Wussheposh !
Askpunish !
Kispnsh575 !
Kispnemoke !
Maumnikish !
Neene576 cuthmwock577
Kekuthomwushnnick

A calm
A great calm (from storms)
A flood
Half a flood
High water (tide)
Upon the flood
A great flood
Ebb
A low ebb (tide)
Who comes there?
Yougo ashore !
Let us go ashore !
Youheave out the water !
Youmake fast the canoe !
Youtie it fast !
You (plural)tie it fast !
Youtie it hard !
Now they go off
They are gone already

CHAP.

PG.

XVIII

109

XVIII

109

XVIII

109

XVIII

109

XVIII

109

XVIII

109

XVIII

109

XVIII

110

XVIII

110

XVIII

110

XVIII

110

XVIII

110

XVIII

110

XVIII

110

XVIII

110

XVIII

110

XVIII

110

XVIII

110

XVIII

110

XVIII

110

XVIII

110

XVIII

110

XVIII

110

571

"Great" + "lifted up".


Wind = wapan. Passive Voice.
573
Between, midway, with.
574
Perhaps literally, who are these people (awanick) he brings here (padhuck) obviously being rowed in a large
canoe, perhaps signaling an imminent sea fight.
575
Original text reads kspnsh & kspnemoke. The inserted i is from the Natick word.
576
In Ch. XXXII, this word is translated he is drawing on (he is going away, getting ready to go, on verge of
dying).
577
Cuthomwock is also used in the next sentence (kuthom), so kuthom may mean go off [homwock =
they go] Neene must mean now but it seems to have no cognate in other dialects that we can find;
cf. its use in Ch. XXIX, p. 189 (Am I dying).
572

135

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Chapter XIX. Of Fish and Fishing


Naumas578
Naumassuck579
Pauganant580
Pauganattamwock
Qunnamug582
Qunnamugsuck
Aumsog & munnawhatteag583
Missckeke585
Missuckquock
Uppaquntup586
Kaposh587
Kauposhaog
Ashp588
Aucp589

Fish
Fishes
Cod581
Many cod
Lampreys (fish)singular
Many lampreys
Many herring584
Stripped bass
Many bass
Head of the fish
Sturgeon
Many sturgeons
Fishing-net
Cove or creek

Aucuppwese590
Wawwhunnekesog 591
Mishquammaquock592

Little cove or creek


Mackerels (plural)
Many Salmon

XIX

111

XIX

111

XIX

111

XIX

111

XIX

112

XIX

112

XIX

112

XIX

112

XIX

112

XIX

112

XIX

112

XIX

112

XIX

112

XIX

113

XIX

113

XIX

113

XIX

113

578

Water animal. Look for the root for fish (-am- & -aum- & -om-) which implies fishing with a hook. A
general term for large fish in Natick is mogkam, plural=mogkommaquog (mogke = great, large). In Pequot, little
fish is peeamaug; plural adds a -suck (Prince & Speck, 1904). Fish of the sea is kehtahnanaquog (recall kitthan
is the sea)
579
Plural form for animate nouns, -uck, -ock, -aug, -auog. The Narragansetts caught fish in many places including
the rivers called Blackstone, Pawtucket & Pocasset. Fresh-water sources included the ponds named Wordens,
Watchaug, Mashapaug, Warwick, and they set up weirs on the Pawcatuck, Pawtuxet, and others.
580
The cod fish in Natick was called anishamog ("they smell bad [if nor cured properly]).
581
The first that comes before the Spring.
582
Long fish. The first fish to come into the fresh waters in Springtime.
583
Literally they enrich the soil (used as fish fertilizer for corn, etc., a practice which they taught to the English,
one of the many contributions of the First Americans to awaunagussuck on this land).
584
Fertilizer fish.
585
Large + striped. The ending -eke seems to mean trait, possession (of) found in a number of words
throughout A Key. Said as (mih-SUH-keek(w)).
586
"His head". Refers to bass, which was a delicacy.
587
Perhaps from impenetrable back These large fish were sometimes hunted at night by torchlight.
588
Word also used for flax & spider web. Perhaps general name for vegetable fiber used to make rope, nets,
etc., made from Indian Hemp (fibrous plants); also used a fish sinker called assinab (stone net).
589
From closed, shut in.
590
Original text reads Aucppwese.
591
It is well-bodied. See It is fat, Ch. XXVII, p. 175.
592
Red fish.

136

NARRAGANSETT
Osacntuck
Mishcp594
Mishcuppaog
Sequanamuquock595
Taut
Tautaog
Neeshaog & nquittconnaog &
sassammauquock
Tatackommaog597
Ptop
Ptoppauog
Misssu598
Poqusu599
Waskke
Wussckqun
Aumaog
Ntamen600
Kuttamen ?
Nnattuckqunnwem
Aumchick & natuckqunnuwchick601
Aumai

ENGLISH
593

CHAP.

PG.

Sweet fat fish


Breame
Many breame
Spring Fish (bream?)
Sheepshead [one fish]
Many sheepshead
Eels596

XIX

113

XIX

113

XIX

113

XIX

113

XIX

113

XIX

113

XIX

113

Porpoises
Whale (he blows)
Whales
A Whole fish
A half fish
Whalebone
A fish-tail
They (people) are fishing
I am fishing
Are you fishing?
I go fishing
Fishers602
He has gone to fish (right now he is

XIX

113

XIX

113

XIX

113

XIX

113

XIX

113

XIX

113

XIX

114

XIX

114

XIX

114

XIX

114

XIX

114

XIX

114

XIX

114

XIX

114

XIX

114

fishing)

Awcenick kukkattineanamen ?

What are you fishing for (trying to


catch)?

Ashant

603

Lobster

593

Like a haddock, and may also be the hake, pollack, whiting, or cusk fish.
Very abundant food source; name was corrupted to scup, porgy, scuppaug.
595
Early summer fish.
596
Different types of (with roots, respectively, go in pairs, alone and long, smooth & slippery).
597
He strikes and strikes the water. The repetition of the first syllable tatackom (one porpoise) is a common
feature in the Algonquian Indian languages, referred to as frequentative or reduplication. It is a way of describing
or emphasizing something that is going on repeatedly or habitually. For example, momonchu (he is always on the
move; he is always moving). Popowutthig (drum) is another exampleemphasizing the repetition of the
popow sound of a drum.
598
It is large (the whole thing)
599
It is half or a part.
600
This is a Type II Verb, and it shows the use of accommodating t in verbs that have stems beginning in a
vowel: n + (t)aum + men. (See Ind. Gram. Dict., Appendix).
601
Those who fish; they who are fishermen. In Natick the word nootamgquam shows better the root for fish,
fishes (-am-, -amog-) although it seems to be a different verb type (Type I). A draught (draft) of fish is
nootamogquaonk (with -onk, Abstract Noun, signifying a collection).
602
Original text reads fishes. Since verbs end in -chick, the usual suppositive mode is assumed, "They who fish;
they who are fisherman".
594

137

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

Ashantteag
Opponenahock604
Sickssuog605

Lobsters
Oysters
Long black clams

Squnnock606
Poquahock608
Meteahock610
Suckahock611

Horsefish607
Quahogs609
Periwinkle
Purple rim (of quahog for wampum
beads)
Have you taken store (counted how

Cummnakiss612 ? &
Cummenakissamen ? &
cummuchickinneanwmen ?
Nummnakiss
Nummuchikkineanwmen
Machge
Amanep
Aumanpeash
Hoquan613
Hoquaunanash
Peewsicks614
Mamacocks
Nponamouog
Npunnouwamen
Mihtckquashep615
Kunnagqunneteg616

CHAP.

PG.

XIX

114

XIX

114

XIX

114

XIX

115

XIX

115

XIX

115

XIX

115

XIX

115

XIX

115

XIX

115

XIX

115

XIX

115

XIX

115

XIX

116

XIX

116

XIX

116

XIX

116

XIX

116

XIX

116

XIX

116

XIX

116

many you have)?

I have taken store (counted my catch)


I have killed (caught) many
None, nothing (Ive caught nothing)
A fishing-line
Fishing-lines
Fishing-hook
Fishing-hooks
Little hooks
Large hooks
I set (put down) nets for them
I go down to search my nets
Eel-pot
A greater (longer) size (eelpot)

603

They move/crawl backwards. "Crab was not recorded. A modern place name meaning place of crabs is
Katawamacke (Huden, 1962) so that katawam may be root for crab, and may de derived from khtadtau (he
makes sharp, sharpens).
604
Shell fish to roast.
605
The squirter, spittler; imitative of spitting sound. A sweet shellfish loved by the Native peoples, but dug up by
roaming English livestock (swine), the animal most hated by Indians for stealing their food.
606
Summer long shellfish.
607
Also called "horsefoot," " asses-hoof".
608
Hard closed shell; also called "round clam".
609
The purple inner rimcalled suckahock (dark-colored shell)which the Indians used for purple wampum
beads.
610
Ear-shaped shell [for white wampum beads; the shell also called a whelk].
611
Sucki- = "dark-colored" (purple); -hock = "shell, external covering".
612
The first two verbs have the same stem (menakiss) which seem to have roots men (strong, firm, certain) + aket
(count) + the Narragansett question-marker (-is)
613
Root hoq- means hook-shaped.
614
Small things in general (basket, fish, &c.); cf. Peewsick, Ch. XVI, p. 101.
615
Tree-wood net.
616
-qunne- = long; -eg means the thing that is (cf. cake, p. 12).

138

NARRAGANSETT
Onawangnnakaun
Yo Onawangnnatees !
Moamitteag617
Paponaumsog618
Qunsuog619

ENGLISH
Bait
Youbait with this !
Small fish, plentiful in winter
Winter small fish
Fresh fish620

CHAP.

PG.

XIX

116

XIX

116

XIX

116

XIX

116

XIX

116

617

Related to together, great many (the smelt?); also called ornamented minnow.
Frost fish, Tom Cod, which migrates to brooks from the seas.
619
They are long.
620
They were taken in winter through the fresh-water ice. In Pequot, called qunoose (long nose), the pickerel.
618

139

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Chapter XX. Of Their Nakedness and Clothing


Paskesu
Pauskestchick621
Nippskiss
Nippskenitch622
Nippskenick ew
Ach623
Tummckquashunck
Nkquashunck
Mohwonck
Natquashunck
Mishannquashunck
Neyhommaashunck
Neyhommaog
Manek625 nquittiashgat
Cudnish !
Ocquash626 !
Neesashgat
Shwshiagat
Piuckqushgat
Squus ahaqut
Muckis ahaqut
Ptacaus627
Ptacawsunnse
Atah & atawhun
Caukanash
Nquittetiagttash

Naked, he is naked
Naked men & women
I am naked
I am robbed of my coat
He takes away (robs) my
Coat
Their deer skin hide
Beaver-fur coat
Otterskin hide/coat
Raccoon-skin hide/coat
Wolf-fur coat
Squirrel-fur coat
Turkey-feather coat624
Turkeys
One English cloth coat or mantel
Youput off !
Youput on !
Two coats
Three coats
Ten coats
Woman's mantle, cape
Child's cape, mantle
English waistcoat
Small English waistcoat
Loincloth, "apron"
Stocking (dry?)
One pair of stockings

XX

118

XX

118

XX

118

XX

119

XX

119

XX

119

XX

119

XX

119

XX

119

XX

119

XX

119

XX

119

XX

119

XX

119

XX

119

XX

119

XX

119

XX

119

XX

119

XX

120

XX

120

XX

120

XX

120

XX

120

XX

120

XX

120

621

They who are naked or "They when naked."


I am made naked.
623
From hogkoo = "It clothes, covers" as in Passive Voice, "He is clothed".
624
Was compared to a velvet coat for its finery.
625
Manek = cloth. In Natick, mnak (in compound words, -nak, nagk). Clothing colors can be formed from
this word, such as mishqunagk (red, scarlet cloth); wompnak (white cloth); wesnak (yellow cloth); ashknak
(green cloth); sucknak (dark-colored cloth), etc.
626
cf. Ach.
627
Related to wraps around.
622

140

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH
628

Mocssinass & Mockussnchass


Noonacminash629
Taubacminash
Saunketppo630 or ashnaquo631
Mose632
Wussckhsu
Petouwssinug633

Pair of moccasins
They are too little (of clothing)
They are big enough
Headdress, hat or cap
The moose skin
Painted (on their clothing)
Tobacco bag

CHAP.

PG.

XX

120

XX

120

XX

120

XX

120

XX

120

XX

121

XX

121

NOTE
For a larger listing of words related to clothing in the language, see the Editors book:
A Massachusett Language Book, Vol. 1, Aquidneck Indian Council, 1998, Chapter III, Grammar
and Vocabulary Lessons (At the Powwow).
Editor

628

Indian shoes, generally made of deer skin. Ummokus = his moccasin; ummokossinass = his moccasins;
nummokussinass = my moccasins. A word we dont have is snowshoe. In Ojibway (from Baraga, 1992) its
agim (plural, agimag). In Cree its assam (slide backwards); cf. word for crawls backwards, ashant. (or
lobster).
629
Verb Participle (-ash ending for verb not Imperative Mode), as is next line.
630
Related to Natick meaning that which covers over, and may have been a cold-weather fur hat; derived from
roots for cold (sonki or saunqui) and head/brain (-tup-) to give cold weather head cover.
631
Perhaps related to a linen cloth hat.
632
Called red deer.
633
Round thing hung around the neck as was the custom.

141

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Chapter XXI. Of Religion, the Soule &c.


Mant 634
Manittwock
Nummusquanamckqun635 manit?
Musquntum manit636
Kautntowwit637
Wompannd638
Checkesuwnd
Wunnanamanit
Sowwannd
Wetumanit
Squuanit
Muckquachuckqund
Keesuckqund639
Nanepashat
Paumpgussit640
Yotanit641
Manitto642

Spirit, God
Spirits, Gods
The Great Spirit is angry with me?
The Great Spirit is angry
Great Spirit, place of Great Spirit
East Spirit
West Spirit
North Spirit
South Spirit
Wetu Spirit
Womans Spirit
Childrens Spirit
Sun Spirit
Moon Spirit
Sea Spirit
Fire Spirit
It is a spirit

XXI

122

XXI

122

XXI

123

XXI

124

XXI

124

XXI

124

XXI

124

XXI

124

XXI

124

XXI

124

XXI

124

XXI

124

XXI

125

XXI

125

XXI

125

XXI

125

XXI

126

634

Some say pronounced either mah-nuh-doo or muhn-doo.


