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Navajo Slang
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This page has a small collection of cool Navajo words that are slang expressions or new Navajo words for certain objects or places. The Navajo language is versatile enough to gain phrases for objects in use today. The phrases used here are words that I hear my relatives use & may not be phrases other families use. Here is a sample of a few.

Note: the phrases listed on this site are not all-inclusive. There is alot of slang phrases used that are not listed here. Also, the Navajo reservation is so big that different parts of the reservation may use different slang terms than those listed here!

I don't provide all the proper forms of how to use these words. In other words, some background in Navajo language is required.

Some phrases have sound clips. Click on the to hear the phrase in Navajo. Hope these are enjoyable!

   

     
AIDS (Acquired Immunodeficiency Syndrome)
Navajo phrase: Naaniih yich'h naabaahg baah dahoo'aahgo
This is the word literally means, "disease of the disease fighter". The body's immune system is called "disease fighter" (naaniih yich'h naabaahg) in Navajo, so this term describes what is going on at that stage of HIV infection, when the body is no longer able to fight off disease. Scroll down below for another variant, listed as HIV. This is taken from the UNM HSC Center for Development & Disability Website. I included this as a slang phrase because it is not really in use. There's no real word for AIDS.
 
     
To apologize
Navajo phrase: Shaa ndin'aah
The literal definition is "take it off for me." This phrase is not commonly heard on the Navajo reservation. There is no real way of saying "I'm sorry" in Navajo. No word for "forgive me" exists. People will describe how they're feeling when they make motions to apologize, like "doo ayo shi ht'e da" (I feel differently), "t' na'nle'dii bich'i' haasdz'" (I spoke foolishly or too rash), or "baa shni'" (I feel bad about it). Navajos joke that this is the reason grudges among Navajos exist for a long time.
 
     
Bashas Din Market
Navajo name: Bzhaazh
Bashas is a grocery store chain that is spread all over the state of Arizona, in Needles, CA, & Crownpoint, NM. It is also very prominent on the Navajo reservation. The literal definition is "scraped away," mainly because it sounds very close to the words Bashas itself. It is used in sentences like,"Bichid t' bzhaazh," which means, "his car is scraped up!"


 

     
Beer
Navajo name: Bizh' hln
The word literally means "the one that has saliva." This is used for foamy beer. Alcoholic beverages go by many other names, such as t dihi (black water), t ichx (red water), or t tsi'naa'iih (water that makes the mind crazy). Navajos from Alamo area also use the term t hast'ishii (muddy water), which is the term used by neigboring Mescalero Apache Indians.
 
 
 
 
Best Friend, etc.
Navajo phrase: Yi Ahidltl'
This phrase means something like "stuck together with him, her, or it." I heard this term in White Rock, NM, visiting my grandfather's relatives. It is not a common word. The more common term for "my friend" is shik'is or shi naa'aash. Other ways to say friend are ahi sike eh (visits him/her often) or yi ahdiit'ash (runs around with him/her)

Examples:

shicheii yi ahidltl'.
He's my grandfather's best buddy.

Alex shi ahidltl'.
Alex is my best friend.
 

 
 
 
To play bingo
Navajo phrase: Naa' naalzhood
This word describes "moving the beans around". I hear this was a common term. Since most people use the English word in Navajo conversation, this word is being forgotten. This word orginated back when people played bingo and used beans to cover the numbers.

Examples:

Naa' naalzhood yee ndaang deekai.
We're going to the Bingo Hall
(Literally: We're going to where they play moving the beans around)
 

More information on the history of bingo can be found at:
 

     
Blake's Lotaburger
Navajo name: Jd Ts's
The literal definition is "skinny legs" because of the store's sign. This is a store chain in the New Mexico area. I believe this is another family name like Dr. Mario. Other families probably don't use this!

Example:

Jd Ts'sdi da'iid'!
We ate at Blake's!
 
     
Burger King
Navajo name: 'h Bikiin
The literal definition is "just enough food to get strength from". Only my grandma's sister uses this term. I thougt it was cute so I added it.

The phrase comes from phrases used like, "D bikiin naashnish doo," which means, "from this I'll have the energy to work."
 

