Vocabulary of the Tuscarora
1 God, Ya wuhn ne yuh.
2 Devil, Oo na sa roo nuh.
3 Man, Ehn kweh.
4 Woman, Hah wuhn nuh.
5 Boy, Kun chu kweh’r.
6 Girl, Ya te ah cha yeuh.
7 Child, Kats ah.
8 Father (my), E ah kre ehn.
9 Mother (my), E a nuh.
10 Husband (my), E na yah keah wuhn te kehn rea nuhn.
11 Wife (my), (The same word as for my husband.)
12 Son (his), Trah wuhn ruh, nuh nuhn, a ne hah.
13 Daughter (his), Tra wuhn ruh, nuhn, kah-nuhn nuhn.
14 Brother (my), E ah ke ah t’keuh.
15 Sister (my), Eah keah nuhn nooh’r.
16 An Indian, Reuh kweh hehn weh.
17 Head, Yah reh.
18 Hair (his), Trah wuhn ruh, rah weh rah wuhn.
19 Face (his), Trah wuhn ruh, rah keuh seuh keh.
20 Forehead (his), Trah wuhn ruh, keuh neuh keh.
21 Scalp, Trah wuhn ruh, nuh reh.
22 Ear his Trah wuhn ruh kunh nunh keh.
23 Eye his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh kahreuhkeh.
24 Nose his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh u cheuh seuh keh.
25 Nostril his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh cheuh kah reuh.
26 Mouth his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh skahreuh.
27 Tongue his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh reuh toh neuh keh.
28 Tooth his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh rah tooh tseh.
29 Beard his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh sooh keh reh.
30 Neck his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh hah tseh.
31 Arm his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh u neuhcheuhkeuh
32 Shoulder his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh u nunh neh.
33 Back his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh reuh wunh keh.
34 Hand his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh u rah eh nunh keh.
35 Finger his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh rooh kweh.
36 Nail his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh skeuh kah reh.
37 Breast his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh ah sunh keh.
38 Body his…Trah wuhn ruh kunh keh s heuh keh.
39 Leg his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh reuh seuh keh.
41 Navel his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh ne seuh reuh keh
42 Thigh his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh te cheuh keh.
43 Knee his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh a reuhkueht sunh [keh.
44 Foot his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh rah rah neuh keh.
45 Toe his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh sooh kweh.
46 Heel his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh teh heuh cheh.
47 Bone his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh skeuh reh.
48 Heart his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh ra re ah seh.
49 Liver his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh rah t wunh seh.
50 Windpipe his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh hunht seh.
51 Stomach his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh keh r hah keuh.
52 Bladder his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh te ah neh.
53 Blood his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh kwahra.
54 Vein his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh nunh yah
55 Sinew his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh t'seh.
56 Flesh my… Trah wuhn ruh kunh E kwa reh.
57 Skin his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh E ka nunh keh.