Verb form is n***uckqun, which we think should be He, she-us, n***uck, and not He, she-me as R.
Williams translates it.
636
Roger Williams was told about 37 names for spirits. He records only about 12. For other names, we have
tentatively reconstructed some of them in our book, Ind. Gram. Dict. (Part II). Some reconstructed names include:
koonnd (Snow Spirit); ahtuqund; (Deer Spirit); auke-nit or aukend (Spirit of Mother Earth)
637
The Great Spirit is Kautan (Kiehtan, Keihtanit; "chief, greatest"). The southwest is the origin and final resting
place of Indians in old traditions.
638
Many of the names for spirits end in -and, -anit, and the like, apparently from the word manit, meaning above,
superior, more than, beyond. It's not clear if a reduced vowel is to be interspersed between n and d, such as
wompananit ("wah-bah-NAH-niht"). It is said that many of the spirits communicated with the living through visions
& dreams. Native peoples often invoked or called upon specific spiritsjust as Roman Catholics call upon certain
saints for protection, etc. One Europeans understanding stated that Manitou signified a name given to all that
surpasses their understanding from a cause that they cannot trace (Trumbull, 1866 ed. Of A Key).
639
"The power in the sky".
640
From pum, pummoh, the sea.
641
When I argued with them about their Fire-God [Yotanit]: can it, say they, be but this fire must be a God, or
Divine power, that out of a stone will arise in a Sparke, and when a poore naked Indian is ready to starve with cold
in the House, and especially in the Woods, often saves his life, doth dresse all our Food for us, and if he be angry
will burne the House about us, yea if a spark fall into the drie wood, burnes up the Country ? (though this burning of
the Wood to them they count a Benefit, both for destroying of vermin, and keeping down the Weeds and thickets).
(p. 125)
642
The Indian word is mannitoo-oo; the first two syllables mean spirit; the latter asserts the true existence of its
being (it is !); fromExperience Mayhew (1722), Observations on the Indian Language (p. 15).
635

142

NARRAGANSETT
643

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Cumanitto

You are a god, like a god

XXI

126

Manittwock
Nickmmo644

They are spirits, gods


A solemn feast or dance

XXI

126

XXI

126

Powwaw645
Powwaog
Nanouwtea
Neen nanowwnnemun646
Sachimaog647
Atauskowag
Taupwau
Taupowaog
Nowemasitteem
Nowemacanash649

A priest
Priests (Shaman, Medicine people) [plural]
Overseer of worship ceremony
I will order or oversee the ceremony
Sachims
Rulers, nobles, Council Members
Wise man, wise speaker648
Wise men, wise speakers, priests
I give away at the worship
I'll give these things (at the give
away, Nickommo)
My money650
My offerings, presents, goods,
belongings
Who makes a Nickommo?
I go to the feast (Nickommo)
He has gone to the feast
(Nickommo)
Youhold the peace !

XXI

127

XXI

127

XXI

128

XXI

128

XXI

128

XXI

128

XXI

128

XXI

128

XXI

128

XXI

129

XXI

129

XXI

129

XXI

129

XXI

128

XXI

129

XXI

129

Nitteaguash
Nummaumachuwash
Awaun Nkommit ?
Nkekineawamen
Kekineawai
Aquie wopwawash !
643

A cry used whenever something extraordinary is observed. The English liked to report that the First Americans
often said this to English people, as they were a superior race of people and the natives were so inferior--we
tend to think not.
644
Celebration or mourning ceremony with up to 1,000 people seen by R. Williams. Nickmmo is a complex
spiritual term. From oral tradition, the essential meaning of nickmmo is to give away. Were not sure of the roots,
but n (I) and oom (go) seem to be in the word, and nohkeau (down to the earth) may be related. Nickmmo is
still in our vocabulary, and are still being given today.
645
Shaman, Holy man, Medicine Man. Other words derived from Natick are pauwsq (female priest) and
kehtepowwaw & kehtepowwausq (male and female Chief Priest). The word Powwaw has something to do with
knowledge, being wise, speaking the truth; holy in some dialects. We get our modern day word POWWOW
from this word. The English hated and were afraid of the Powwaw, calling them devils"; their spiritual ceremonies
became outlawed. A Powwaw was fined 5 Pounds (?) in Massachusetts Bay Colony for practicing their religion !
One can only imagine what happened to those refusing to abandon their religion altogether. Compare with
Taupowau below.
646
A related word for ruler, overseer is nanawunnum (he rules over, governs it [primarily for safety]). The
famous Narragansett War Captain Canonchet was called Nananawtnu (he is ruler, overseer, protector).
Canonchet was the son of Miantunnmu.
647
said like oo sound of the u in upsilon (sah-chih-mah-OO-ahck)
648
The modern word POWWOW is also derived from this word, perhaps.
649
Appears to be Verb Participle (verb ends in -ash, and is not Imperative Mode).
650
I.e., my valuables such as furs, skins, blankets, wampum, tobacco, etc.

143

NARRAGANSETT
Aquie wopwawock !
Peeyuntam651
Peeyuntamwock
Cowwwonck652
Mchachunck653
Wuhck654
Nohck
Cohck
Awaun keesitteowin cohck655?
Tunnawwa656 commchichunck
kitonckquan ?
Sownakitawaw657
Netp kunnattemous658
Nattema
Tocketunnntum?
Awaun kessiteowin kesuck?
Ake?
Wechkom?
Mttauke?
Tatt
Manittwock
Tsug659 manttowock
Maunaog, mishaunawock660

ENGLISH
You (plural)hold the peace !
He is praying, at prayer
They are praying
The soul
The soul
His body
My body
Your body
Who made you? (Who made your
body?)
Where does your soul go when you
die?
It goes to the southwest
My friend, I will ask you a question
Speak on
What do you think?
Who made the heavens?
The earth?
The sea?
The World?
I cannot tell, I dont know
Spirits, Gods
Many, there are many spirits
Many, a great many

CHAP.

PG.

XXI

129

XXI

130

XXI

130

XXI

130

XXI

130

XXI

130

XXI

130

XXI

130

XXI

130

XXI

130

XXI

130

XXI

131

XXI

131

XXI

131

XXI

131

XXI

131

XXI

131

XXI

131

XXI

131

XXI

131

75A

132

651

I pray, am praying is nuppeeyuntam (Type I verb). The Christians might have commanded the Indians to
pray like Christians--Peeyuntash ! (youpray !).
652
Literally, Sleeping, a sleeping
653
Roger Williams translates this as literally looking glass; some dispute translation. Apparently there was a belief
in two types of souls (Simmons, 1978). Cowwwonck (sleeping) is the dream soul which traveled at night in
dreams, and appeared as a light while one slept. During illness, the dream soul left the body. Michachuck is the
clear soul thought to reside in the heart, the life force of every person. The dream soul is believed to have
returned to Kautntowwits house in the southwest after death to live a life very much as on earth. Evil persons
were forced to roam forever for their punishment. Dreams and visions (with fasting) were undertaken to appeal to
Manitou through the dream soul for a more successful life, protection, strength and balance (see Bragdon, 1996).
See p. 135 for Williams' reference to "their souls".
654
Mohock = the body (mo- = the; -hock = body, cover, shell).
655
Who he-makes your body?. See below, Who made the heavens.
656
Seems to be a word meaning where (tunnoh in Natick) and go (auwa).
657
Land of the southwest. Compare with p. 92, They fly southward.
658
For the next several pages, R. Williams is delivering a Christian Sermon on the Creation Story to the
Narragansetts. His Narragansett may be based too literally on English-language conventions (word order, etc.).
659
Plural for tashe (how many).
660
Shows adjective mishe = "it is great".

144

NARRAGANSETT
Ntop machge
Pasuck nant mant661
Cuppssittone
Cowauwanemun663
Kukkaktemous wchitqushouwe
Kuttaunchemkous
Pasuck664 nant mant kesitten
keesuck &c.
Nappanne tash mittannauge
cautmmo nab nshque665
Nagom nant wukkesittnnes666
wme tegun
Wuche mateg
Quttatashuchuckqnnacaus667
kesittnnes wme668
Nquittqnne669 wuckesitn wequi
Nesqunne wuckesitin kesuck
Shckqunne wuckesitin ake k
wechkom

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

XXI

132

XXI

132

XXI

132

XXI

132

XXI

132

XXI

132

XXI

132

5,000 years ago (before now) and XXI


more
XXI
He alone made all things

132

XXI

132

XXI

132

XXI
The first day he made the light
The 2nd day he made the firmament XXI
(heavens)
The 3rd day he made the earth and XXI
sea

132

My friend, it is not so
There is only one God662
You are mistaken
You are lost, wandering in the
woods
I will tell you presently (now)
I will tell you news
Only one God made the heavens, etc.

Out of nothing
In 6 days he made all things

132

132
133

661

Notice how Williams is using the Narragansett word for spirit to explain God. It must have been very
confusing to the Native peoples. Very few Indians converted to Christianity in this period.
662
The Christian meaning.
663
A very humorous expression. Notice repetition of wau-wau (winding) to emphasize aimless wandering.
664
We use pasuck when we want to say one type of something, such as one God; we use nquit when we want
to talk about one of something that takes place or can take place in a series or sequence such as
nquittakeesiquckat (one day's walk); the first day, etc.
665
Original text reads Nappannetashmittan naugecautmmonab nshque " (corrected per Trumbull, 1866 ed.of A
Key).
666
R. Williams use and spelling of the verb he made is not consistent throughout his sermon. The stem-word is
keesit, he made. The prefix w is sometimes used, sometimes not. Perhaps keesittin should be wuckeesittin. The
form ending in es is unexplained (the normalized form is -in, -iwin, -owin). It might be possible that this word is
really in a mode only Williams seems to use--the Past Tense Subjunctive Mode (he). So this sentence might
mean When he made all things, he alone made them. This belief comes from Natick where J. Eliots Grammar
gives example, waantogkis = when/if he was wise (root is waant = wise). If this hypothesis is correct, then
Williams is not using the grammar correctly; see p. 134 below for other example.
667
This word is very confusing. It seems Roger Williams is trying to tell us that God worked in 6 days making
everything, and might read: quttatashuckqnne anacaus kesittnnes wme (in 6 days work ....).
668
One expects to see obviation case endings (-ah, -oh, -uh) attached to the verbs and objects (animate nouns such as
stars, animals, fish and the like) used throughout this section, which because they are not, would suggest that
Williams knowledge of Narragansett was not that advanced for it is hard to believe that a rule which is seen in all of
the Algonquian languages did not exist in Narragansett; even J. Eliot saw and used its (simplest) form in the Bible
(Trumbull, 1876) (see Ind. Gram. Dict., Appendix)
669
Nquittaqnne = one length (of the day). Compare with p. 65, Nquittaqnnegat (of one day = One + long +
of).

145

NARRAGANSETT
Yqunne wuckesitin nippaus k
nanepashat
Neenash-mamockuwash670
wquanantganash
K wme ancksuck
Napannetashckqunne wuckesitin
pussucksesuck wme
Keesuckquuke671
Ka wme namasuck
wechekommuke672
Quttatashkqunne wuckesitin 673
penashmwock wam
Wuttke wuch wuckeesittin pausuck
enn (or) enesketomp
Wuche mishquck
Ka Wesuonckgonnakanes674 Adam,
tppautea675 mishquck
Wuttke wuch, cwit mshquock
Wuckaudnmmenes mant peetagon
wuche Adam
K wuch peeteagon
wuckesitnnes677 pasuck squw
K pawtouwnnes678 Admuck
Nawnt Adam wuttnnawaun
nuppetegon ew 679
Enadatashckqune, aqui

ENGLISH

CHAP.

th

PG.

The 4 day he made the sun and XXI


moon
XXI
Two great lights

133

XXI
And all the stars
The 5th day he made all the fowl, XXI
birds
XXI
In the sky
XXI
And all the fish in the sea

133

The 6th day he made all the animals


of the field
Last of all he made one tribal man
(or) Indian man
From red soil or red-earth
And called him Adam, or Red
Earth676
Then afterward, while Adam (Red
Earth) slept
God (Manito) took one rib from
Adam (Red Earth)
And out of that rib he made one
woman
And brought her to Adam
When Adam saw her, he said This
is my rib-bone
The 7th day he rested

XXI

133

XXI

133

XXI

133

XXI

133

XXI

134

XXI

134

XXI

134

XXI

134

XXI

134

XXI

134

133

133
133
133

670

mamockuwash is great (mogke = mocki in Natick) with indication of frequentative form (mamo) to emphasize
the vastness, greatness of the sun & moon.
671
Skyward-land.
672
Wechekommuke = sea-place.
673
Notice Williams different spellings for the verb, he made; wuckesittin would seem to be the expected one
(because of the long e vowel and double consonants which missionaries used consistently). Also notice the
different spellings (accent marks) for the words wame and pausuck; is this because he is trying to indicate the
different sounds of these words in different sentences?
674
Perhaps Past Tense Subjunctive Mode (he); see footnote above for He alone made all things. Thus,
Wesuonckgonnakanes may mean when he called (named) himor being that he called (named) him.
675
Might be related to verb for turn, roll (cf. tuppuhqumash, Ch. II, p. 11) implying God named Adam, then
turning it around, Red Earth.
676
Perhaps a play on words to engender in his Native listeners the belief that the first man was a Red Man.
677
Perhaps Past Tense Subjunctive Mode (he); see footnote above for He alone made all things or When
he alone made all things. Thus pawtouwnnes might mean When he brought ....
678
Perhaps Past Tense Subjunctive Mode (he-her); see footnote above for He alone made all things. Thus,
might read When he brought her to Adam.
679
Literally, this reads, When-he-saw Adam he-said my-rib (or, the). We might expect obviation to be used here.

146

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

Naga wuch quttashckqune


anacasuock Englishmnuck
Enadatashckqunnckat
taubatamwock
Kautntowwit
Ntop khkita
Englishmnnuck, Dutchmnnuck,
kenouwin k wam mittaukuke
kitonckquhettit680 mattx681
swownnakit aog michichnckquock
Wme, ew pwsuck mant
waumasachick682 k uckqushanchick
Kesaqut aog
Michme weeteantmwock683
Nagom mant wkick684
Ewo mant mat wauntakick685
Mat waumasachick
Mt ew uckqushnchick
Kamotakick
Pupannouwchick
Nochisquannchick

And therefore Englishmen work six


days
On the 7th day they praise (thank)
God
Great Spirt
My friend, listen to me
Englishmen, Dutchmen and you
(plural), and all the worldwhen
they die, their souls go not to the
southwest
And all that know God, that love and
fear Him
They go up to heaven
They live forever in joy
In Gods house
They that know not this God
That love him not
And fear him not
Thieves
Liars
Unclean persons, fornicators

CHAP.

PG.