 
 
 
To get burned (insulted)
Navajo phrase: t'aa la' hn' 'o'oots'id!
This word literally means "his/her face caved in! This is used when someone is so insulted, the other person is speechless. It is typically only used in 3rd person.
 
 
 
 
To be a butthead!
Navajo phrase: Yadil t'a'iiyahii!
This is used when someone is calling someone else a butthead. It is only used among close relatives, used to break the ice or ease the tension after an argument.
 
     
Cancer
Navajo word: d doo ndziihii
This is the word literally means, "the sore that doesn't heal". This word wouldn't be considered slang since there really is no other word on the reservation for cancer. This is the only term used. It is only listed here for completeness.
 
 
 
 
Can't eat any more
Navajo phrase: Bidiich'ee'
This word describes the mouth being spread open wide & being stuffed. This phrase can be only used to describe being full of meat. This phrase can't be used for being merely full. Rather, it is used when you're so full you can't stand the sight of whatever meat you're eating.

Examples:

Ayo shidiich'ee'!
I really can't eat any more!

Gary dibe bitsi' bidiich'ee'.
Gary can't eat any more mutton!
 

 
 
Cell Phone
Navajo name: Bi njooba
This word, which literally means "one spins around with this," is a common word on the reservation. It is rumored that this term came around from the way teenagers look when they twirl around while talking on the cell phone. In using this term, there are no prefixes used, such as shibi njooba (my cellphone). It is referred to merely as "bi njooba."

Another word used in Navajo for "cell-phone" is bi njooyis.

Examples:

Bi njooba bi nnnshba! I'm running around with my cell phone!
(I'm spinning around with the spinner!)

Bi njooba nliji sit! The cell phone is lying over there!

Tom bi njooba dah yinyoo'!
Tom is carrying around the cell phone!
 

     
Cocaine
Navajo name: N'ii'ni
This literally means "you put it in the nose." I heard this word working at Albuquerque IHS. This word is used in the Albuquerque/Alamo Navajo areas.

Example:

Ashkii li' n'ii'ni a' nayiisnii'. biniinaa yaa aht'e'.
That particular boy bought some cocaine. For that reason he was arrested

 
 
 
To Be cold, have the chills, etc.
Navajo phrase: Hak'az shich'i' iidj'
The phrase above literally means "I was jumped by the cold." It is normally used in phrases such as, "ashiik shich'i' iidj!" ( I was jumped by some guys). The more common way of saying this is "yishdlh" (I'm cold) or "hak'az shii' nlwo" (the cold is running around in me).

Example:

Hak'azsh nich'i' iidj'? Do you have the chills?
(Were you attacked by the cold?)
 
     
Commodity Food
Navajo name: Na'ajaah
This word describes carrying several items. Some people use "na'ajaah" for commodity cheese alone.


 

     
Computer
Navajo name: Bsh Ntsikees
This literally means "the metal that thinks."
 
     
Condom
Navajo name: Ak' atsoozg
The literal definition is "the sheet-like object placed on top."

Example:

Ak' atsoozg shaa nn! Give me some condoms!
 
 
 
To Be Cool
Navajo phrase (1): Bi sih
Pronounced S-YIH. A Y not shown exists in this word. The phrase above is slang for "he's cool" or "she's cool." The correct use of this word is used in phrases like " doo sih da," meaning "it's not good." The phrase "doo sih da" can also be slang for "it doesn't meet my expectations."

Examples:

Chxh ni sih! You are really cool!
(if using as a come-on line!)

Shakira biyiin niidg do sih da.
Shakira's new song does not meet my expectations!

US b tin bik' bi na'ateeg bi na'azteelgo doo sih da sha'shin.
When the US figure skaters skated, they didn't do a good job.
 

     
Navajo phrase (2): Hak'e'dziisxiih!
This version is a variant of #1. Using this goes as far to say that someone dresses cool, is awesome, hot, fine, is good at everything, etc. This is hard to translate into English.

Example:

Sh ayo shik'e'dziisxiih! I'm lookin' good!


 

     
Navajo phrase (3): Ch'idish nizhnyee'!
This variant applies to objects, something that is really, really awesome. Still, this can only be used among select people since this phrase can be offensive. It literally translates to "the devil that's nice"! Anything that has the word "ch'idii" is considered a cuss word in Navajo.