58 Seat his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh E ak tak.
59 Thighbone his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh E k'te chunh keh skenh reh.
60 Town his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh Kah tah nah yeuh.
61 Townsman his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh Kah koo tah nah keuh f hah.
62 House his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh Yah keuh nunh.
63 Door his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh Oo chah reh.
64 Lodge his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh Wall k'tah nah yeuh noh'gh.
65 Smoke his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh Oo chah reh.
66 Chief his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh Ya koo wah nunh.
67 Warrior his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh Roo skeuh rah keh reh.
68 Friend his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh Enh nunh rooh.
69 Enemy his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh Yeuh chunh t seh.
70 Kettle his… Trah wuhn ruh kunh Oo nunh weh.
71 Arrow, Oo teh.
72 Bow, Nah chreh.
73 Warclub, Oo che kweh.
74 Spear, Chu rets.
75 Axe, No keuh.
76 Knife, Oo sah keuh neh.
77 Paddle, Kah weh t chra.
78 Canoe, Oo nah keh.
79 Boat, Oo hunh weh.
80 Ship, Oo hunh weh koo.
81 Shoe, Oo che koo ra
82 Leggin, Oo re streh.
84 Shirt, Oo keh r'hoo t'chreh.
85 Breach cloth, Ya hah'r hooh stoh .
86 Belt or sash, Oo che hah t chra.
87 Head dress, Hoh toh kweh.
88 Pipe, Chah'rs hooh stoh.
89 Tobacco, Chah'rs hooh.
90 Pipe stem, Oo treh neh.
91 Sky, Oo renh yah'rs.
92 Heaven, Oo reuh yah keuhf.
93 Sun, He teh.
94 Moon, Ah t seuh ye hah.
95 Star, Oo ne senh reh.
96 Day, A wunh neh
97 Night, A sunh neh.
98 Cloud, Oo roh'ts.
99 Light, Yu hooks.
100 Darkness, Yah weh toah yeuh.
101 Morning, Tsoo teh r hunh.
102 Evening, Yah tsa t henh hah.
103 Spring, Wah r wooh stroh gh.
104 Summer, Oo kenh hoh keh.
105 Autumn, Roh t seh keh.
106 Winter, Kooh seh r heuh.
107 Year, Ah ooh streh.
108 Wind, Oo reh.
109 Lightning, Woh n woh kah reh nah reek.
110 Thunder, He nunh.
111 Rain, Wane too eh.
112 Snow, Oo neets reh.
113 Hail, Wah t kah ta he ts ot.
114 Fire, Oo che reh.
115 Water, Ah wunh.
116 Ice ,Oo we seh.
117 Earth, land Ah wunh reh.
118 Sea, Kahn yah ta reyu.
119 Lake, Hahn yah ta reh.
120 River, Ke nunh.
121 Stream, Hah s nunh yeuh tih.
122 Valley, Ah wunh rah stroh kenh.
123 Hill, Yummht heh.
124 Mountain, Yu nunh yeuh tih.
125 Plain, Wah keuh nah yeuh.
126 Forest, Ooh r hah nah keuhf.
127 Meadow, Ya ha re oh toh.
128 Bog, Yu teh r enh t sah ne reuh.
129 Island, Yuh weh nooh.
130 Stone, Oo reuh neh.
131 Rock, Oosteuhreh.
132 Silver, Kah kwis tah no reuh.
133 Copper, Kwa nis nees.
134 Iron, Oo wa nunh.
135 Lead, Nah wah c steh.
136 Maize, Oo nunh heh.
137 Wheat, Oo toos.
138 Oats, O ch.
139 Potatoe, Oo nunh tseh.
140 Turnip, Oo che kwah.
141 Tree, Oo reuh eh.
142 Wood, Oo yeuh kwe reh.
143 Pine, Hoh teh.
144 Oak, Rah rooh.
145 Ash, Whoh t.
146 Elm, Kah rah t kwoh.
147 Basswood, Oo hoo stroh.
148 Shrub, Kwe roh keuh.
149 Leaf, Oo euh reh.
150 Bark, Skeuh noh reh.
151 Grass, Yu ha ruh kweh.
152 Nettles, Yah koo ha roh roh r.
153 Thistle, Oo ne keh weh.
154 Weed, Chu wa kah ha rah ka.
155 Flower, Oo che che streh.
156 Bread, Oo tah nah reh.
157 Indian meal, Oo nuh heh.
158 Flour, Oo teh c hrah.
159 Meat, Wah reh.
160 Beaver, Chu noh keuh.
161 Deer, Ah kweh.
162 Bison or buffalo, Chu ta kre yoh keuh.
163 Bear, Oo che reuh.
164 Otter, Che ah ka we nuh.
Grey fox red fox.