XXI

134

XXI

134

XXI

135

XXI

135

XXI

135

XXI

135

XXI

135

XXI

136

XXI

136

XXI

136

XXI

136

XXI

136

XXI

136

XXI

136

XXI

136

XXI

136

XXI

136

XXI

136

XXI

136

XXI

136

XXI

136

XXI

136

XXI

136-7

XXI

137

(promiscuous)

Nanompanssichick
Kemineachick
Mammasachick
Nanisqugachick
Wame namakiaog
Micheme maog
Awaun kukkakotemgwunnes686?
Manitto wssuckwheke
Sachim
Qunnhticut687

Idle persons
Murders
Adulterers
Oppressors or fierce ones
They all go to Hell (the deep)
They lament (cry, are sad) forever
Who told you so?
Gods Book or writing
Sachem
Connecticut

680

Original text reads mittaukuke-kitonckquhettit.


Usually mat is used to show not, so we are led to believe mattx may be plural or of a different dialect.
682
Verbs ending in -chick should be translated "they who ..."; e.g., waumahick = "they who love".
683
They are sweet-minded.
684
"In his wetu= wkick.
685
"Him manit, they not who know".
686
Perhaps Past Tense Subjunctive Mode (he); see footnote above for He alone made all things. Thus might
read, Who when-he-told you, most likely in Passive Voice.
687
Reference to an Indian from the place of the long tidal river, nowadays called Connecticut.
681

147

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

Sachim Miantunnmu
Ntop kitonckquan kunnppamin
michme
Michme cuppauquanemmin
Cummusquanamckqun688 mant
Cuppauquanckqun
Wuch cummanittwock manuog689
Wme ptch chckauta mittake

The Schim Miantunnmu


My friend, when you die, you perish
everlastingly
You are everlastingly undone
God is angry with you
He will destroy you
Because of your many gods
The whole world before long shall
be burnt
God commands
That all men now repent

Mant nawat
Cuppittaknnamun wpe690 wme691

CHAP.

PG.

XXI

137

XXI

138

XXI

138

XXI

138

XXI

138

XXI

138

XXI

138

XXI

138

XXI

138

688

This and the next line show the Objective Indicative Mode of the form k***uckqun which is translated He,
she-him. In fact it might actually be the form He, she-us, k***uck. Thus God is angry with you might be:
Cummusquanamck mant.
689
Because of your spirits--they are many.
690
This word is used as an accusation or demand or warning.
691
You repentmustall.

148

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Chapter XXII. Of Their Government and Justice


Schim692
Sachimmaog
Sachimaonck693

Miantunnmu
Caunonicus
Saunks696
Sauncksquaog
Otn697
Otnnash698
Otnick
Sachimmaacmmock
Ataskawaw
Atauskowug
Wauntam700
Wauntamakick701

The Sachim
Sachims
A kingdom or monarchy, the system
of Indian government in which the
Sachim is the leader, sachemdom
The schim Miantunnmu694
The schim Caunonicus695
The queen or schims wife
Plural of Saunks
A village
Villages
To or from the village
Schim's wetu699
Ruler, noble, Council Member,
lord
Rulers, nobles, Council Members,
lords
Wise man, councilor
Wise men, councilors

XXII

140

XXII

140

XXII

141

XXII

141

XXII

141

XXII

141

XXII

141

XXII

141

XXII

141

XXII

141

XXII

141

XXII

141

692

Village leader, the chief. Called a king by some Europeans. In some books the word sagamore is used to
mean a lower or lesser Sachim. It may be from the Delaware language sagkimau = He is the Sachim. In Natick
this word appears as sonkqhuau or sohkau-au (He prevails over, has mastery). In Pequot, Schim is Snjum.
693
Akin to presidency; -onck is used for such abstract nouns. The sachemdom was an hereditary boundary
controlled by the ruling families. The regions of Narragansett Country bore the names of local tribal subgroups such
as Coweset, Narragansett, Niantic, etc., and included areas in the Washington, Kent counties, Dutch & Cananicut
Islands. A number of other regions throughout present-day RI were controlled by the Narragansetts, the largest and
most powerful group in this region.
694
One of younger principal Sachims of the Narragansetts at the time, later executed by the Mohegans. His name
may mean he wages war implying that his role was partly related to warfare. The earliest known Sachim of the
Narragansetts (at the time of the coming of the English) is known as Tashtasick, grandfather of Caunounicus (does
the root for how many (-tashe-) appear in his name?) The Wampanaog (Wpank, Wpanuck) Grand Sachim
called Massasoit is mentioned here in the 1866 ed.of A Key.
695
The older principal Schim and the uncle of Miantunnmu, said to be about 80 years old at the time. One of his
sons was known as Mexanno.
696
Also used to mean a woman who was a Schim in her own right (Squaw Schim). We note related terms
saunksqua= "Squaw Sachem"; kechesonksq = "Great Squaw Sachem".
697
Small village is otanemes.
698
Small villages is otanemesash.
699
A much more lavish dwelling than ordinary wigwam. Usually -commock signifies an enclosed structure not lived
in or an English mans house, so that Sachimmaacmmock may mean Council Lodge or a combination dwellingmeeting place.
700
He is wise.

149

NARRAGANSETT
702

Entch ken anwayean or


Etch ken anwayean703
Entch nen nowa
Ntnnume704
Ntacqutunck ew705
Kuttckqutous706
Ntanntam
Kuttanntous
Miwene707
Wpe cummiwene708
Miawtuck !
Wauwhutowash !
Miawmucks709
Miawhettit710
Peyatch nagum !711
Ptiteatch !
Mishantowash !
Nanntowash !
Kunnadsttamen wpe
Wunnadsittamtta !712
Neen pitch nnadsttamen
Machssu ew
Cuttiantacompwwem713

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Your will shall be law

XXII

141

Let my word stand


He is my man
He is my subject
I will be subject to you
I will revenge it
I will revenge you (get revenge for you)
A court, meeting
Come to the meeting
Let us meet [in Council] !
Youcall a meeting !
At the meeting
When they meet
Let himself come here !
Let him come in (enter) !
Youspeak out !
Youspeak plainly !
You must inquire about this
Let us inquire into it !
I will inquire into it
He is naught (bad)
You are a lying man

XXII

141

XXII

141

XXII

141

XXII

141

XXII

141

XXII

141

XXII

142

XXII

142

XXII

142

XXII

142

XXII

142

XXII

142

XXII

142

XXII

142

XXII

142

XXII

142

XXII

142

XXII

142

XXII

142

XXII

142

XXII

142

701

They who are wise.


It is so-your words. In Natick, we say ne naj (so be it); anawa = word, speak.
703
Subjunctive Mode, ***ean.
704
Servant, slave.
705
Perhaps one of the Schims tribal people; literally, He is subject to me.
706
I will serve you. Roger Williams also mentions a warrior group of Protectors to whom the people brought
presents. He does not give their name. Could these warriors be akin to the Pnieseelite warriors, councilor, and
protectors of The Massasoit of Wampanoag?
707
Council meeting?
708
Wpe is a word used as an accusation or warning; perhaps the verb cummiwene (you meet) is in the Passive
voice, for it does not seem to be Imperative Mode. The Ind. Gram. Dict. (Pt. I) tell us that meet is a Type II
verb.
709
-ucks is locative case, meaning at.
710
Subjunctive Mode.
711
Nagum (himself) is used for emphasis.
712
The wun- may be incorrect, for it does not seem to conform to the rules of grammar for Type I, Imperative
Mode (Us); form is ***amutta, with root nadsitta (to ask, inquire). So, we expect nadsittamutta ! unless the
word does have prefix wunn- to mean a good, thorough asking.
713
Man= -omp-.
702

150

NARRAGANSETT
714

Cuttiantakiskquwquaw
Wpe cukkmmoot715
Mat msh nawmnash716
Mt msh nummmmenash
Wpe kunnishquko
cummiskissawwaw
Tawhtch y enan717?
Tawhtch cummootan ?718
Tawhtch nanompanin ?719
Wewhepapnoke !
Wpe kunnishamis720
Wpe kukkemineantn721
Sasaumitawhitch !
Upponckquittwhitch !
Nppitch ew !
Nphttitch !
Nss !722
Nssoke !
Pm !
Pmmoke !
Kukkeechequabenitch723
Nppansnea
Uppansnea ewo724
Mat mesh nowawon
Nnowantum725

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

XXII

142

XXII

142

XXII

142

XXII

143

XXII

143

Why do you do so (act the way you XXII


do)?
XXII
Why do you steal?
XXII
Why are you so idle, lazy?
XXII
You(plural) bind him !
XXII
You killed him [a question?]
XXII
You are the murderer
XXII
Let him be whipped !
XXII
Let him be imprisoned !
XXII
Let him die !
XXII
Let them die !
XXII
Youkill him !
XXII
You (plural)kill him !
XXII
Youshoot him !
XXII
You(plural)shoot him !
XXII
You will be hanged
XXII
I am innocent
XXII
He is innocent
XXII
I knew nothing of it
XXII
I am sorry

143

You are a lying woman


You have stolen
I did not see (witness) these things
I did not take them
You are fierce and quarrelsome

143
143
143
143
143
143
143
144
144
144
144
144
144
144
144
144
144
144

714

Woman = -skquw-.
In Natick, kommooto, kummooto = "He steals"; apparently a Type V verb.
716
This and the next line may show the use of a Verb Participle or verbs that end in ash (see Ind. Gram. Dict.,
Appendix).
717
Subjunctive Mode.
718
Subjunctive Mode.
719
Subjunctive Mode.
720
This seems to be a question (-mis ending), or Passive Voice.
721
This is Passive Voice.
722
Wed probably say kunnish to mean I will kill you (see. p. 189). Alternatively, for clear emphasis, Pitch neen
niss keen. He kills or He is killed is nushau in Natick. Niss is a Type V verb.
723
Objective-Indicative Mode (I will hang you). We see a new root -keech- meaning wring, sever. The verb
keechequaben seems to break down to keech-equa-b-en as wring-neck-he being(?)-by hand.
Hanging was a punishment meted out by the English. It was not an Indian custom.
724
Ewo is used for emphasis, He is innocenthim". The word for innocent has the prefix up-, a form which is
rarely used by Williams for He, she verbs.
715

151

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

XXII
I have done ill
You (plural)let it pass, take away XXII
this accusation !
XXII
Let him live !
XXII
Let them live !

Nummachiem
Aumanemoke !
Konkeeteatch ew !
Konkeetehettitch !726

PG.
144
144
144
144

Chapter XVIII. Of Marriage


Wuskne727
Keegsqauw
Segao
Segousquaw728
Wussnetam729
Nosnemuck
Wussenetock730
Awetawtuock731
Mammasu732
Nummammgwun733 ew
Pall734 nochisquaaw735
Nquittcaw
Neescaw
Sshcawaw737
Ycowaw
Commttamus & Cowewo

A young man
Virgin or maiden (unmarried woman)
A widower
Widow
He is wooing, courting a woman
He is my son-in-law
They marry one another
He takes a wife, She takes a husband
An adulterer
He has wronged my bed (committed
adultery)
He or she has committed adultery
He has one wife736
He has two wives
He has three wives
He has five wives &c
Your wife

XXIII

146

XXIII

146

XXIII

146

XXIII

146

XXIII

146

XXIII

146

XXIII

146

XXIII

146

XXIII

146

XXIII

146

XXIII

146

XXIII

147

XXIII

147

XXIII

147

XXIII

147

XXIII

147

725

Original text reads Nnnowantum.


Original text reads Konkeetehetti.
727
wuhs-KEEN. For other words for relations, see Chapter V. Of Relations of Consanguinity &c.
728
Woman left behind.
729
He marries. Appears to be a word with: root (wussen) + reduced vowel + accommodating /t/ + suffix (-am).
730
Broken down as wussen-et-(u)ock = They marry one the other. Perhaps -etu- is the root for growth.
731
They house (wetu) together.
732
The Christian 6th commandant says mamussekon (Thou shall not commit adultery, where -ekon is a suffix
meaning do not do)
733
Example of Objective-Indicative, Type II (He-me).
734
Palle seems related to Natick panne, out of the way or constantly (?). The spelling suggests another dialect
like Nipmuck.
735
Perhaps fornication, as adultery is mamasa. Notice root squa (woman).
736
He has one of something"= (in general). Some Native peoples, especially Sachims, and others of the ruling
class, had more than one wife, a practice noted throughout the region, although polygyny (the state or practice of
having more than one wife at one time) was not prevalent among the Narragansett.
737
An uh sound between ss; suh.
726

152

NARRAGANSETT
Tahanawtu commaugemus ? or
tashin commaugemus ?
Napannetashompagatash
Quttatashompagatash,
nadatashompagatash,
shoscktashompagatash
Piukquompagatash739
Pummanmmin teuguash740
Nummttamus
Nullgana741
Waumasu
Wunnkesu
Mansu742
Muchickhea743
Cutashekemis?744
Nquitkea,
neeskea745
Katoenechaw747
Nechcaw748
Paugctche nechawaw749
Kitummyi mes nchaw750

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

How much did you give for her?

XXIII

147

Five Fathom of wampum738


Six, seven, eight Fathoms
wampum

XXIII

147

of XXIII

Ten Fathoms
To contribute money toward the
dowry
My wife
My wife
He, she is loving
He, she is proper, respectful
He, she is sober & chaste
She is fruitful (w/children )
How many children have you had?
I have had one child746,
I have had one two children
She is falling into travel (getting
ready to deliver baby)
She is in travel
Surely, she has delivered already
She was just now delivered (given

147-8

XXIII

148

XXIII

148

XXIII

148

XXIII

148

XXIII

148

XXIII

148

XXIII

148

XXIII

148

XXIII

148

XXIII

148

XXIII

148

XXIII

149

XXIII

149

XXIII

149

birth)

738

Fathom is a unit of length equal to six feet (1.83 meters). So 5 Fathoms = 30 feet; -ompaug- tells us that a belt of
wampum beads (stones) is being discussed. The exchange rate at this specific time was one English Pound to four
Fathoms (24 feet) of wampum. The pound is the basic monetary unit of England; called also pound sterling (defined
below, Ch. XXIV).
739
This price only for the daughter of a great man. Roger Williams describes this as a dowry [a gift of money or
property by a man to or for his bride]. Most scholars now view this exchange as a sort of payment or restitution to
the family for the loss of precious labor of the valuable female planter/farmer.
740
In both words, we see roots for pass by (traveling to village?), give by hand, extended, & things. Same
expression (slightly different spelling) used for contribute to the wars, p. 185.
741
Nipmuck dialect?
742
Seems to indicate vowel lengthening on vowel a (mah-AN-suh). with an a nasal sound.
743
This word may be related to the root for child (-muck-); see Ch. I, p. 3 (... your children).
744
Original text reads Cutchashekemis (the common mistake of using ch for t; in hand writing from this period, a t
looks like ch). We know the root for how many is -tashe-. The root for becoming is k in Natick. Also the
question marker -mis is evident.
745
We can say Nishkea (Ive had 3), yohkea (4 children), etc.
746
Perhaps, One has, became.
747
The roots -eech, -ech pertains to "life, living, growing". Kato seems to be Natick-like form k (becoming).
748
In Natick, the word neechau means variously, She gives birth, is in labor, is delivered.
749
-waw means condition, status, state.