Example:

Ch'idish nizhnyee'! That's hella-tight!


 

 
 
 
To crave mutton
Navajo phrase: ach'h bi'niih
Mutton (sheep meat) is a delicacy on the reservation. There are many, many slang terms revolving around mutton. This is one of them. Another is when people burp and finish by saying shga d', which means "I want mutton!"

Examples:

Niyzh ach'h bi'niih sha'shin.
I think your son is craving mutton.

Kin Ndzdi khasht'igo ach'h shi'niih nt''.
I was craving mutton when I was living at New York City.
 

     
To go on a date, go out, etc.
Navajo phrase (1): Naa nishood
The literal definition means "I'm going to drag you around." Be careful with this phrase. To some people, it can mean "Let's make out."

Examples:

Na'shoodsh nt''?
Were you out on a date?

Aoo' hih... na'ashood nt''!
Oh yeah... I was on a date!

Howard tl'd' na'ashood ne'.
I thought Howard was on a date last night!
 

     
Navajo phrase (2): Nanisdzs
The literal definition means "I'm going to carry you or haul you around."This is not as common as the previous variant. This is more deep rez.

Examples:

Ti' nandeesdzxs!
Let me take you out!

Ndzndzxzsh?
Did you go out?

Na'asdzs nt''!
I was on a date!
 

     
Days Inn in St. Michael's, AZ
Navajo name: Ba' Dziztin
The literal definition means "lying down waiting for someone." This is the name for the Days Inn, specifically at St. Michaels, AZ, west of Window Rock, AZ, on State Highway 264 towards Ganado, NM. It is not known where this name came from.


 

 
 
 
To be in a deep sleep
Navajo phrase: yiik'ih dah siz
This word literally means "he/she's standing on top of it." People understand this as a person who is totally out or sleeping well.

Examples:

Chxh bik'i dah sizo yiisk!
I slept really good!

Toby chxh yiik'ih dah siz.
Toby is out (he's sleeping)!

Bik'i dah hiizi' l!
I was out! (Past tense phrasing, compared to the first example.)
 

     
To divorce someone or die
Navajo phrase (1): Daha'diijid
The phrase literally means "he or she hauled it away". Commonly you hear, "ak daha'diijid ne' ," which means "he was hauling his load here a minute ago."

Examples:

K'asda' dahadiijid. I almost died!
(I almost packed it all up!)

Na'jid. He died.
(He packed up his stuff)

Ndiichxo' na'jid. He got mad and divorced her.
(He got mad, packed up, and went home)

Navajo phrase (2): k'ade nhtl'iid
This phrase means "I'm exhausted or dying." This literally means I'm about to thow it in, like the English phrase "throw in the towel."
 
 
 
 
To be drunk
Navajo phrase (1): bi naak'ai'
This phrase can either mean to be "drunk" or "hung-over. It literally means "his (or her) legs are spread apart." Most people say bi honeezdoh for being drunk.

Being "lightly buzzed" but not totally drunk has a similar variant. The phrase for this is bi hk'ai'.

Examples:

add' bi naak'ai'go bi nniikai.
Yesterday, he came back with us all drunk.

T'adoo baa honsing shi hk'ai'.
Before I realized it, I was buzzed.
 

 
 
Dr. Mario
Navajo phrase: Azee' handh
This phrase literally means, "falling medicine." My grandma and her older sister are the only people who use this word. Both of their grandchildren taught them how to play the original NES system. This is their favorite game, along with Tetris.

Examples:

Shimsn d bd azee' handh yee naane eh.
My grandma and her older sister play Dr. Mario quite frequently.
 
     
Dumb Blonde
Navajo name: Bilaganaatso
This phrase literally means "yellow-haired Anglo." A more common term for someone who is outright-ditsy is "t' hodiilzha'. The latter term is a phrase that the older-generation Navajos will understand
 
     
Ecstasy, E, XTC, Hug Drug, MDMA, etc.
Navajo name: Da'alzhish Bi'azee'
This literally means "dancer's medication." Also, a few of my cousins say it is also called "azee' ditsxiz," (the medication that makes you jittery).
 
 
 
 
Flea Market
Navajo phrase: Hazhdiilwo'ii
This phrase literally means, "You Walk Through It." There are many slang terms in Navajo for Flea Market. This is just one of them.
 
