English Words from Amerind

(an American Indian or an Eskimo; any of the languages of certain American Indians or Eskimos)

The words in this unit have been compiled from a list of the "Amerind" language. The parts of speeches and definitions were added from a variety of sources.

—The basic entries come from the "Word Source" section in the
Scott, Foresman Advanced Dictionary by E.L. Thorndike and
Clarence L. Barnhart; Scott, Foresman and Company;
Glenview, Illinois; 1973; page 37.
Adirondacks (plural used as singular) (noun)
1. A mountain range located in the northeastern part of New York, USA: "After spending the summer camping in the Adirondacks in the North Eastern part of New York, Roland read a book describing the highest peak, Mount Marcy, having an elevation of 5344 feet or 1629 meters. In addition, he found out that it had extremely old rocks being exposed by an uplift which is more than a billion years old!"
2. Etymology: a Mohawk word meaning "they eat trees".
barbecue (verb), barbecues; barbecued; barbecuing
Grilling, roasting, or preparing vegetables, seafood, or meat over an open fire, mainly outdoors: "On warm evenings in the summer, Susan always barbecued different kinds of vegetables along with fish in her family garden."
barbecue, barbeque (s) (noun); barbecues, barbeques (pl)
1. A metal grill or frame used as an outdoor fireplace for roasting meat, vegetables, or fish: "The barbecue grill became very black after grilling the sausages and had to be cleaned."
2. The carcass of the whole animal, or a section of it, which is prepared on a spit: "John watched the barbecue being rotated over an outdoor fire and was looking forward to his first piece of beef."
3. An informal gathering of people outside often in the garden or in a park, where food is grilled or roasted over an open fire: "The barbecue consisted of the whole Nelson clan gathered in the backyard where various meats and fish were prepared."
4. Etymology: from the American Spanish word barbacoa from Taino (Haiti), "a framework of sticks".
bayou (s) (noun), bayous (pl)
1. A kind of creek or small river, that leads to a greater amount of water: Sam followed the bayou to the larger lake, walking slowly along one side and watching out for little animals he had read about in his biology class in school.
2. An extremely small and slow river meandering through low areas of land; such as, marshes or farmland: The bayou provided the plantation with a continuous supply of water, which was very practical for the farmer!
3. Etymology: from Louisiana French, bayouque or bayou; from Choctaw bayuk, "a small stream or creek".
A kind of creek.
The sign on the tree says: "How is it bayou?"

© ALL rights are reserved.

Go to this Word A Day Revisited Index
so you can see more of Mickey Bach's cartoons.

cannibal (s) (noun), cannibals (pl)
1. An animal which eats or feeds on another animal of its own kind or species: "The prisoners knew they were going to be eaten by the cannibals; however, fortunately, military forces arrived in time to rescue them."
2. Etymology: from canibalis, a name for the Caribs of Haiti or Cuba; which was used by Christopher Columbus; from Arawak, caniba, a form of carib.
cannibalism (s) (noun) (no plural)
The act of feeding on or eating the flesh of one's own kind: "Susan read in a book that in some parts around the world, there was a practice of cannibalism among certain primitive tribes, in which the people ate their prisoners."
cannibalistic (adjective), more cannibalistic, most cannibalistic
A characteristic of people or animals that eat other members of their own kind: "It is said that cannibalistic activities were widespread over the past among humans in many parts around the world, including some isolated South Pacific cultures, even now in some parts of tropical Africa."
canoe (s) (noun), canoes (pl)
1. A boat which is long, open, and often tapered on both ends, usually made of cedar or birch, and is moved by one or more paddles: "Lorne and Nina decided to take their canoe to visit friends on the other side of Sharbot Lake because it was absolutely quiet and smooth, and the weather was sunny and warm."
2. Etymology: from the French word canoe and the Spanish word canoa, which came from Arawak.
canoe (verb), canoes; canoed; canoeing
To travel or to transport oneself in a river or a lake in a long, narrow boat: "Denis and Josh were canoeing on the river from one section of a canyon until they could find a place where they hoped to camp during the night."
canoeist (s) (noun), canoeists (pl)
Someone who paddles a light boat which has shapes that become narrow to a point on the front and the back ends: "Mark and Gerda both became expert canoeists and could successfully compete against other paddlers."
canoer (s) (noun), conoers (pl)
A person who uses a long, narrow boat and a paddle to propel himself or herself in a river or lake: "Susan was the canoer in the last boat race for girls, and she won!"
cassava (s) (noun), cassavas (pl)
1. A shrubby, edible American plant (Maihot esculenta), grown throughout the tropics, mainly for its very big, fleshy, and starchy roots: "The tuberous parts of the cassava are used as a basic food in the tropics after leaching and drying to remove cyanide."

"After preparing these parts of the plant, the starches of the cassavas are extracted and become the source of tapioca, a delicious pudding."

2. Etymology: from French cassave; from Spanish casabe; and from Portuguese cassave; originally from Taino (Haiti) casavi, "flour from Manioc".
catalpa (s) (noun), catalpas (pl)
1. A large deciduous tree of the genus Catalpa which is native to easterly North America, eastern Asia and West Indies: "The catalpa has heart-shaped leaves circling around a stem, a group of whitish flowers, and long, slender pods."

"The Rawson family had a few catalpa trees in their backyard, which provided a lot of shade for the children who liked to play with the pods, also called 'Indian beans'."

2. Etymology: from Carolina Creek Kutuhlpa, "winged head" and it refers to the appearance of the flowers.
cavy (s) (noun), cavies (pl)
1. Any of the nearly tailless rodents of the family Caviidae of South America, including the capybara, coypu, agouti; and the best known, the Guinea pig: "Sam got a cavy from his parents on his birthday, and he also received a book about them, so he could learn that they are friendly animals, which have rough hair, little ears, short legs, and are gray or brown in color."

"The cavies feed on leaves, grass, and other vegetation."

2. Etymology: from New Latin Cavia; possibly from Galibi cabiai.
coypu (s) (noun); coypus, coypu (pl)
1. A large water rodent of South America having webbed hind feet, a rat-like tail, and has hair that resembles that of the beaver: "The coypu look like small beavers and they are bred in captivity."

"Most of the fur of the coypus in the farm was sold to companies for making fashionable wear for women."

2. A coat composed of this animal: "Susan thought her fur coat was made of beaver, but it turned out to be from coypu instead."
3. Etymology: American Spanish coipú and from Araucanian kóypu.

See other English words from foreign languages at this
Other Languages Index.