153

NARRAGANSETT
751

Nooswwaw
Nonsu, nonnnis
Wunnungan
Wunnunnganash
Munnnnug752
Aumnemun753
Npaktam
Npaknaqun754
Aquie paktash !
Aquie pokeshttous awetawtuonck !
Tackquiwock755
Towi756
Towiwock
Ntouwi
Wauchanat757
Wauchaamichick758
Nullquaso759
Peewaqun760

ENGLISH

CHAP.
XXIII

A nurse
XXIII
A suckling child
XXIII
A breast
XXIII
Breasts
XXIII
Milk
XXIII
To Wean
XXIII
I divorce her
XXIII
I am divorced
XXIII
Youdo not divorce !
Youdo not break the bonds of XXIII
marriage !
XXIII
Twins
XXIII
Orphan
XXIII
Orphans
XXIII
I am an orphan
XXIII
Guardian
XXIII
Guardians
XXIII
He is my student
XXIII
Look well to him

PG.
150
150
150
150
150
150
150
150
150
150
150
150
150
150
150
150
150
150

750

Mes is certainly Williams word mesh, the past tense verb marker, which here he spells mes perhaps for
pronunciation of this word shows that we say the sh for cases where sh precedes a vowel, but s when it precedes
a consonant. In Natick we can form the simple past tense, She gave birth = neechop. We get the word for
children from these roots, neechanock (children)
751
One who follows, monitors.
752
Apparently from nunnau = he sucks as in the above three words.
753
Possibly, take mouth away by hand.
754
Seems to verb of Objective-Indicative Mode (He, she-me), meaning He divorces me or She divorces me.
The root word is pake, meaning cast away, divorce
755
Apparently from Natick ogque = "like to, like the" + t' = "he has (same attribute)" + w(ock) (plural).
756
Deserted, alone. In Natick, from touu = solitary place, wilderness, the woods; cf. Ch. V., p. 29.
757
Type I verb, Indicative. To keep, protect, watch over.
758
They who ____.
759
Nipmuck dialect?
760
"Have a little concern, caring, loving".

154

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Chapter XXIV. Concerning their Coyne


Monash761
Meteahock
Poquahock
Nquittmpscat764
Neesamscat765
Shwamscat
Yowmscat
Nappetashamscat
Quttatashamscat or
quttauatu767
Enadatashamscat
Shwoasucktashamscat
Paskugittashamscat
Piuckquamscat
Piuckquamscat nab naqit
Piuckquamscat nab nes768
Piukquamscat nab nashosuck

Money
Periwinkle, for white wampum
beads 762
Quahogs763
1 penny
2 pence766
3 pence
4 pence
5 pence
6 pence

XXIV

152

XXIV

152

XXIV

152

XXIV

153

XXIV

153

XXIV

153

XXIV

153

XXIV

153

XXIV

153

7 pence
8 pence
9 pence
10 pence
11 pence
12 pence
18d. 3 quttuatues769

XXIV

153

XXIV

153

XXIV

153

XXIV

153

XXIV

153

XXIV

153

XXIV

153

2s. 4 quttuatues770

XXIV

153

2s. 6d. 5 quttuatues771


2s. 6d. 6 quttuatues

XXIV

153

XXIV

154

(called shwn)

Neesneecheckkamscat nab yh or
yowin
Shwinchkamscat or napannetashin
Shwinchkamscat
761

Derived from English word "money" + plural ash.

762

6 white beads (about 1

inch in length) were worth 1 English penny.

16
763

The dark purple wampum beads from this quahog shell were worth 3 to the English penny, or twice the value of
the white beads. Research has shown that about 5 beads made one inch of wampum or 1 Fathom (6 ft.) of 360 beads
(a single row). Some estimates say 330 beads made up 1 Fathom (in Haupmann & Wherry, 1990).
764
One stone (bead); root for stone is ompsc-. A pennys worth of wampum, perhaps from root aumkussay
(see footnote for Ch. XXV, p. 163). All of the terms for English money means an amount of wampum equal to
your English monash. Wampum was the only form of currency for a number of years, hence the importance of
wampum and the English desire to control it.
765
-aumsc- is stone.
766
Pence is the plural of penny; 2 pennies is 2 pence, etc. Penny is a monetary unit of the United Kingdom formerly
equal to 1/24 pound. A Shilling is a former monetary unit of the United Kingdom equal to 12 pence or 1/20 pound.
767
1 quttuatu = 6 pence.
768
Also called neen, which is equal to 2 of the quttuattues, or 12 pence.
769
This is an anglicized plural form for Narragansett word, quttautu. The small d means pence.
770
The small s means shilling.
771
That is, 2 shillings, 6 pence.

155

NARRAGANSETT
Yowinncheckamscat nab nese
Yowinncheckamscat nab nashasuck
Nappetashwincheckamscat nab yh
Quttatashincheckamscat772
Neesaumpagatuck
Shwaumpagatuck
Yowompagatuck &c
Piuckquampagatuck, or,
Nquitpusuck773
Neespusuckquompagatuck
Shwepusuck
Yowepusuck, &c
Nquittemittannauganomppagatuck, &c
Neesemittannauganomppagatuck776, &c
Tashincheckompagatuck ?
Wompam777
Suckuhock
Sucki
Wepe kuttassawompatmmin
Suckuhock778, nausaksachick779
Waumpeg-msim, or
wauompsichick-msim
Assawompatttea !
Anna781

ENGLISH
s.

d.

CHAP.

PG.

XXIV

154

XXIV

154

XXIV

154

XXIV

154

XXIV

155

XXIV

155

XXIV

155

XXIV

155

5 lib774 20 Fathom
30 Fathom
40 Fathom , or, 10 pounds
1000 Fathom , or, 250 pounds775

XXIV

155

XXIV

155

XXIV

155

XXIV

155

2000 Fathom, or, 500 pounds

XXIV

155

How many Fathoms?


White wampum beads collectively
Black wampum beads
It is black, dark colored
Change my money
The black money
Give me white780

XXIV

155

XXIV

155

XXIV

155

XXIV

155

XXIV

155

XXIV

155

XXIV

156

XXIV

156

XXIV

156

3 6 7 quttuatues
4s. 8 quttuatues
4s. 6d. 9 quttuatues
5s. 10 quttuatues, or, 10 six pence
10 shil. 2 Fathom
15 shil. 3 Fathom
20 shil. 4 Fathom &c.
50 shil. 10 Fathom

Come, let us exchange !


One shell

772

Also called Nquittmpeg, or, nquitnishcusu, that is, 1 Fathom, 5 shillings. R. Williams mentions that the price
of wampum sometimes went as high as 10 shillings to a Fathom. With these high prices, no wonder counterfeiting
was a problem.
773
Original text reads pusck.
774
We assume this is the abbreviation for pound by the arithmetic given (24 pence = 20 shillings = 1 pound = 4
Fathoms). The symbol for pound is a fancy L, .
775
Roger Williams omits the translation for this and the next line. We are indebted to J.H. Trumbull (1866 ed. Of A
Key) for supplying the translation. It seems correct since we can deduce that 10 pounds is equal to 40 Fathom, so
that this 1:4 direct proportion pro rates to 1000 Fathom to 250 pounds, and 2000 Fathom to 500 pounds. Recall that
1000 is Nquitte mittnnug; 2000 is Neese mittnnug.
776
Original text reads Neesemittannug.
777
Actually wampumpeag is the string or belt or girdle of wampum beads (-umpe- = "string"; -ag = plural)
778
Black/purple wampum beads.
779
This word may be from a northern dialect such as Canadian Abenaki.
780
A string of white beads fastened onto sinew.
781
From Natick dialect, in Josiah Cotton (1825). "Vocabulary of the Massachusetts (or Natick) Indian Language."
Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Historical Society Collection, Serial 3, Vol. II.

156

NARRAGANSETT
Anwsuck
Meteahock
Suckaanasuck
Suckauskesaquash
Poquahock
Puckwhganash & mcksuck
Papuckakuash
Natouwmpitea
Nnanatouwmpiteem
Natouwmpitees !
Puckhmmin788
Puckwhegonnatick
Tutteputch789 anwsin
Qussck
Qussckanash
Caumpsk791
Nickutick
Enomphmmin
Aconaqunnaog
Enomphmmin
Enomphsachick793
Sawhog & Sawhsachick794

ENGLISH
Shells
The periwinkle782, 783
The black shell784
Black eyes785
The quahog shell
Awl786 blades
Brittle or breaking787
Minter (maker) of wampum
I cannot coin (make the wampum)
Youmake money or coin (make
the wampum) !
To bore through
The awl blade is stuck
To smooth them (on stone slabs)
A stone790
Stones
Whetstone
A kind of wooden pincer or vice(to
hold the beads)
To thread or string
Thread the beads
Thread or string these beads792
Strung beads
Loose beads

CHAP.

PG.

XXIV

156

XXIV

156

XXIV

156

XXIV

156

XXIV

156

XXIV

156

XXIV

156

XXIV

156

XXIV

156

XXIV

156

XXIV

156

XXIV

156

XXIV

157

XXIV

157

XXIV

157

XXIV

157

XXIV

157

XXIV

157

XXIV

157

XXIV

157

XXIV

157

782

From the stem was obtained white wampum beads.


Or whelk.
784
The dark purple inner rim of the quahog shell from which the black wampum was obtained.
785
Apparently the cut off purple inner rims of the quahog shell.
786
A pointed tool for marking surfaces or piercing small holes of wampum beads supplied with heat to make
malleable.
787
Characteristic of these shells. Great patience and concentration obviously was required to make wampum.
788
Infinitive Mode of verb.
789
Subjunctive Indefinite Mode.
790
More closely related to rock (derived from a root meaning, it is heavy). Stone is hassen (Natick dialect).
But where does a stone end and rock begin? Other words of interest: kenompsk- = "sharp stone"; puttucki-ompsk =
"the round rock" (a modern local place name is Pettiquamscut = "At the round rock")
791
Sharp + stone.
792
Seems to have same meaning as same word 2 lines above.
793
They that are strung.
794
They that are loose & scattered.
783

157

NARRAGANSETT
Naumpacoin
Mchequoce

ENGLISH
To hand around the neck (necklace)
A girdle or belt of wampum795

CHAP.

PG.

XXIV

157

XXIV

157

795

Possibly something to do with everlasting or long strap. Can be up to 6 inches in width (about 24-30 beads).
Such belts were worn by Sachims and other important people around the arm, waist or shoulder. Such a belt of 1
Fathom long would have about 360 x 30 or over 10,000 beads ! Now, if 3 dark & 6 white beads traded for 1
English penny, then such a belt would be worth from 75-150 English pounds. Other estimates saying 4 beads/inch
would mean that such a belt would be worth 56-112 English pounds.

158

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Chapter XXV. Of Buying & Selling


Anaqushaog
Anaqushnchick796
Anaqushento !797
Cttasha? & cowachanum ?
Ntasha & nowachanum
Nqunowhick
Nowkineam
Nummachinmmin
Munetash nqunowhick798
Cuttattaamish799
Nummouanaquish
Mouanaqushaog,
Mouanaqushnchick801
Nummauntanaqsh
Cummanhamin?803
Cummanohamosh
Nummauntanhamin
Kunnauntatuamish804
Comaunekkunno?
Koppcki

Traders
They who trade
Let us trade !
Have you this or that?
I have
I want this
I like this
I do not like
I want many things
I will buy this of you
I come to buy800
Chapmen802

XXV

159

XXV

159

XXV

159

XXV

159

XXV

159

XXV

159

XXV

159

XXV

159

XXV

159

XXV

159

XXV

159

XXV

159

I have bought (completed the trade)


Have you bought?
I will buy from you
I have completed the purchase
I come to buy this from you
Have you any cloth?805
It is thick 806

XXV

160

XXV

160

XXV

160

XXV

160

XXV

160

XXV

160

XXV

160

796

They who are traders. Same approximate meaning as above, expressed with different grammatical form.
Narragansett Indians received many items in trade with local English colonistsbrass pots, clothing, bells,
thimbles, fishhooks, iron axes, knives, awls, hoes, spoons, glass bottles & beads, and, course,alcohol, that ruinous
scourge, the destroyer of Indian dignity and honor, a disease for which we can thank the English and other
Europeans. Their guns came from the distant French, and the Mohawk Indians supplied them with the carved stone
and wooden pipes.
798
Many things I want.
799
The root for buy (acquire possession) is -attauam- (the tts are accommodating to the stem beginning in a
vowel). It seems to imply acquiring by payment de novo (for first time). In Natick the verb is adtaua.
800
A word of interest, not given by Roger Williams, for trading post is paudauwaumset (little place where all is
brought in or Little place to bring all in).
801
They that are chapmen.
802
Merchants, peddlers.
803
This is another verb for buy. It seems to mean ransom, redeem by payment, or get back.
804
The root -naunt- means come for.
805
R. Williams reports that Native peoples liked the English cloth for its lightness and acceptable warmth.
806
Of cloth, but anything in general.
797

159

NARRAGANSETT
Wassppi
Sckinuit
Mshquinuit
Wmpinuit808
Wompeqayi809
Etouwawyi810
Muckcki
Chechke matsha811
Qnnascat
Tickquscat
Wss
Aumpcunnish !
Tuttepcunnish812 !
Mat weshaggannno
Tatgganish !813
Wskinuit
Tancki or tancksha814
Eataws
Quttansh !815
Audt816
Cuppimish817
Tahenata?
Tummck cumminsh
Teaguock cumminsh818
Wauwunngachick
Cosamawem819

ENGLISH
807

It is thin
Dark colored (cloth)
Red colored (cloth)
White colored (cloth)
It is gray colored (cloth)
On both sides (Wool, on both sides)
It is bare (without wool)
Long lasting
Of great length
Of little length (short)
The edge or lift (of cloth)
YouOpen it !
Youfold it up !
There is no wool on it
Youshake it !
New cloth
It is torn or rent
It is old
Youfeel it !
A loincloth
I will pay you
What price?
I will pay you beaver
I will give you money
[They are ] very good
You ask too much

CHAP.