     
Fireworks
Navajo name: Naaltsoos dildn
This literally means "exploding paper."
 
 
     
To be a flirt, to seduce someone, etc.
Navajo phrase: Yich'i' yi pop
The phrase above literally means "he/she's popping towards someone.." The word "pop" is the same word in English. So, this slang is a version of Nav-lish. This phrase is common in the Lukachukai area. Whether or not it's used elsewhere is unknown.

Example:

Hsh bich'i' ni pop?
Who are you flirting with?

Ch'sh shich'i' ni pop?
Are you trying to seduce me?


 

 
 
Being Full
Navajo phrase: biyaa nst'ii'
Though this phrase literally means "I hosed it off underneath" it means that "I really ate well." The correct way of saying I'm full is hwiih sl.'

Examples:

Ayo biyaa ndaasiilt'ii.'
We (3 or more people) really pigged out.

Aniidyee' shimsn baghandi biyaa nst'ii.'
A little while ago, I really ate well at my grandma's house.
 

     
Gang or Gangs
Navajo name (1): Ahnda'ahiilthg
This means "those that join together." Unlike the previous, this is not Navajo slang. Rather, this is the correct or proper term used in Navajo to describe gangs. This is the phrasing that would be used in news reports, such as on KTNN, when talking about gangs.


 

 
 
Gangsta, gang member, thug, or anyone who dresses ghetto
Navajo name (1): t'aaj ' ndaaz
This literally means "the one with heavy pants." Navajos who to dress gangsta on the rez tend to wear sagging jeans, so people associate this with "heavy pants."

Other terms include "awlyaa," which means "prisoner" and "chaa' neiyh," which I won't translate because it is too descriptive.

Examples:

T'aaj ' ndaaz ashkii nn a' nab'jgizh.
That gansta threw another boy some gang signs.

Andyee' t'aaj ' ndaaz k bi o'oolwod.
A little while ago, a gangsta drove by.
 

     
Navajo name (2): ch'ah digizii
This literally means "crooked cap." This is my own name for a gangsta... mady by daybreak warrior himself.
 
     
G-string, thong, etc.
Navajo name: t'eh ts'z
The literal definition is "the slender strip that covers the behind."

Example:

Nil at'd t'eh ts'z yit'igo naagh.
That girl is walking around with her thong showing.
 
 
 
Girlfriend/Boyfriend
Navajo name: Bich'ayaa 'h
This word literally means "the one that sticks up from under his armpit." It is descriptive of couples that walk around with one arm over the shoulder of the other. There really is no word for girlfriend or boyfriend in Navajo. Some people say "she'ashkii" (my boy) or "she'at'eed" (my girl).

Most people tend to mix Navajo and English, such as "D shi girlfriend t'!" (This is my girlfriend!). The next closest equivalent is "shik'is," but this generally only means "my friend" or "my cousin."

Examples:

D shich'ayaa 'h t'! This is my girlfriend
(This is the one that sticks up from under my armpit!)

Bich'ayaa 'h nish! He is my boyfriend.
(I am the one that sticks up underneath his armpit!)
 

     
To hang out or hang around
Navajo phrase: dah naashch'aa
The literal definition means "I'm hanging from something," like a monkey will hang from a tree or a cat hanging on curtains, freely in the air. For bilingual Navajos (speaking Navajo & English), they'll understand this. The older Navajos, unfamiliar with Anglo slang, will not understand the humor in this statement.

Example:

Ha'at'sh baa naahkai? (What are the 3 of you doing?)
T' k dah ndeelch'aa! (We're just hanging around here!)
 
   
Being high, fried, blazed, stoned, etc. (from recreational drug use)
Navajo phrase: bi naareel
This phrase has no literal meaning, other than being "high." Most Native speakers will know what this phrase means though. The phrase above means "he's high." The phrase is unique in that the Navajo language contains no "r" sounds. The origin of this phrase is unknown.

The proper term for being high is more like "t' bi nahaaghh," which roughly means he's all out of it. Others will use the term for being drunk to describe being stoned, such as "bi honeezdoh" (he's drunk).

Examples:

Ayo bi naareel.
He's really high

T'd' doo iihaazh da. biniinaa t' shi naareel nahonishin.
Last night, I didn't sleep at all. That's why it seems like I'm stoned.
 