165 Fox, Che chuh. Skeuh nahx seuh.
166 Wolf, Skwah re nunh.
167 Dog, Chee sr.
168 Squirrel, Thah st.
169 Hare, Kwa ruh.
170 Lynx, (No name.)
171 Panther, Tkeuh na nih.
172 Muskrat, Ah nuh kwinh.
173 Polecat, (No name.)
174 Hog, Kwis kwis.
175 Horse, Hah hahts.
176 Cow, Oo na rah saht.
177 Sheep, Wa rak seuh.
178 Turtle, Che koo wa.
179 Toad, Roo nunh skwah reuh.
180 Insect, Chick euh woh r.
181 Snake, Oo skwah na.
182 Bird, Che nunh.
183 Egg, Ooh heuh seh.
184 Feather, Oo snoo kre.
185 Claw, Oo sheuh kah reh.
186 Beak, Tuh cheuh seh.
187 Wing, Oo yeuh we ts neh.
188 Goose, Kah tuh ts euh.
189 Partridge, Oo kwa ts euh.
190 Duck, Ts uh yeuh.
191 Pigeon, Oo re neh.
192 Plover, (No name.)
193 Turkey, Keuh nuh.
194 Crow, Ah ah.
195 Eagle, Suh kwe ah.
196 Hawk, Ne yeuh ne yeuh.
197 Snipe, Tah wis ta wis.
198 Owl, Oo wah.
199 Woodpecker, Nah rah r.
200 Robin, Roo skooh kooh.
201 Fish, Keuh chink.
202 Trout, Ruh te ohk teuh.
203 Bass, Keuh che ah heuh s che.
204 Pike, Koowahk.
205 Sturgeon, Hah rah.
206 Sunfish, Nah reh reh.
207 Eel, Keuh neh.
208 Fin, Oo too neh.
209 Scale, Oo s neh.
210 Roe, Tareh.
211 White, Oowhah re ah keuh.
212 Black, Kah hunh s ehe.
213 Blue, Oo tih heuh re eh.
214 Yellow, Tih kah che t kah nahyeuh.
215 Green, Oo ha reh.
216 Great, We yu.
217 Small, Wast teuh.
218 Strong, Oo te reuh.
219 Old, Oo nunh hah ah.
220 Young, Oo t oh.
221 Good, Wah kwast.
222 Bad, Wah sunh.
223 Handsome, Yu yah tah yeuh snuh.
224 Ugly, Koh seub.
225 Alive, Wunh heh.
226 Dead, Yah wunh ha yeuh.
227 Life, Na yah wunh t kwah.
228 Death, Keuh ha yeuh.
229 Cold, Ah t huh.
230 Hot, Yuh nah re hin.
231 Sour, Na yuh che ra noh neh.
232 Sweet, Yah wa kenh.
233 Bitter, Yu che wah kenh.
234 I, E.
235 Thou, Ets.
236 He, Trah ya nueh teh.
237 She, A ya nueh teh.
238 We, E ah kwah ya sunh teh.
239 You, ye Thwah ya sunh teh.
240 They, Kah ya yeh sunh teh.
241 This, Keh n nuh.
242 That, Ha nuh.
243 All, T wa hn.
244 Part, Wa yu rah kwuhn.
245 Many, Yuh neh r kenh hu hu.
246 Nothing, Tsah wunh teh.
247 Who, Koh na.
248 Near, Noos keuh.
249 Far, off E nuh.
250 Today, Kah wunh yuh r heuk enh.
251 Yesterday, Teh nuh.
252 Tomorrow, Euh yuh r heuh.
253 Yes, Euh heuh.
254 No, Kwuhs.
255 Perhaps, Ah reuh kweh te.
256 Above, Strah kwe.
257 Under, Euh toh kenh f
258 Within, Oo nuh skeuh.
259 Without, Th neh teh.
260 On, Hoh heh n.
261 Something, Sto e keuh.
262 In the tree, Ooreuh oh kenk f.
263 On the rock, Koh heh r oo steuh roll keh.
264 By the shore, Oo che ah tah qt.
265 On the table, Na kwah roh kwah keh.
266 In the book, Oo yah teuh strah keuh f.
267 Now, Ka wunh.
268 Never, Sa nunh.
269 By and by, Ka wuh thenh ruh.
270 One, Euh che.
271 Two, Nakte.
272 Three, Ah sunk.
273 Four, Kunh toh.
274 Five, Weesk.
275 Six, Ooh yok.
276 Seven, Che oh noh.
277 Eight, Na kreuh.
278 Nine, Ne reuh.
279 Ten, Wah th sunk.