PG.

XXV

160

XXV

160

XXV

160

XXV

160

XXV

160

XXV

160

XXV

160

XXV

161

XXV

161

XXV

161

XXV

161

XXV

161

XXV

161

XXV

161

XXV

161

XXV

161

XXV

161

XXV

161

XXV

161

XXV

161

XXV

161

XXV

161

XXV

161

XXV

161

XXV

161

XXV

162

807

Of cloth, but anything in general.


We can derive other names for cloth-colors such as: wsinuit (yellow colored cloth), asknuit (green), pshinuit
(blue) & mowinuit (black)--the accents are conjectural. Might we have called the Jesuit Catholic Black Robes
mowinuit if the French were here and not the English?
809
Color not liked by Indians, preferring red, blue, etc., but without white hairs on them.
810
From Natick, aeetawi or hti = "on both sides"; cf. Ehtiknag = "both sidessharp").
811
Chechke = long (of time, duration); matsha = it is completed, passes.
812
From root roll
813
Original text reads Tangganish. The correct word Tatgganish seems to have the frequentative (tata) form .
814
This form appears to be Passive Voice. The first form appears to be Active Voice (it is torn)
815
Original text reads Quttanch.
816
It covers, hides.
817
Based on English word for pay.
818
The same as the verb on p. 162 (comminsh).
819
Again, saume = too much; co + saume = youtoo much (do, ask).
808

160

NARRAGANSETT
820

Kuttackqussawaw

Aquie iacqussame !
Aquie wussamowash821
Tashin Commsim ?
Kutteag comminsh
Nkke comminsh
Coanombqusse or
kuttassokakmme822
Cuppnnauem
Cuttassokakmme
Misqusu kunkkeke823
Y awusse wunngin
Yo chipaata
Augausaatu
Mchickaatu824
Wuttunnaatu
Wunishanto !
Aquie neesquttnckqussish wuch
Nquittmpscat !
Cummmmenash nitteaguash?
Nonnum & nonshem

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

XXV

162

XXV

162

XXV

162

XXV

162

XXV

162

XXV

162

XXV

162

XXV
You lie. You are lying
XXV
You deceive me
XXV
Your otter is reddish
XXV
This is better
XXV
That is another price
XXV
It is cheap
XXV
It is dear, precious, wonderful
XXV
It is worth it
XXV
Let us agree !
You do not babble about a penny XXV
!825
XXV
Will you take my money?826
XXV
I cannot

162

You are very hard to do business


with
Youdont be so hard !
Dont ask so much
How much shall I give you?
I will give you your money
I will give you an otter
You have deceived me

162
162
162
162
162
162
163
163
163
163
163

Tawhitch Nonanuman ?827

Why can you not?

XXV

163

Machge nkckie
Tashaumskussayi828 commsim?
Neesaumsqussyi
Shwaumscussyi

I get nothing
How many spans will you give me?
Two spans
Three spans

XXV

163

XXV

163

XXV

163

XXV

163

820

quss = hard.
.821 May be a Verb Participle.
822
The root for foolassokais seen in this word.
823
He is red, your otter.
824
We see the Natick word mogke (great).
825
Recall on page 45, Neesquttnckqussu = a prater, babbler. Roger Williams observes that Native peoples were
very prudent in their trading with the English. In fact they would travel 40 miles or more out of their way, just to
save a small amount. In addition, the Native peoples were constantly under the impression that the English were out
to cheat them (a belief history seems to have supported).
823
Verb Participle (verb ends in ash which is not in Imperative Mode).
827
Subjunctive Mode.
828
aumkussay is the root for a measure of length (in Natick omskinausu). One span is perhaps
nquitaumsqussyi

161

NARRAGANSETT
Yowompscussyi
Nappannetashaumcussyi
Quttatashaumkussyi
Enadatashaumkussyi829
Cownaweke
Nanoe
Aktash830 !
Aktamke !
Nownnakese831
Cosamakese
Cunnonakese
Shoo832 kekneass !
Wuntu nitteag
Mamattissug834 kutteaquock
Tashin mesh commag ?
Chichgin
Anskunck
Maumichmanege836
Cuttatuppanamun
Tatuppaunthommin
Tatuppauntock
Nettup
Kaukkakneamuck
pebenochichauqunick
Cumminanohamgunna
Cuppittakunnam838 ?
Cosaumpeeknemun839

ENGLISH
Four spans
Five spans
Six spans
Seven spans
You are a rich man
Give me (this or that)
Youtell my. money !
You(plural)tell my money !
I have mistold (miscounted)
You have told too little (undercounted)
You have told too much (overcounted)
Youlook here !
My money is very good833
Your beads are naught (worthless)
How much have you
given?
Hatchet, warclub
Hoe835
A Needle
You take a measure
To measure, weigh [equal, same]
They are weighing, measuring
It is alone837
& A looking glass (mirror)
They will buy it of you
Will you serve me so?
You have torn me off too little cloth

CHAP.

PG.

XXV

163

XXV

163

XXV

163

XXV

164

XXV

164

XXV

164

XXV

164

XXV

164

XXV

164

XXV

164

XXV

164

XXV

164

XXV

164

XXV

164

XXV

164

XXV

164

XXV

164

XXV

164

XXV

164

XXV

164

XXV

165

XXV

165

XXV

165

XXV

165

XXV

165

XXV

165

829

Original text has line below: Enadatashaumskuttonyi, translated as seven spans.


Related to Natick, ogketam = "He counts, reckons, figures, calculates" (and by extension) "spells, reads"
831
This verb form was discussed in Ch. VII.
832
Seems related to exclamation in Natick, chuh (Ho ! Look !)
833
My money is not good? is perhaps said something like: Matche nitteag?
834
Appears to be a frequentative (mama) to stress very bad (matta = bad).
835
See p. 99.
836
In Natick, word related to a bee (stinger).
837
Perhaps a single item to be weighted?; related to above word (like one).
838
Perhaps, Will you turn it for me? (Objective Indicative, you (sg.)me).
839
Saume = too much; Cosaume = youtoo much; wusssaume = ittoo much.
830

162

NARRAGANSETT
840

Cummachetannaknnamous
Tawhtch
Cuppttakunamian841 ?
Kutchichginash842
kaukinne
pokshaas
Teno wskishaas
Natouashckquittea
Kuttattaamish ake
Tou nckquaque ?
Wuch wuttotnick844
Nisskineam845
Indiansuck846 sekinemwock
Noonapock847 nagum

Cowetomptimmin
Cummaugakamish849
Aquie chenawasish !

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

I have torn it off for you


Why do you turn it upon my hand?

XXV

165

XXV

165

Your hatchets will soon be broken

XXV

165

Soon gapt (broken)


A smith843
I will buy land from you
How much (land)?
For a town or plantation
I am unwilling
The Indians are not willing
They dont have
room for
themselves or They dont have room
for him848
You are my companion,
acquaintance
I will give you land
Be not churlish ! (difficult to work with

XXV

165

XXV

165

XXV

165

XXV

166

XXV

166

XXV

166

XXV

166

XXV

166

XXV

166

XXV

166

XXV

166

or deal with)

840

Seems to have roots: completed (mache-, misspelled); word (-tannak- with t before a vowel stem) and do by
hand (unnam)I have completed the work for you.
841
Appears to be Subjunctive Mode, but the prefix cup- shouldnt be used
842
k + chichgin + ash = your + hatchet + plural (inanimate). My hatchet is nutchichgin (n + chichgin). His
hatchet is wutchichgin (w + chichgin).
843
A worker in metals.
844
A plantation is a settlement in a new country or region. A settlement is a place or region newly settled; or a small
village. A colony is a body of people living in a new territory but retaining ties with the parent state/country; or the
territory inhabited by such a body.
845
Signifies "refuse to"; following line shows plural form of verb.
846
Obviously an English-created word. In Pequot Indian was said Inchun.
847
In Natick, noone = scant measure (not enough). The root appu (He sits, rests, is situated) is seen.
848
See p. 60.
849
Here the language seems to imply that a gift is being offered (land without money being given in exchange for it).
In Indian customs, land was gifted (or loaned). When English obtained land, they believed it had been purchased
and was now private property. The Indian felt the land they gifted (regardless of the payment given) was still
theirs. Fenced in property with KEEP OUT messages only exacerbated the Native peoples growing impatience
about the abuse of their ancient customs and generosity, no doubt a significant contributing factor to the IndianWhite war (see book by Francis Jennings, 1975)

163

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Chapter XXVI. Of Debts and Trusting


Nonat
Noonamautuckquwhe851

I have not enough money850


Trust me

XXVI

167

XXVI

167

Kunnoonamatuckquash852
Nonamautuckquahginash
Nosaumautackquwhe
Pitch nipputowin
Chenock naqumbeg cuppautiin
nitteaguash?
Kunnamatous or kukkeskwhush
Keskwhim teaug msin854
Tawhch peyuyean856 ?
Nndgecom
Machtu
Nummcheke
Mesh nummachnem
Nowemacanash nitteaguash857
Mat noteago858
Kekneash nipptunck !
Nummche maganash859
Mat coanumwamis
Kunnampatwin kenowwin
Machge wuttamantam862

I will owe you


Debts
I am much in debt
I will bring it to you853
When will you bring me my money?

XXVI

167

XXVI

168

XXVI

168

XXVI

168

XXVI

168

I will pay you


Pay me my money855
Why do you come?
I come to collect debts
He is a poor man
I am a poor man
I have been sick
I had to spend my money
I have no money
Youlook here in my bag !
I have already paid
You have not keep your word860
You must pay it861
He minds it not (has no concern
about paying)
They take no care about paying

XXVI

168

XXVI

168

XXVI

168

XXVI

168

XXVI

168

XXVI

169

XXVI

169

XXVI

169

XXVI

169

XXVI

169

XXVI

169

XXVI

169

XXVI

169

XXVI

169

XXVI

169

Machge wuttauntammock
850

Literally, Not enough. The word money is not in the Narragansett words, but is implied in the dialogue itself.
Literally, He owes him, he is owed
852
Objective-Indicative verb.
853
Will I bring it.
854
Should perhaps be mesim (see p. 156; Give me white).
855
Actually seems to say the money or money.
856
Subjunctive Mode.
857
Verb participle (verbs ending in ash which are not in the Imperative Mode).
858
Not, nothing--my money. (the u may go after the g, noteago)
859
I have given them (Verb participle).
860
Not you-speak-true-to-me (compare p. 57, wunnaumwyean, If he speak true).
861
You (one person) pay--you (plural); the singular would be said, perhaps, with keen.
862
The root -amaunt- in this and the next two lines translates minded; the lines read literally: He minds it not;
They mind it not; I always mind it.
851

164

NARRAGANSETT
Michme notammantam

ENGLISH

CHAP.

I always mind it (am concerned about XXVI

PG.
169

863

paying)

Mat nickowmen

I cannot sleep in the night for it864

XXVI

170

863

Always pay up?


Worried about debts? Literally, Not I sleep or Bad I sleep. The idea worried is not in the words
themselves, but implied in the context of the dialogue.
864

165

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Chapter XXVII. Of Their Hunting, &c


Ntachamen865
Ncttiteam weewyos866
Auchatuck !
Nowetauchamen867
Anmwock
Kemehtteas !
Ptch nkekehtteem868
Pumm !
Pmmoke !
Uppetetoa869
Ntaumpauchamen870
Cuttashinenna ?871
Nneesnnenna
Shwinnenna872
Nyoiwinnenna
Npiuckwinnenna
Nneesneechectashnnenna
Nummouashwmen873
Ap
Apehana
Ashppock
Masanock
Wuskaphana
Eatabana874
Npunnowwumen
Nummshkommin875

I go to hunt
I long for venison
Let us hunt !
I will hunt with you
Dogs
Youcreep
I will creep
Youshoot !
You (plural)shoot !
A man shot accidentally
I come from hunting
How many have you killed?
I have killed two
I have killed three
Four
Ten
Twenty
I go to set traps
Trap for hunting
Traps for hunting
Hemp
Flax [thread-like fibers]
New traps
Old traps
I must go to my traps
I have found a deer

XXVII

172

XXVII

172

XXVII

172

XXVII

172

XXVII

172

XXVII

172

XXVII

172

XXVII

172

XXVII

172

XXVII

172

XXVII

172

XXVII

172

XXVII

172

XXVII

172

XXVII

172

XXVII

172

XXVII

172

XXVII

172

XXVII

172

XXVII

172

XXVII

172

XXVII

172

XXVII

172

XXVII

172

XXVII

173

XXVII

173

865

Verb shows requirement for use of accommodating t before a stem beginning in a vowel: n + (t)achau + men.
weewyos is flesh, meat. Raw flesh is askeyaus. The root for animal (as) is seen.
867
-wet- = with.
868
The -em tells us that this a Type III verb (See Grammar Table)
869
From -pet- = enter (he has been penetrated)
870
From pauchau (turn, deviate, change course).
871
Original text reads Cutchashinenn. (ch for t, a mistake noted previously in A Key). In Passive Voice.
872
Should be nshwinnenna (I three have taken); could the suffixes here be -eanna = more.
873
Perhaps, in general, meaning I go to complete (something).
874
Past tense with suffix /-pan/ form.
875
The root -shk- meaning violence suggests the deer has been caught in a trap.
866

166

NARRAGANSETT
Ncummotamckqun natqus
Sunnckhig877
Nanwwussu
Wauwunnocko878
Wekan
Machemqut
Ant879
Poqusu
Poskttuck & Misssu
Kuttomp880
Paucottawat
Wawnnes
Qunnke
Aunn
Mosquin881
Yo asipagon
Nonatch ntyu, or
attuck ntyu
Mishnneke ntyu
Paukunnawaw nto882
Wusske
Apome
Apomeichsh
Uppke
Uppekequck
Wuskn
Wussckqun
Awemanttin

ENGLISH
876

CHAP.

PG.