     
HIV (Human Immunodeficiency Virus)
Navajo name: Asdz algaanii bideezla' ba'll aji
This is the word used among Navajo healers (medicine men) for this. This was mentioned by Frank Nez, a Substance Abuse Counselor who works for the Dine Behavioral Health Services in Tuba City, AZ, in Leading The Way Magazine. Scroll above to see the phrase for AIDS.
[Nez, F. (2006). Working With Teenagers. Leading The Way - The Wisdom of the Navajo People, 4(4), 4-5.]
 
     
Holy Roller
Navajo word: Daachxago Ndaamaas
This is the word literally means, "those that roll around crying," but Navajos know it as the equivalent to the English phrase "Holy Roller," which is a term for Christians who attend rowdy Revivals, one after another.

Example:

" Daachxago Ndaamaas atah," dashin.
They say, "He's a Holy-Roller."

 
     
Humidity
Navajo name: Nch'i Dit'
The literal definition is "wet wind" or "wet weather."

Example:

Akaii Bikyah j nch'i ayo dit' eh!
It is usually humid in Texas!
 
     
To be hung-over
Navajo phrase: b yool
This describes ... but people will understand it as "he's hung over." Some people may pronounce this as "b yill."

Example:

Abnd' chxh sh yoolego ndiishna'.
Early this morning, I got up extremely hung-over.

 
     
To listen to music, jam out, etc.
Navajo phrase (1): bi deich'iish
Though this phrase literally means "they're scratching/sawing/filing with him." It is found in words like "bee ach'iish" (guitar), which means you scratch with it; "niwoo' nch'iish" (brush your teeth); "d iishch'iish" (I'm sawing through this), or "k'nch'iish" (saw it, a command).

This phrase can also describe a band playing really good. See the examples for this!

Examples:

Shi deich'iish.
I'm listening to music (jamming out).

Shi I-Pod bee t' nihi deich'iish!
We're jamming to music from my I-Pod.
 

AFI wadzoh deich'iish!
AFI is really good (they can really play/scratch it out)!

Jesus yich'iish!
Jesus ROCKS! (he can really play/scratch it out)!
 

     
Navajo phrase (2): bi deitsxid
Though this phrase literally means "they're beating on something with him." It is found in words like "atsid" (Silversmith), which means he beats on it.

Examples:

Shi deitsxid.
I'm jamming out to music.

Nih t' nihi deitsxid!
Us? We're jamming to music.

Nish deitsxid?
Are you jamming out?
 

     
Mall
Navajo word: Da'iiniih Ah Dah D'adi
This is the word literally means, "where the stores are connected".

Example:

Ti', da'iiniih ah dah d'g diit'ash.
Let's go the mall right now.

 

 
 
Marijuana
Navajo name: Naakai Bint'oh
This phrase literally means "Mexican Cigarettes" or "Mexican Tobacco," and it is widely used all across the reservation.

The proper term for "recreational drugs" in Navajo is azee' tsi'naa'iih," which literally translates to "medicine that makes the mind crazy." It is applied to any substance, such as meth, cocaine, heroin, etc. Examples:

Naakai bint'oh chiyoo'iih shin.
He told me he uses marijuana.
 
 
 
Methamphetamine, Meth, Crystal, etc.
Navajo name (1): tsso'
The literal definition is "glass" since light bulbs are used to smoke meth. This term is not used much, except by educators and law enforcement officials on the Navajo Reservation. It was mentioned in a focus report on methamphetamine use on the Navajo Reservation broadcasted on KTNN, on March 18, 2006.

To hear the effects of methamphetamine described in the Navajo language, click on the mp3 download available here from www.sheepheadfilms.com.
 

 
 
Navajo name (2): azee' atah naashbzh
Navajo name (3): atah nzh bzh
This word describes how this "medicine" is boiled among other things, since it is made in clandestine labs by being boiled with other ingredients. This term was originally introduced by Char James, a Meth Educator for Navajo Nation Department of Behavioral Health. Still, there is some controversy over the utility of this term since it is similar to another Navajo word "atah na'a bzh," a mixture of corn & meat used in various ceremonies.