280 Eleven, Euh che skah hah.
281 Twelve, Nah tih skah hah.
282 Thirteen, Ah sunk skah hah
283 Fourteen, Hunh toh skah hah
284 Fifteen, Weesk skah hah
285 Sixteen, Ooh yok skah hah
286 Seventeen, Ohe oh noh skah hah
287 Eighteen, Na kreuh skah hah
288 Nineteen, Ne reuh skah hah
289 Twenty, Na wah th sunh.
290 Thirty, Ah sunh te wah th sunk.
291 Forty, Hunh toh te wah th sunk
292 Fifty, Weest te wah th sunk
293 Sixty, Ooh yok te wah th sunk
294 Seventy, Che oh noh te wah th sunk
295 Eighty, Na kreuh te wah th sunk
296 Ninety, Ne reuh te wah th sunk
297 One hundred Hah yok stre.
298 Two hundred, Nah kah yok stre
299 One thousand, Euh che oo yoh stre.
300 Two thousand, Nak tih oo yoh stre
301 Ten thousand, Wak th sunk noh oo yoh stre.
302 Ten million, C Kah yoh stre te kah yoh stre nah oo.
Yoh stre keuh hoh nuh.
303 To eat Ah reuh chu reek.
304 To drink, Ah r weh r reuhk.
305 To run, Ah kah te ah sr hink.
306 To walk, Ah reuh ra kwunk.
307 To dance, Nah reuh t t kwunk.
308 To laugh, Ah kah yeuh skwak.
309 To cry, Nah reuh snah rahk.
310 To burn, Ya choh roh nah re bin.
311 To love, Ah kah no reuh kwunk.
312 To go, Nah reut tah hah kink.
313 To strike, Ah kah keuh kwah re ts enk.
314 To kill, Ah rah kwunk nahk.
315 To sing, Ah reuh uwunh a renhk.
316 To sleep, Ah kenht oo euhk.
317 To die, Ah wunh ha yeuhk.
318 To speak, Ah kah weh reuhk.
319 To see, Ah kah keuhk.
320 To hear, Ah kah koo hunh sh henhk.
321 To think, Ah kah kah wunh te keuhnunh te enhk.
322 To shout, Ah kah koo hunh renhk.
323 To advance, Ah kah koo ra kwah nunhk
324 To retreat, Ah kah yenh swah nih.
325 To give, Ah kah yenh nah nunh.
326 To carry, Ah kah hahk.
327 To tie, Ah kah treh’nk.
328 Walking, E weh, (he walks, &c.)
329 Singing, Roh uwunh a renk.
330 Dancing, Na nah t kah.
331 Crying, Na rats nah.
332 Man lives, Euh queh, yah kenh hek gh.
333 God exists, Ya wunh ne yuh, yah kenh hek gh.
334 Fishes swim, Kenk chinh, keuh hoh nuk, wah nah wuhn s.
335 Birds fly, Che nunh, keuh hoh neuh, na yuh nunh hah n yeh.
336 A fish swims, Skenh che aht, wah nah wuhn’s.
337 A bird flies, Skah che nunh e’shrah.
338 One man, Enh che, a ne hah.
339 Twenty men, Na wah th sunh, kah ya ne hah.
340 A little man, Renh thras s tenh, a ne hah.
341 A little dog, A re’s.
342 A good man, Renh kweh, strah kwah’st.
343 A bad man, Renh kweh, struh k’serih.
344 A good bow, Wah nah kwah’st.
345 A bad bow, Wah nah k’senh.
346 Good, Kah re whab ya nih.
347 Evil, Kah re whah k’senh.
348 Blessedness, Kah yenh wah nunk.
349 Mankind, Eh noo ken’ f.
350 The world, Wah’f nah kwa kenh.
NOTE. As the above is intended to be used merely for comparing one Iroquois dialect with another, I desire that our alphabet may be used with the common English powers. If not, and you use a particular system, please to state what sounds it expresses.
