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.
wahoo (s) (noun), wahoos (pl)
1. A small tree or shrub which is common in eastern North America with little purple colored flowers and pink fruit: "The Smith family definitely wanted to have a wahoo, also called a burning bush, in their garden because of the colors pink (the fruit), purple (flowers) and the scarlet or crimson color (pods and seeds)."
2. Etymology: from Sioux wanhu, "arrowwood".
wapiti (s) (noun), wapiti, wapitis (pl)
1. One of the species of the North American deer (Cervus canadensis) which is quite large with long branching antlers: "In the museum of the Audubon Society, Mary read about the wapiti, also called the American elk, being grayish brown or light brown in color and having a white tail and rump: "The wapitis live in the Rocky Mountains and in southern Canada and now they are also found on New Zealand's South Island."

"The wapiti is also the second largest deer in America; the biggest related animal is the moose."

2. Etymology: from the Shawnee language waapiti; literally,"white deer, white rump"; to distinguish it from the much darker moose.
woodchuck (s) (noun), woodchucks (pl)
1. A hole digging marmot or ground hog, usually seen in the northern and eastern parts of the United States, Canada and Alaska: "While camping in Alaska Robert and his sister saw some woodchucks, which looked like the ones they read about in their biology book, having brownish coarse fur, short legs and a small bushy tail."

"The woodchucks hibernate during winter in their burrows, which have a main entrance and even an escape tunnel."

2. Etymology: of New England algonquian origin, from Cree otchek, "fisher".

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