Originally, Char James used the term ats's yiyn, which means "body eater". Still, this term also generates some confusion since ats's yiyn is used for the word "leprosy". Though leprosy is not common on the Navajo reservation, it is a common term to Christian Navajos who read about leprosy from the Navajo Bible.

To read more about this controversy, click on the link below to read the article, courtesy of Navajo Times Online:

Meth Mix-Up

 
 

     
Microwave
Navajo name: Bee na'niildh
This phrase literally means "you warm things up with it."
 
     
Movie Theater
Navajo name: Da'nl'idi
The literal definition means "where they are shown."


 

     
MySpace
Navajo name: Shi Hahoodzogii
The literal definition is "where there's a border around me." This type of phrasing is typically used with describing physical land that is bordered with a line like states or counties. For example, Arizona Hoozd Hahoodzoog (Where The Hot Area Is Bordered With A Line) or a National Forest as Ndshch' Bi Hahoodzohg (The Pine Trees That Are Bordered With A Line). Since this phrase describes physical land, out of context people will understand this as a person's physical land.

A MySpace profile would be worded as shaa hane'g (the thing that tells about me).

Examples:

Shi hahoodzogii sh nn'.
Check out my MySpace page!

Bi hahoodzogsh b nn''?
Did you see her MySpace page?

Naa hane'g nits'' n''!
I saw your MySpace profile!
 

     
New York City
Navajo name: Kin Ndz
This phrase literally means "where the buildings fell." This is a recent term, occurring after 9/11. As with most Navajo places, the name for it is descriptive. The more common term for NYC is Kin Yt'h Deez', which means "where the buildings stick up into the sky." This is the word that would be heard on the radio, on KTNN.
 
     
To be a player, pimp, etc.
Navajo phrase (1): Sanii t' yitah yilwo!
The phrase above literally means "he's running among the women.." This phrase can be used a lot of different ways, for example:

Examples:

lta' t' yitah yilwo
He's in and out of school! (He enrolls in and out of his classes)

naanish t' yitah yilwo
He's in and out of jobs! (He starts one job, quits it, then starts, then quits...)

Niyzh sanii t' yitah yilwo daan!
They're saying your son is a player!


 

     
Navajo phrase (2): Yi haayjaa'!
The phrase above literally means "he brought them in," meaning he brought in the girls. This one is also slang to say "he nailed them."

Examples:

yi haayjaa'!
He's a pimp! (He brought in the girls)

Bi haashjaah!
I'm a pimp! (I bring in the girls)

Bi hnjaa'sh?
Did you bring in the girls/nail them?

Aoo', bi hjaa'?
Yes, I nailed them?
 

     
Navajo word (3): Naanh
Navajo word (4): Naanhg
The phrase above is a literal translation of "player" in English, such as someone who is playing a board game or a member of a sports team.


 

     
To perfect something
Navajo phrase: Yii heiiyzz
This phrase literally means "he peeled it off," though it is slang for saying he or she pulled it off or perfected it. This can also be slang for "he/she is dressed all snazzy or is all dolled up!" Words similar to this phrase are bii' hanzs (pull it thru this [object]) or binknzs (pull it thru this hole), neither of which are slang.

Examples:

Bii heizz!
I did it, or I accomplished it! (I pulled it off)

ta' baa didzs!
Make sure you study hard! (Peel off the studying!)
 

     
To be pregnant
Navajo phrase: nizhnyh
This phrase literally means "hauled in a load." The correct term is yilts (she's pregnant).

Examples:

Nihaa nizhnyh!
She came back to us pregnant! (She hauled in a load for us)
 
     
To procrastinate
Navajo phrase: T' bi ns hoo'
This phrase literally means "to put it ahead," it is slang for procrastinating. You can also say "t' bi ns hoolzhish."

Example:

Baa nshta'g t' bi ns hweesh'!
I keep putting off my studies!
 
     
Red Neck
Navajo name: K'os ich'
This literally means "Red Neck." It is a direct translation of the English word.
 
     
To be rezzy, fresh off the rez, hillbilly, etc.
Navajo phrase: Ho'dch'ild' htlizh
This phrase means "to fall out of the thick bushes or weeds." This phrase comes from the Albuquerque area. More people are familiar with the more term being all john, jighan, jwn, or however they spell it to mean real rezzy.