The wolf has robbed me


Trap made of elevated stones
It is lean
It is fat
It is sweet
It smells ill
It is putrefied
He is half (referring to a deer)
Half a deer & He is whole
Great deer-buck
Deer-buck
DeerYoung (small) buck
A doe
Fawn, female
Fawn
Thus thick or fat
I hunt venison

XXVII

174

XXVII

174

XXVII

175

XXVII

175

XXVII

175

XXVII

175

XXVII

175

XXVII

175

XXVII

175

XXVII

175

XXVII

175

XXVII

175

XXVII

175

XXVII

175

XXVII

175

XXVII

175

I hunt squirrel
I hunt bear
The hind part of a deer
The thigh part of a deer
The thighs
Shoulder
Shoulders
A bone
A tail
Their migration time

XXVII

175

XXVII

175

XXVII

175

XXVII

175

XXVII

175

XXVII

175

XXVII

175

XXVII

175

XXVII

175

XXVII

176

[the deer]

876

He robs methe wolf. Relative to above line, the wolf has devoured the deer who was caught in the trap. We
believe the verb form n***uckqun belongs to verb He, sheus.
877
The root -sun- = stone (from hassen, above) is in the word. In Natick, hassen = stone. The ending -hig is
root for tool, device, instrument; the word for hatchet (Chichgin) has same root, Ch. XXV, p. 164. Thus,
sunnckhig = crushing device.
878
Compare with word for mackerel, p. 113.
879
Shows a curious relation with manit (Spirit), meaning past, beyond (good use) = rotted
880
See above (p. 104) for notes on deer.
881
"Smooth & female.
882
It seems that ntyu is same as nto.

167

NARRAGANSETT
Paushinmmin

ENGLISH
To divide

CHAP.

PG.

XXVII

176

XXVII

176

XXVII

176

[to avoid disputes over who shot the deer]

Paushinummauatttea !
Caskashunck

Let us divide !
The deer skin
[recently cut off]

Pmpom883

Tribute skin

XXVII

176

Ntaumpowwushamen

I come from hunting

XXVII

176

883

A custom of giving to Sachim on whose territory a deer was killed in the water. Word derived from pummunum
= "he offers, devotes". The frequentative form is pumpummun ("he habitually, or by custom, offers it")

168

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Chapter XXVIII. Of their Gaming, &c.


Ahnu884
Tawhitch anhean885 ?
Ahhuock886
Nippauochumen
Pauochuog
Pauochatowwin
Aksuog889
Pissinnganash
Ntaksemin891
Ntaque892 aksamen
Nchikossimnnash
Wunnaugonhommin
Asaanash
Pasuckquakohowaog
Cukkmmote wpe893
Keesaqnnamun 894

He, she laughs


Why do you laugh?
They are laughing, merry
We are dancing887
They are dancing, playing
A bable888 to play with
They are at cards890, or telling of
rushes
Their playing rushes
I am counting my reeds
I will stop playing
I will burn my rushes
To play at dice in a tray
The painted plumb-stones which
they throw
They meet for a game of football
You steal
Spiritual meeting, combining
worship & sport

XXVIII

178

XXVIII

178

XXVIII

178

XXVIII

178

XXVIII

178

XXVIII

178

XXVIII

178

XXVIII

178

XXVIII

178

XXVIII

179

XXVIII

179

XXVIII

179

XXVIII

179

XXVIII

179

XXVIII

179

XXVIII

180

884

Imitative sound of laughing.


Subjunctive Mode (you, sg.)
886
The Grammar Table tells us that laugh is Type II verb, so, for example, we can form words like kuttahhuck =
k + (t)ahah + uck = He laughs at you (accommodating /t/), and Aquie ahaninnea! = Do not laugh at me !
(Objective Imperative).
887
In Natick, this word translates as playing. The word for dance is pumukau (He dances) and pumukauog
(They dance).
888
Apparently bauble (defined as a showy but worthless thing--a toy, or a jesters baton). This shows well
Williams deep ethnocentric posture here as well as in any part of A Key, and seems representative of EuroAmerican reaction to New-England Natives in general.
889
They are counting.
890
Indians were notorious gamblers, an infliction that seems to be world-wide and still presentwe dare to
challenge the Laws of Chance. Their Games ... are of two sorts; private and publike: Private, and sometime
publike; a Game like unto the English Cards [called pium]; yet, in stead of Cards they play with strong Rushes (slim
sticks, reeds) . Secondly, they have a kinde of Dice which are Plumb stones painted [3 white and 2 black wooden
disks] which they cast in a Tray [and try to guess which color will dominate, white or black] , with a mighty noyse
[noise] and sweating [game is called hubhub]. Their publique Games [such as Football] are solemnized with the
meeting of hundreds; sometimes thousands .... (Page 177). Some kept a precious crystal (a piece of thunderbolt,
dug up under a tree) apparently for luck, which Williams said apparently worked.
891
n + (t)akes + min
892
Shows use of accommodating /t/, n + (t)aquie.
893
Accusation levied against the winner of gambling contest, esp. when they have lost a lot.
885

169

NARRAGANSETT
Qunnkamuck
Kitteickaick896
Cowequetmmous

ENGLISH

CHAP.

895

XXVIII

180

XXVIII

180

XXVIII

180

Long house
The court where football is played
I beseech you (to gift me)

PG.

894

Has relation to keesuckqund (Sun Spirit) to give kesukun (it is ripe, mature) suggesting that this meeting was a
form of Thanksgiving Day.
895
From qunne (long) and -kamuck, -commuck (structure that is not a dwelling). Sometimes 100-200 feet long.
896
Perhaps Great place where they meet(?). Constructed around Harvest Time. Here were give-aways attended by
many thousands gathered. This appears to be what today we would call a Powwow (dancing, and give aways,
Nickommo).

170

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Chapter XXIX. Of Their Warre, &c


Aqune897
Nanoeshin & awpu898
Chpewess & Mishittshin
Nummusquntum
Tawhtch musquawnaman ?
Aqui musquntash !
Chachpissu899 or nishqutu900
Tawhtch chachepisttit or Tawhtch
nishquhettit?
Cummusquunamuck
Matwaog
Matwaonck901
Cummusquanamish902
Miskisawaw
Tawhtch niskqukean
Ntatakcmmuckqun903
Nummokkunitch
&
Ncheckqunnitch
Mecatea904
Mecunttea !
Mecanteass !
Wep cummcautch
Jhetttea905 !
Jhetteke
Awan necwniaumpasha ?
Nippaktatunck906

Peace
A peaceable calm
A northern storm of war
I am angry
Why are you angry ?
Cease your anger !
He is fierce
Why are they fierce?

XXIX

182

XXIX

182

XXIX

182

XXIX

182

XXIX

182

XXIX

182

XXIX

182

XXIX

182

He is angry with you


Enemy soldiers, warriors
A Battle, war
I am angry with you
A quarrelsome man
Why are you so fierce ?
He struck me
I am robbed

XXIX

182

XXIX

182

XXIX

183

XXIX

183

XXIX

183

XXIX

183

XXIX

183

XXIX

183

An enemy warrior (He makes war)


Let us fight each other !
Youfight him !
You are a quarreler, belligerent
Lets fight (the enemy) !
You (plural)fight (the enemy) !
Who fired the first shot ?
He shot at me first

XXIX

183

XXIX

183

XXIX

183

XXIX

183

XXIX

183

XXIX

183

XXIX

183

XXIX

183

897

Still used today (Ah-KWEH-nee); possibly a 3rd person singular Passive Verb (see Ind. Gramm, Dict.)
See such words in Chapter on Winds, Ch. XIV, pp. 85-87 & Ch. XVIII, p. 109. The metaphor for war & peace is
the winds.
899
Akin to wild (He is wild); perhaps implying menacing actions.
900
Akin to raging (He is raging), and related to a raging, violent storm.
901
In Natick, the word mattwakkonk may mean war dance (based on the same root, matwau)
902
Original text reads Cummusqnanamish.
903
Form n***uckqun seems to be rule for He, she-us.
904
In Natick, a warrior on your side is ayeuteen; ayeuhteau = he fights
905
Objective Imperative Mode.
906
Same root -pake- used for divorce, cast away.
898

171

NARRAGANSETT
Nummeshannntam
nummayantam
Whauwhutowwaw907 nawat

ENGLISH

PG.

XXIX

183

There is an alarm

XXIX

184

Confusion, panic, hubbub


A messege has been brought909
A Brave & A War Captain
War captains
War leaders in battle
Trumpet (noise)
Drum912 [French import]
They train
Arrow quiver (empty?)
Arrow
Arrows
A half-moon of war
Gun
Gun powder
Unloaded (gun)
Loaded (gun)
Youload it !
Gun shot pellets
Contribute to the wars
Youkeep watch !

XXIX

184

XXIX

184

XXIX

184

XXIX

184

XXIX

184

XXIX

184

XXIX

184

XXIX

184

XXIX

184

XXIX

184

XXIX

184

XXIX

184

XXIX

184

XXIX

184

XXIX

184

XXIX

184

XXIX

185

XXIX

185

XXIX

185

XXIX

185

or I scorn or take it in indignation

Wopwawnnckquat
Amamuwaw908 padsha
Kenomp910 & mckquomp
Keenomppaog & muckquomppaog
Negonshchick911
Kuttwonck
Popowutthig
Quaquawtatatteug
Machppog
Caquat913
Caquattash914
Onttug
Pskunck915
Sapuck
Mtit
Mchimu916
Mechimash917 !
Shttash918
Pummenmmin teaquash
Askwhtteass !

CHAP.

907

Seems to be imitative of human yelling + speaks, commands.


Root -mau- refers to action by mouth.
909
Passive Voice on brought.
910
Keenomp (KEE-nahb) means valiant man (a brave, warrior); mckquomp (MUH-kwahp) means great
man, great warrior. A related word in Natick is kehchemugqwomp = Chief Captain (chief, head = kehche). In
Natick a War Chief (Head Warrior) is called missinnege such as the old Annawan (Commander) in King
Philips War (see p. 189). This word appears to mean captive in Narragansett, so our information on its meaning
may be erroneous. Annawan was of the Seekonk Wampanoag. His famous words are still remembered by Native
Americans: Iootash ! which most likely means literally Youfight ! (ayeuhteash !, ah-you-tee-AH-oo-ash) in
Natick (interpreted commonly to mean Stand firm ! but not grammatically correct).
911
They who lead, are in front.
912
Distant communication was apparently accomplished by pounding or mashing & rocking back-and-forth large
rocks creating a low frequency (far-traveling) sound. We had no smoke signals.
913
Sharp at end.
914
Sharp at end.
915
Thunder stick.
916
He is fed.
917
Feed it.
918
English imported word, from "shot" + -ash.
908

172

NARRAGANSETT
919

Askwhittechick
Askwhitteag920
Wesssu
Cowsass ?
Tawhitch wessean ?
Manowsass921
Kukkshickquock
Nosemittenckquock
Onamatta cowata !
Nckqusha922
Wussmo
Wussmowock
Npauchppowem
Keesaname
Npmmuck
Chenawasu
Waumasu
Tawhtch chenawasean ?
Aumnsk923 or waukaunsint924
Cupshitteag
Aumanskittewag
Kekamwaw925
Nkekamuck926 ew
Aquie kekamowash927 !
Skineam
Nisskineug928
Nummnneug
Sekinneauhettock

ENGLISH
Guards
There is a guard, sentry set up
He is fearful
Are you fearful?
Why are you afraid ?
I fear none
They fear you
They flee from us
Let us pursue !
I fear him
He flies, runs away
They Fly, run away
I run (turn away)for safety
Save me
He shot me
He is surly, churlish
He is loving
Why are so surly, churlish?
A
fort,
palisade
(defensive
fortification)
They lie in the way (ambush)
They fortify
A scorner, mocker
He scorns, mocks me
Youdo not mock, insult !
I have no mind to it; I do not like it
He does not like me
He hates me
They do not like each other

CHAP.

PG.

XXIX

185

XXIX

185

XXIX

186

XXIX

186

XXIX

186

XXIX

186

XXIX

185

XXIX

186

XXIX

186

XXIX

186

XXIX

186

XXIX

186

XXIX

186

XXIX

186

XXIX

186

XXIX

186

XXIX

186

XXIX

186

XXIX

186

XXIX
XXIX

186

XXIX

186

XXIX

186

XXIX

186

XXIX

187

XXIX

187

XXIX

187

XXIX

187

919

They who guard.


They are guarding.
921
nowsass = I fear (Type M verb). Ma negates it, I have none.
922
Seems to be Type V verb Objective Indicative Mode (I-him).
923
Contains Natick root mansk = strong-hold.
924
Seems to contain roots, bending/winding, stone (perhaps, a stone wall fort)
925
Type III verb (He scorns).
926
A correct translation for form n***uck (He-me).
927
A wise Schim, not taking the bait to start a war over this mockery, compared the mocking to the barking of a
dog.
928
Objective Indicative Mode (n***uck, He-me) as is the next line (He hates me).
920

173

NARRAGANSETT
Maninnewauhettuock
Nowetomptimmin
Wetompchick929
Nowepinntimmin930
Nowepinnchick
Nowechusettmmin
Nchuse ew
Wechusittock
Nwche kokkwem
Chickata wtu
Yo nawhone
Missinnege931
Nummissinnm ewo
Waskeihettmitch
Nickquientnquock
Nickquientouog
Nippauquanaog
Quientauatttea !
Kunnauntataukuckqun932
Paquana933
Pequttog934 paquanan
Awaun wuttnnene935 ?
Tashittwho ?
Neestawho ?
Piuckqunnenna

ENGLISH
They hate each other
We are friends
Friends
We join together
My comanions or associates
(comrades) in war
We are confederates
He is my comrade
They join together
I will be mad with him
A wigwam is on fire, is burning
There I am wounded
A captive
He is my captive, prisoner
At the beginning of the fight; when
the fighting begins
They come aginst us
I will war against them
I will destroy them
Let us go against them !
He comes to kill you
There is a slaughter
The Pequots are destroyed
Who has the victory ?
How many are slain ?
Two are slain ?
Ten are slain936

CHAP.

PG.

XXIX

187

XXIX

187

XXIX

187

XXIX

187

XXIX

187

XXIX

187

XXIX

187

XXIX

187

XXIX

187

XXIX

187

XXIX

188

XXIX

188

XXIX

188

XXIX

188

XXIX

188

XXIX

188

XXIX

188

XXIX

188

XXIX

188

XXIX

188

XXIX

188

XXIX

188

XXIX

188

XXIX

188

XXIX

188

929

They who are friends.