H. R. S.
There is nothing answering to the infinitive and participle. I have therefore used the present indicative in the translation. I have divided the words into syllables, whether they are simple or compound. Where two or more words occur in the translation of a phrase, I have separated them by a comma. I have used the English alphabet with natural powers so far as Tuscarora sounds could be indicated by them. It is impossible to give, in many cases, a correct sound. A alone, has the sound of a in hate. Ah, like our interjection ah. The sound I intend to indicate by sunh, keuh, heuh, would be given, very nearly, by the Seneca alphabet used by Mr. Wright, thus: sah, kah, or kah, ha. The emphasis is, almost invariably, on the penultimate. Often a slight emphasis on some others. There is also often a prolongation of sound not indicated by any mark, as I supposed you would not need it.
I have not been able to finish this translation until now, (Oct. 20,) as I was absent, or otherwise engaged for some time after you had left; and when finally I was ready, Mr. Chew was not, until recently. I hope it has not been too long delayed.
I received your letter from New York, of Sept. 16th. Nicholas Cusick, the father of James and David, was about 82 when he died. I have not been able to learn where he was born. He died at this place October 1840. I do not know that there was anything very peculiar about him. He never was a “priest or juggler in his earlier days,” that I can learn.
There are several words in your vocabulary of the Tuscarora, in which the sound of F is used, always, however, as a terminal sound, as in “Eh noo keuh’f,” mankind.
Is this to be understood as denoting the ordinary sound of the letter?
Does it occur in other positions in words?
What is to be understood by the comma, which is invariably put before it?
H. R. S.
Dec. 6th, 1845.
Your letter of December 1st is this day received. In reference to the vocabulary of Indian words we furnished you, I have further to remark, that the language having never been reduced to writing, each individual undertaking to reduce any portion of it, will have a system in part, at least, of his own. I have tried three different ways myself. It is difficult, if not impossible, to represent all the Tuscarora sounds by any combination of the English alphabet. I presume a stranger to the language would not, with the use of the vocabulary we have furnished you, give the correct sound in many instances.
The letter f terminating a word, has the sound of f in chief. I do not know as the comma before it, as in the word Eh noo keuh’f, is of any use. In common conversation, or at any time when they speak rapidly, the sound of f is not distinguished, as a general thing. Yet when they speak a word entire, there is this f sound, slowly and distinctly; it seems to be a distinct sound, or very nearly so. It appears to be a little separated from the main part of the syllable, as though another syllable was to follow immediately beginning with f; but as soon as the sound of f, as in find, is given, the person stops short. Thus instead of Eh noo keuh find, (I use the English word find because the power of f in this word is the power of the letter in tended in the Indian word given,) we say Eh noo keuhf, breaking off when you have given the sound of f, without proceeding to give the sound of ind. Perhaps if a comma is used at all, it would be more proper to place it after the f, thus: f’; or the f might join the syllable, thus: Keuhf.
I do not recollect that the sound of f is heard in any other part of a word than as a terminating sound.
Sometimes an r occurs separated, you will observe, by a comma from the rest of the syllable. It matters not much whether the r is joined to the preceding or following syllable. There is the sound of an r between them when the word is spoken. I have been puzzled to know where to place it. It seems to answer either way. Thus, in the word for tomorrow: Euh yuh r heuh; or Euh yuh rheuh. If joined to the syllable yuh, without being separated by the comma, you would pronounce it very nearly like the English word your. As it is, thus, yuh r, its sound is very nearly like the English word use, and I am not sure but that would be a preferable way of writing it, thus: Euh use heuh; yet there is a twirl or r sound you do not get as in the other mode of writing it. R terminating a word has much the same sound.
Instead of using the word find above, I might have used any other word beginning with f. It has its ordinary sound.
Any other information you may wish, if in my power to give it, you may be free to ask. Yours, truly,
(↵ returns to text)
- If there is no infinitive, insert the form, he eats, &c.↵