Example:

andyee' ho'dch'ild' htlizh daats'!
It's like he fell out of the bushes a little while ago!
 
     
To be rushing around, speeding, etc.
Navajo phrase (1): tsxigo bi oohsxa (present tense)
This phrase means "to be excited." Using this term implies really speeding around and kicking up dust.

Examples:

Tsxigo shi oohsxa!
I'm in a rush (or speeding around)!

Hg ni oohsxa?
Where are you rushing off to?

Navajo phrase (2): ts'igo bi saal (past tense tense)
This phrase has the same meaning as the previous, except this is the past-tense form.

Examples:

Tsxigo bi saal!
He took off fast!

Naatsdlzhii li' chxh bi saal!
The roadrunner was really speeding off, throwing up dust!
 

     
Sagebrush Liquor
Navajo name: Ts'ah Bii' Njik'a'
Sagebrush Liquor is a liquor store located just off the border of the Navajo Nation between Black Hat, NM and Yatahey, NM on State Route 264. The literal definition means "being drunk in the sagebrush."


 

 
 
Snow Flurry
Navajo phrase: Ayh niidinyd
This phrase literally means "the weather that drives the in-laws in." It is reserved for the type of snow storms that start off violently very quickly & then disappears as quickly as it starts.

Among the Navajo people, the in-laws are lightly teased, which is the reason behind this phrase. This is very, very old Navajo slang.
 

     
To contract an STD ( Sexually Transmitted Disease )
Navajo phrase: Yiih hy
The literal definition is "he (or she) went inside or among it." Still, Navajos will understand this as saying, "he (or she) caught/has an STD."

Examples:

Biih hnyhsh?
Did you catch an STD?

Biih hy l!
I caught an STD!
 

 
 
T&R Market
Navajo name: Yahajilzho'ii
T&R Market is a grocery store 5-miles north of Gallup south of Yatahey, NM, on State Highway 264. The literal definition of the word above is "where you slide in" because this store is located on a slant of a hill. Driving in from Gallup, NM, you would drive down the hill into T&R Market.


 

 
 
 
To tag a building
Navajo phrase: yik'i na'aghaz
This word literally means "to scribble on it" since most tagging looks like scribble to the elderly. Similarly, "tagger" is yik'i na'aghaz

Examples:

Carlos kin yik'i na'aghaz.
Carlos tagged the building.

bik'i nsghaz!
I tagged over that!


 

     
Telephone
Navajo name: Bsh bee hane'
This word, which literally means "the metal by which you talk" wouldn't be considered slang since there really is no other word on the reservation for phone. This is the only term used. It is only listed here for completeness. This word is also used for "phone number."

Examples:

Nsh nibsh bee hane' diits'a'?
Is your phone ringing?

Haa'sha' nibsh bee hane' bee shi hlne'?
Can I have your phone number?
 

     
Television
Navajo name: Nch'ih naalkid
This word wouldn't be considered slang since there really is no other word on the reservation for TV. This is the only term used. It is only listed here for completeness.
 
     
Viagra
Navajo name: N'ooji azee'
This literally means "libido medication." I heard this word working at Albuquerque IHS. This word is used in the Albuquerque/Alamo Navajo areas.
 
   
Volkswagen Bug
Navajo name: Chid N'shti
This phrase literally means "vehicle booger" or "vehicle-snot." My family doesn't use this word but I've heard other families use it.

Example:

T' na'nle'dii chid n'shti bi ndzit'iih.
He's driving the VW Bug all roughly.
 
   
Volkswagen Van
Navajo name: Chidshmiil
Chid means "vehicle" but the root "-shmiil" has no meaning. My family doesn't use this word but friends told me this word is also used:

Example:

Chidshmiil li' bi yilwo.
He's driving around in the VW Van

Ashiik chidshmiil bi ndzit'iih nt''
The guys were driving around the volkswagen van.
 

     
To watch a movie.
Navajo phrase: bin na'alkid.
This phrase means it is showing in front of him/her.

Example:

Shin na'alkid.
I'm watching a movie!

Nihin ndoolkig diit'ash.
Let's go to the movies (Let's go to where it will show in front of us)
 

 

Questions? Submit them to daybreak_warrior@lycos.com.