Indicative (Exclusive we)
931
Compare with ninnimmissinnwock (To the Reader), which means they are the common people (they are not
like us, are inferior to us); further, missin refers to those who have been conquered and now pay tribute (captives).
932
Compound verb naunt (come for) + tata (to strike; cf. word for Porpoises, p. 113)
933
Passive Voice verb.
934
The meaning ("the destroyers") ascribed by Williams for the translation of Pequots. Williams is talking about
the massacre in 1637 in which from 300-700 Pequots were slaughtered at Fort Mystic, the Indian village attacked
by the English with their unknowing Narragansett and Mohegan allies. The slaughter was mainly of old people,
women and children, a barbarous act which the English claimed was justified by the teachings of The Holy Bible.
935
Passive Voice.
936
It is interesting to quote Williams observation of the difference between Indian warfare and European wars
Their warres are far less bloudy and devouring then the cruell Warres of Europe; and seldome slaine in a pitcht
field: partly because when they fight in a wood every Tree is a Bucklar [protection to hide behind]. When they fight
in a plaine, they fight with leaping and dancing, that seldome an Arrow hits, and when a man is wounded, unlesse he
930

174

NARRAGANSETT
Niss !
Nssoke !
Kunnish
Kunnshickqun937 ew
Kunnshickquock938
Siuckissog
Nickummissog
Nnickummaunmaog939
Neene nppamen ?
Cowanckamish
Kunnanaumpasmmish
Kekuttokant !
qutuck941 !
Wunnishaunta942 !
Cowammunsh
Wunntu nt
Tuppantash !
Tuppantamoke !
Cummequanum
cummttamussussuck
cummuckiag
Eatch ken anawyean943
Cowawwunnawem
Cowauntam
Wetomptitea944 !

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

You kill !
You (plural) kill !
I will kill you
He will kill you
They will kill you
They are stout (strong, burly) men
They are weak men
I shall easily finish them off
Am I dying ?
Quarter, quarter940
Mercy, mercy
Let us parley (talk) !
Let us cease arms !
Let us agree !
I love you
My heart speaks the truth
Youconsider my words !
You (plural)consider my words !
Remember your wives and children

XXIX

188

XXIX

189

XXIX

189

XXIX

189

XXIX

189

XXIX

189

XXIX

189

XXIX

189

XXIX

189

XXIX

189

XXIX

189

XXIX

189

XXIX

189

XXIX

189

XXIX

189

XXIX

189

XXIX

189

XXIX

190

XXIX

190

Let all be as you say


You speak truly
You are a wise man
Let us be friends !

XXIX

190

XXIX

190

XXIX

190

XXIX

190

that shot followes upon the wounded, they soone retire and save the wounded: and yet having no Swords, nor Guns,
all that are slain are commonly slain with great valour and Courage: for Conquerour ventures into the thickest, and
brings away the Head of his Enemy (pp. 188-9).
937
Translates He will kill us. He will kill you (sg.) is kunnshuck (k***uck).
938
Correct grammatical form, k'***uckwock.
939
Verb seems to include roots: nickumm- (weak, no effort required, [In Natick noochumwi = he is weak]) + maun
(complete, finish)
940
I pray your favor (or protection); My service to you; see p. 2.
941
From word aquie (cease, stop, do not do).
942
Let us make good talk !
943
Let it be soyour words
944
Objective Imperative, Weus.

175

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Chapter XXX. Of Their Paintings


Wmpi945
Mwi
Scki
Msqi
Wesai
Askski
Peshai946
Wunnm947
Mshquock948
Mtewis949
Metewmesick950
Wussuckhsu951
Wssuckwheke952
Aunaksu953
Aunakuck
Tawhtch aunakan954?
Chskhosh !
Cummachiteowunash955
kuskesuckquash
Mat
pitch
cowhick
956
keesitenckqus

XXX

191

XXX

191

XXX

191

XXX

191

XXX

191

XXX

191

XXX

191

XXX

191

XXX

192

XXX

192

XXX

192

XXX

192

XXX

192

XXX

192

XXX

192

XXX

192

XXX

192

XXX

192

Mant The God that made you will not XXX


know you

192

It is white
It is black
It is dark colored
It is red
It is yellow
It is green
It is blue
Red painting
Red dirt, soil, earth
Black dirt, soil, earth
Place where black earth obtained
A painted, decorated hide-shirt
Paintings
He, she is painted
They are painted
Why do you paint youself?
Youwipe it off !
You spoil your face

945

Literally, It is white (inanimate adjective). Compare with white given in Ch. VII, p. 52. The paintings of the
face, tattooing, clothing were for status, beautification, &c. In Natick, gray is turning white, wompischocki.
Animate forms in Natick for colors end in -esu as in wompesu ("he is white-colored").
946
In Pequot, the word for blue is said zee-wam-baw-ih-oh, which means an unripe white.
947
From wunni= it is good, beautiful. The color most preferred, taken from bark of pine & maybe cedar tree, and
red soil.
948
From msqui + auke (red + earth, soil)
949
Perhaps from root for black; moowi.
950
Place of mtewis.
951
Root for "writing" (picture writing).
952
-eke = "of".
953
This word seems to refer to color only; the above two words are painted designs and maybe tattoos.
954
Subjunctive Mode (you, sg.)
955
Verb Participle
956
Perhaps Past Tense Subjunctive Mode (he); see footnote for p. 132 above for He alone made all things, p.
132. Thus, keesitenckqus may mean when he made your body.... or being that he made your body which
does not seem grammatically correct.

176

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Chapter XXXI. Of their Sicknesse.


Nummachenem
Mauchinaui
Yo wuttunsn957
Achie958 nummauchnem
Nonshem metesmmin
Machage nummetesmmin
Tocketussinmmin ?
Pitch nketeem ?
Niskeasaqush mauchinaash
Ncussawontapam
Npmmaumpiteunck
Nchesammttam959 or nchsammam
Nupaqqntup kspissem960
Wauapunish Nipaqontup961 !
Nchsamam nste962
Machage nickowmen
Nnantissu963
Wme kusspita964
Nttupe nte965 or Nttupe chckot
Yo ntatchin
Nttuppe966 wunnpog
Puttuckhumma967!
Patous nototammin !968

I am sick
He, she is sick
He keeps his bed
I am very sick
I cannot eat
I eat nothing
What do you think?
Shall I recover ?
My eyes fail me (They are not
good)
My head aches
My teeth ache
I am in pain
Bind (wrap) my head
Youlift my head !
My foot is sore
I sleep not
I have a fever
All over my body burns with fever
I am on fire
I shake for cold
I shake like a leaf
Cover me (with blanket) !
Youbring me the drink !

XXXI

193

XXXI

193

XXXI

194

XXXI

194

XXXI

194

XXXI

194

XXXI

194

XXXI

194

XXXI

194

XXXI

194

XXXI

194

XXXI

194

XXXI

194

XXXI

195

XXXI

195

XXXI

195

XXXI

195

XXXI

195

XXXI

195

XXXI

195

XXXI

195

XXXI

195

XXXI

195

957

The suffix -sin is seen with verbs for lying down, sleeping. In Natick the word seepsin = he sleeps (literally,
he makes himself long from sepu + sin). Do not confuse this suffix -sin with those sometimes seen for winds, such
as Chepewssin (northeast wind).
958
Very which differs in meaning from wunna (very) when referring to appetites (hunger, sleepiness, etc.).
959
Perhaps bad pain (root -mat-).
960
Different meaning of bind than in Ch. XXII, P. 143
961
Notice different spelling from above for same word ! This is the kind of noise which scientists must deal with
in trying to reveal the secrets of the language.
962
nuh-SEET (silent e at end). My feet is nsetash.
963
-issu- = "burn, hot".
964
The roots -esu, -(t)issu, -kuss- all refer to hot, burn, heat.
965
I shake like the fire.
966
Notice variant spelling for Nttuppe.
967
Perhaps Imperative Mode for irregular verb (Unclassifiable in Ind. Gram. Dict.)
968
Youbring me, I drink

177

NARRAGANSETT
969

Tahaspunyi ?
Tocketspanem ?
Tocketuspunnamaqn970 ?
Tassaqnsin971 ?
Nnanowwteem972
Nummckquese973
Mocqusui
Wme wuhck mocqusui
Mamaskishai974
Mamaskishaonk
Mamaskishamitch
Wesaushai975
Wesauashaonck976
Wesauashamitch977
Nmunndtommin
Nqnnuckquus978
Ncpsa979
Npckunnum980
Npockquanmmen981
Psuponck982
Npessuppamen
Pesuppaog

ENGLISH
What ails him?
What ails you?
What hurt has he done to you?
How long has he been sick ?
I am going to visit
I have a swelling
He has swelling
All his body is swelled
He has the pox
The pox
The last pox
He has the plague
The plague
The great plague
I vomit
I am lame
I am deaf
I am blind
I do not know what my disease is
A hot house (sweat-lodge)
I go to sweat
They are sweating (in sweat-lodge)

CHAP.

PG.

XXXI

195

XXXI

195

XXXI

195

XXXI

195

XXXI

195

XXXI

196

XXXI

196

XXXI

196

XXXI

196

XXXI

196

XXXI

196

XXXI

196

XXXI

196

XXXI

196

XXXI

196

XXXI

196

XXXI

196

XXXI

197

XXXI

197

XXXI

197

XXXI

197

XXXI

197

969

Tah is what. In next line same word (To) becomes blended with -ck- of the verb.
Verb is in form k***uckqun which perhaps means He-us.
971
How long has he been long extended . Original text reads Chassaqsin (a mistake weve seen before).
972
Seems to imply nursing and/or visting to cheer up.
973
From mogki (relatively large)
974
Disease, pox (chicken pox, small pox, syphilis?). We see a frequentative (mama) and root -ask (raw) and ish- (degraded state).
975
He is yellow colored.
976
Yellow fever or hepatitis (?). Gookin (1674) describes this disease among the Wampanoag: What this disease
was, that so generally and mortally swept away, not only these, but other Indians, their neighbors, I cannot well
learn. Doubtless it was some pestilential disease. I have discoursed with some old Indians, that were then youths;
who say, that the bodies all over were exceedingly yellow, describing it by a yellow garment they showed me, both
before they died , and afterward (p. 8).
977
This word is Subjunctive Mode, whereas above word is Abstract Noun (-onck ending is equal in English to
-tion as in condition).
978
long-legged
979
I am blocked-up.
980
I break my sight.
981
Unable to see the cause.
982
A modern day sauna bath (with heated rocks followed by a plunge in nearby river) combining purification of the
body, mind and soul. "Sweats" are still practiced by traditional peoples.
970

178

NARRAGANSETT
983

Misquineash
Msqui
Nepuck
Nsanapaushaumen984
Matux puckquatchick985 awaw

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

XXXI

198

XXXI

198

XXXI

198

XXXI

198

XXXI

198

XXXI

198

XXXI

198

XXXI

198

XXXI

198

XXXI

199

XXXI

199

Give me some physic (laxative ?) XXXI


drink
XXXI
I am recovered
XXXI
I am just now recovered

199

The veins
It is red (blood)
My blood (Nipmuck word?)
I have the bloody flixe
He cannot go to stool (move his
bowels)

Powwaw
Mauntu986
Powww nipptea987
Yo wutteantantaw
Powwaw
Mskit ponamin

A Priest
A conjurer
The Priest is curing him
He is acting his cure
Priest
Give me (apply) a plaster (bandage
with medicine)

Maskit cotatmhea
Nicketem
Kitummyi nickekon988

199
199

983

From roots red (blood), long.


Perhpas dysentery (intestinal disease with one symptom of bloody mucous stools).
985
Word for outdoors, outsidecannot make it go outside--constipation.
986
Obviously a type of Medicine Man, we set roots maun (complete), etu- implying growth. Such healers used
song, chants, howling, dancing to drive away evil spirits thought to cause illness, disease, etc.
987
Perhaps something to do with entering inside (-pet-) the body (some powwows sucked out things from the
body; see Bragdon, 1996).
988
Evidently a Passive Voice verb due to -on suffix (see Ind. Gram. Dict., Appendix).
984

179

NARRAGANSETT

ENGLISH

CHAP.

PG.

Chapter XXXII. Of Death and Buriall, &c.


As pummssin989
Neene

XXXII
He is not yet departed
He is drawing on (now he is about to XXXII

200
200

cross over)
XXXII

200

XXXII

201

XXXII

201

XXXII

201

XXXII

201

XXXII

201

XXXII

201

XXXII

201

XXXII

201

XXXII

201

XXXII

202

XXXII

202

XXXII

202

XXXII

202

XXXII

202

XXXII

202

XXXII

202

You (plural)do not name the dead XXXII


!
XXXII
You wrong me in naming my dead

202

Pasawut kitonckquwa
Chachwunnea
Nipwmw
Kitonckqui
Katitonckquban991
Sequtti992

He cannot live long


He is near death
He has crossed over
He is dead990
They are dead and gone
He, she is in Black (wears black face-

Squt
Michemeshwi
Mat wnck kunnawmne
Wunnowantam or wullasin993
Nnowntam or nlasin
Kutchmmoke !
Kutchmmoke994 !
Chepasstam
Mauchahom995
Mauchahomwock & chepeck996
Chepasquaw
Yo aspapan997
Sachimapan
Sachim
Aquie mshash !

Black face-soot for mourning


He, she is gone forever
You shall never see him, her again
He is grieved and in bitterness
I am grieved for you
You(plural) be of good cheer ! Be
of good cheer !
The dead Sachem
the dead man
The dead men
The dead woman
He that was here
He that was the Sachim here
Sachim
Youdo not name the dead !

Aquie mishhmmoke

soot for mourning)

Cowewnaki

202

989

Literally, He journeys yet, Passive Voice.


Physical death.
991
Passive Voice or more likely Past Tense with suffix /-pan/ form.
992
A condition maintained for weeks, month, up to a year (if a great person, like Sachim).
993
-sin tells us that the mourners are lying down or fallen down in great grief.
994
Words accompanied gentle stroking of the face and head.
995
Seems to mean man gone to completion, the end.
996
Implies separated which word the English thought meant devil (chepi- = the devil in English view).
997
Passive Voice or more likely Past Tense with suffix /-pan/ form, as also seen in the next entry.
990

180

NARRAGANSETT
998

Posaknnamun
Aukck pnamun
Wesquubenan
Mockuttsuit
Caunonicus

ENGLISH
To bury
To lay in the earth
To wrap up (deceased in mats)
Person who wraps up and buries the
dead (a person of great esteem)
Sachim Caunonicus

CHAP.

PG.

XXXII

202

XXXII

202

XXXII

202

XXXII

203

XXXII

203

Pakodjteau-un

Hawnshech

Wunnish

998

Infinitive Mode.

181

GRAMMAR
TABLE

Summarizing
Five Types of Verbs in this Dialect

[See NOTES and Examples for explanation of use of table]

122

I. Grammar of Narragansett Verbs (Present Tense): Five Types


TYPE

INFINITIVE

II

III

***men (min, mun)

***em (un)

***iwin (in, iin, ouin, ouwin,


owin)

n'***iwin (in, iin, ouin, ouwin,


owin)
k***iwin (in, iin, ouin, ouwin,
owin)
(w')***iwin (in, iin, ouin,
ouwin, owin, es)
n'***awunan
k'***awunan
k'***awunan
(w')***awunan

INDICATIVE
I

n'***am (um)

n'***men (min, mun)

n'***em

You (sg.)

k'***am (um)

k'***men (min, mun, )

k'***em

He, she, it

(w')***am (um)

(w')***wi (i, o, eu, u, su, wa, )

We (excl.)
We (incl. )
You (pl.)
They

n'***amumun
k'***amumun
k'***amumwoo
(w')***amwock

n'***men (min, mun)


k'***men (min)
k'***amwoo
(w)'***wock (og, uog, uck, uock)

(w')***aui (a, au, aw, aun , ayi,


)
n'***amun
k'***amun
(w')***auock (aug, ouoog, auog)

Indefinite
IMPERATIVE
You (sg.)
Him, her, it
Us
You (pl.)
Them
Indefinite
SUBJUNCTIVE
I
You (sg.)

He, she, it
We
You (pl.)
They
Indefinite

IV

n'***
k'***
(w')***o ()
n'***umun
k'***umun
k'***umwoo
(w')***umwock
(uwock, wock)

***awun

***ash (as, ass, sh)


***atch
***amutta
***amoke
***amhettich
***amunach

***ish (sh, s)
***itch (tch)
***ituck (iteuck, tuck, etuck)
***ike (eke)
***hettitch

***esh (ash, es, ess, )


***atch
***auta (aunta, aunto)
***unk
***auhettitch (auhetti)

***amon
***aman
***ock
***amock
***amck
***hettit

***ean (yean, un, n)


***ean (ayean, an)
***ont

***auean (ayean, ouean)


***auean (ayean, ouean)
***auean (ayean, ouean)

***hettit
***itch (utch, etch)

***auhettit

***ous

***

***auock (auog)

***oke

***oan

123

II. Grammar of Narragansett Verbs (Present Tense): Five Types & Regular Form
TYPE

OBJECTIVE
INDICATIVE
I-You (sg.)

k'***ous (aunsh)

I-Him, her
I-Them

n'***
n'***oock

You (sg.)-Me
You (sg.)-Them
He, she-Me

k'***i (e)
k'***ook
n'***uck (unck, eug,
qun)
k'***uck

He, she-You (sg.)


He, she-Us
They-You (sg.)

III

k'***ous (aunsh, aush, k'***ous


oush, ish, aunch,
itch)
n'***auock (auog)

IV

k'***ous

n'***uckwunonock

They-Them

***auhettuock

OBJECTIVE
IMPERATIVE
You (sg.)-Me
You (sg.)-Him,her
You (pl.)-Us
We-Us

***amiinnea
***inish
***auhettemina

k'***ous (aunsh,
ish, )

n'***auock (ouoog)

k'***i (e)

k'***i (e)

n'***uck (unck,
uckqun)
k'***uck (uckqun)

n'***uck (uckqun)
k'***uck (qun)

k'***uck (ickqun)
k'***uckwock
(ickquock)

n'***uckwock

REGULAR

k'***ous (ish, oush,


aunsh)
n'***au
n'***auock

k'***uckwock

They-Us

OBJECTIVE
SUBJUNCTIVE
You (sg.)-Me

II

k'***i (e)
k'***auock
n'***uck
k'***uck
n'***uckqun (ickqun)
k'***uckwock

n'***uckwock
(uckquock)
***auhettuock

***iinnea
***inish
***(i)innean
***itea

k'***ean (iean)

***iinnea (iin)

***iinnea

***iinnea

***auhettitea

k'***ean

124

NOTES
(1) INFINITIVE Mode is the form "to___" (for example, "To plant corn").
(2) INDICATIVE Mode refers to simple statements or questions ("I am tired"; "When did you come?", etc.).
(3) IMPERATIVE Mode refers to commands or pleadings ("Sit !", " Come !").
(4) SUBJUNCTIVE refers to subordinate mode ("I thank you"; "Let us be going"; "Being that he has come"; "When it snows").
(5) OBJECTIVE INDICATIVE Mode refers to transitive verbs denoting a subject-object relation ("I love you"; "He asks me", etc.).
(6) OBJECTIVE IMPERATIVE Mode refers to subject-object commands or pleadings ("You show me the way!", etc.).
(7) OBJECTIVE SUBJUNCTIVE refers to "subordinate" mode involving a subject and object.
(8) REGULAR means this is the normal or most common Verb Type.
(9) sg. means "singular"; pl. means "plural"; excl. means "exclusive" ("we, but not you"); incl. means "inclusive" ("all of us"); *** indicates the stem or
root word; the symbol is the "null symbol" meaning nothing goes there.
(10) Some forms are taken from the Natick dialect (listed in italic as in n'***amumun); the forms given in parentheses are alternative forms for a prefix
or suffix; for example, (um) in Type I or (min, mun) in Type II or (w') in all Types.
(11) A t is often inserted before a root/stem beginning with vowel, and after a root/stem ending in a vowel (e.g. npaketam is form n'***am, Type I, with
the root being pake). Some forms involve adding or deleting other letters before adding the prefix or suffix (e.g., taquatchowash is Imperative, Type
II with stem taquatchowau; the form is ***ish and the u has been dropped before adding suffix sh).

EXAMPLES
Nowatam = "I understand" is a first person singular Indicative Type I verb. Table form is: n'***am. The stem or root word is waut (to
understand), indicated by ***.
Toktuck! = "Let us waken!" is an Imperative Type II verb (first person plural). Table form is: ***ituck (etuck). The stem word is tok
(to awaken), indicated by ***.
Tawhich mat mechan? = "Why do you not eat"? is a second person singular Type V Subjunctive verb. Table form is: ***oan. The stem
is mech (to eat), indicated by ***.
Schepwutch = "When it snows" is a Type II Subjunctive (indefinite) verb. Table form is: ***itch (utch, etch). The stem is schep
(snow), indicated by ***.
Cowutous = "I understand you" is Objective Indicative of the form I-You (sg.). Table form is: k'***ous. The stem or root word is
waut (to understand), indicated by ***. Note that the word is spelled with a c and the form is spelled with a k.
Kokoteminnea myi! ="Show me the way!" is an Objective Imperative verb of form You (sg.)-Me. Table form is: ***amiinnea. The
stem or root word is kokot (to show), indicated by ***.
Mequanamnnean!= "You (pl.) remember us!" is Type II Objective-Imperative of form You (pl.)-Us. Table form is: ***(i)innean. The stem or root
is mequanam (remember) indicated, by ***.
Narragansett Verb Forms selected from
Hagenau, Walter P. (1962). A Morphological Study of Narragansett Indian Verbs in Roger Williams A Key into the Language of America.
Providence, RI: Brown University (M.A. Thesis), and the authors.
Natick Verb Forms selected from
Goddard, Ives and Kathleen J. Bragdon (1988). Native Writings in Massachusett (Parts 1 & 2). American Philosophical Society Memoir 185.
Philadelphia: The American Philosophical Society.
125

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129

CREDITS AND ACKNOWLEDGMENTS


Grateful acknowledgment is made to the following sources for permission to quote or reproduce
copyrighted material in the text. Any omissions are inadvertent and will be corrected in future
editions upon notification.
Aubin, George (1972). A Historical Phonology of Narragansett. Providence, RI: Brown
University. (Ph.D. Dissertation). [Courtesy of Rockefeller Library, Brown University]
Cotton, Josiah (1707, 1825). "Vocabulary of the Massachusetts (or Natick) Indian Language."
Cambridge, MA: Massachusetts Historical Society Collection, Serial 3, Vol. II, pp. 147-257.
[Courtesy of Widener Library, Harvard University].
Foster Woodcut (1677) (Front Cover) [Courtesy of Osher Map Library & Smith Center for
Cartographic Education, University of Southern Maine].
Hagenau, Walter P. (1962). A Morphological Study of Narragansett Indian Verbs in Roger
Williams A Key into the Language of America. Providence, RI: Brown University (M.A.
Thesis). [Courtesy of Rockefeller Library, Brown University]
Eliot, John (1666). The Indian Grammar Begun; or, an Essay to Bring The Indian Language
into Rules for the Help of Such as Desire to Learn the Same for the Furtherance of the Gospel
Among Them. Cambridge, MA: Marmaduke Johnson [Courtesy of the John Carter Brown
Library at Brown University].
Mayhew, Experience (1722, 1855). Letter of Exp. Mayhew, 1722, on the Indian Language.
New England Historical. and Genealogical Register. Vol. 39, pp. 10-17. [Courtesy of
Rockefeller Library, Brown University]
Roger Williams with the Sachems, (Rear Cover). [Courtesy of Naval Undersea Warfare Center
& Naval War College Museum, Newport, RI]
Trumbull, James H. (1876). "The Algonkin Verb". Transactions of the American Philological
Association, No. 7, pp. 146-171. [Courtesy of the the American Philological Association,
University of Pennsylvania]

130

We express gratitude to the following Spirits, people and institutions for technical
assistance, funding and promoting the work of the Aquidneck Indian Council
Canadian geese and other teaching voices of the Great Spirit
Our parents and all our relations
Ormand Talking Turtle, Narragansett Indian Tribal Nation and his Maliseet Friends of
Tobique Band, New Brunswick, Canada
Charles E. Weeden (Great Bear), Aquidneck Indian Council Researcher and Aquidneck
Indian Council Homepage Website Manager

Mystic
Voices:
the
Story
of
the
Pequot
War
(http://ourworldtop.cs.com/pequotwar/index.htm ) , television documentary
Charles Clemmons and Guy Perotta, co-producers who brought our work to life and
to the television screen
Actors Ron King (Navaho) and Nekanis (Chris Oritz, Mashpee Wampanoag) and
Strong Woman for their heroic efforts to bring to the public for the first time in many
years Native American dialogue.
Other Native American actors and extras of Pequot, Narragansett, Wampanoag,
Abenaki and other Nations
Mashantucket Pequot Museum and Research Library
James D. Wherry, Executive Assistant to Chairman Kenneth M. Reels
Eastern Pequot Tribal Nation
Board of Directors, Members & Friends, Aquidneck Indian Council
Rhode Island Indian Council
Rhode Island State Council on the Arts
Expansion Arts, a joint program of the Rhode Island Foundation and Rhode Island
State Council on the Arts
Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities
Rhode Island Historical Society
Director Shepard Kretch III and Deputy Director Barbara Hail, Haffenreffer Museum of
Anthropology (Brown University)
Naval Station, Newport, Rhode Island
Naval Education Training Center, Commander Cooper & Public Affairs Office
Dighton Intertribal Indian Council
University of Rhode Island (Special Collections Department)
Middletown Public Library, Middletown, RI
Professor George Aubin, Assumption College
Professor (emeritus) Karl V. Teeter, Harvard University
Professor Philip S. LeSourd, Indiana University
Chief Eagle, Sagamore Indian Council, Cape Cod, MA.
Fall River Historical Society
Newport Historical Society
Hera Gallery, Wakefield, RI
Rhode Island 2000
Warren Memorial Committee

131

Massasoit Part Revitalization Committee


Mary Benjamin, Princess Red Wing Biographer
Peter Lenz, Maine Historian
Dr. David Kerwood, Naval Undersea Warfare Center, Division Newport, Newport, RI
American Indian Culture & Research Journal
E'nokwin Journal of First North American Peoples
Indian Country Today
Los Angeles Times
The Providence Journal
Fall River Herald
Whispering Wind
Newport Daily News
Narragansett Indian News
Crones Nest Journal
Dream Edit, Newport, RI for helping to bring to life our language work in music
Our children Lily-Rae, Julia and Brian who were with us every step of the way

132

About the Authors

he research of Moondancer Dr. O'Brien and Strong Woman Julianne Jennings into the
regional lost American Indian languages has appeared in the American Indian Culture and
Research Journal of the University of California and Gatherings: The En'owkin Journal of
First North American Peoples of Canada. Their first textbook, Understanding Algonquian
Indian Words (New England), is used in Native language classes in New England, and Dr.
O'Brien teaches the language to regional tribal peoples through the Rhode Island Indian
Council. They have provided Indian language translations for two public monuments in
Rhode Island, one endorsed by the Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities and the other
endorsed by the Rhode Island State Council on the Arts.

trong Woman attended the Algonquin Indian School where she received intensive training
in the Massachusett language (Natick) by Chief Spotted Eagle. She is a member of the
Rhode Island Indian Council. Her biography is in Who's Who in America for her
outstanding achievements in Indian language reconstruction, traditional arts, crafts, and
music. Recently the International Biographical Centre of Cambridge, England selected her as
1000 Outstanding Americans.

oondancer is the Former Secretary, Rhode Island Indian Council. He holds a Ph.D. from
Columbia University, where he presented his dissertation on linguistics, and is an elected
member of the New York Academy of Sciences. He was selected into the International
Order of Merit by the IBC, Cambridge, UK. He was recognized for his original contributions
to science and engineering at the Naval Undersea Warfare Center in Rhode Island, as well as
his original technical contributions to Native American studies.

urrently the couple is participating in the television historical documentary, Mystic Voices:
The Story of the Pequot War (http://ourworld.cs.com/pequotwar/) to be aired in 2001.
Strong Woman sings songs and chants in their latest collaborative work, a CD Nkas-I
Come from Hera compilation of music sung entirely in the lost dialects of the
Massachusett, Narragansett and Pequot languages

r. O'Brien and Julianne Jennings' work has been funded and supported by many
organizations at the local, State, Federal and International levels. A partial listing includes

ashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation, the Rhode Island Indian Council, Eastern Pequot
Tribal Nation, Aquidneck Indian Council, Dighton Inter-tribal Indian Council, The
United States Department of Defense, The United States Department of the Interior,
Rhode Island Committee for the Humanities (National Endowment for the Humanities),
Rhode Island State Council on the Arts (National Endowment for the Arts), Rhode Island
Foundation, Expansion Arts, Haffenreffer Museum of Anthropology (Brown University),
Harvard University, The Rhode Island State Historical Society, Rhode Island School of
Design, Annawan Historical Society, Rehoboth Antiquarian Society, Kiwanis Club of
Newport, The Wandering Bull, Inc. of Attleboro, MA, Frank's Trading Post of Stonington,
CT, individual donors, and many others too numerous to list.

hispering Wind (Vol. 31, No. 2, 2000) recently featured the couple's work on
language revival.

The two Narragansett Indian Sachems that granted the land for Roger
Williams' colony are Canonicus (front, pointing ?) and Miantonomi (left ?).
The land for the Providence colony was essentially a gift from the two
Sachems to Roger Williams. No money (or equivalent) for the Providence
land was exchanged.
The New York Public Library, Mid Manhattan Library; Roger Williams Sheltered by the Narragansetts. IMAGE_ID: 806876