Let's Talk Lenape!
In this lesson we will discuss interjections used in Lenape, and also the names for colors. The color section will include some sentences showing how they are the words are used.
Before we get into more serious grammar it
might be of interest to know of some interjections used by the Lenape. These are like English, Ouch! and Oh!. Some of the forms listed use the additional
form tamwe to strengthen the meaning.
awee (tamwe) interjection used when one is tired or has aches and pains
chei (tamwe) interjection used when one is startled or surprised
chee shësh tamwe Oh my goodness!
eche (tamwe) interjection of great surprise
ehei (tamwe) interjection of surprise like seeing something huge or hearing something from long ago
ho tamwe oh my!
(tamwe) interjection when
seeing something nasty
kwioo Oh dear!
O tamwe! oh my!
oho (tamwe) oh my!
pux (or) puxo (or) puxòò (tamwe) whew! interjection when smelling something very bad
These forms do not add tamwe for emphasis:
a-i interjection used when finished eating
chuwee! oh my it's hot!
hipaha or hupahaha interjection when having fun
ihèh interjection of an expected unpleasantness; such as bad weather coming.
katu Brrr! (said when subjected to sudden cold like going
outside in the winter.
phwitPhooey. Nonsense. interjection on hearing something you do not believe.
push Scat! used to scare cat
shèkta see there! (interjection;
not the actual act of looking)
teka or teka ta Watch out! Be careful!
yuh! Yes!; OK!
Colors in Lenape
In previous lessons we have not gone over a complete list of colors in Lenape so we will do that now. The words for color are divided according to whether they refer to an Animate or Inanimate subject. Interestingly there seems to be no Lenape word for Brown.
Colors in Lenape - Inanimate:
root singular plural meaning
sëk- sëke sëkeyo it is/they are black
aon- aone aoneyo it is/they are blue
àskàskw- àskàskwe àskàskweyo it is/they are green
wipunkw- wipunkwe wipunkweyo it is/they are gray
màxk- màxke màxkeyo it is/they are red
òp- òpe òpeyo it is/they are white
wisaw- wisae wisaeyo it is/they are yellow
Colors - Animate:
[Note: Remember that some things that in English would be considered Inanimate are considered to be Animate in Lenape, such as the words for a car, or wagon, or even a bucket.]
sëksu sëksuwàk he is/they are black
aonsu aonsuwàk he is/they are blue
àskàskwsu àskàskwsuwàk he is/they are green
wipunkwsu wipunkwsuwàk he is/they are gray
màxksu màxksuwàk he is/they are red
òpsu òpsuwàk he is/they are white
wisawsu wisawsuwàk he is/they are yellow
In addition to the primary colors listed Lenape has ways to express either the way it is colored, or in some cases its shade or hue. The ending used on these verbs is –ikte for Inanimate and -iksu for Animate.
likte the color it is
liksa color it
liksike he is coloring
ntëliksëmën I color it
nëmësiliksëmën I will paint it different colors
wëlikte it has a good color
mësilikte it is multi-colored; it is variegated
wisahkimikte it is of a purple hue; it is of a wine color
chàkinkwèmikte it is purple; purple hue (pokeberry color)
sëkikte it is of a blackish hue
màxkikte it is of a reddish hue; it is pink
òlënchikte it is of an orange hue
mehëmichink ehëliksink food coloring
pili liksu he is a different color
pili liksuwàk they are colored differently (from others)
mësiliksuwàk they are many hued (colored)
wipunkwinakòt it is of a grayish hue
aoninakwsu he looks blue (in color, not state-of-mind)
nòpsi I am white; I am colored white
While the following is not a color it could be useful:
shapònte it is transparent
shapòntèk glass (for drinking); window pane; transparent
Her dress is a reddish color.
Pililikwsu wa òtaès.
he-has-different-color this flower.
This flower is a different color.
Kèku hèch likte?
What ? it-is-color?
What color is it?
Kèku hèch likte na Charles mwilàxk?
What ? it-is-color that Charles his-hair?
What color is Charles’ hair?
Twën na òpsit tipas.
catch-him that white chicken.
Catch that white chicken.
Nkatatàmën në opèk lokèns.
I-want-it that white dish.
I want that white dish.
Opsu na mwekane.
he-is-white that dog
That dog is white.
Na òpsit mwekane pe.
that white dog he-came.
That white dog came.
Në kèshtèk lokèns ope.
the hot dish it-is–white.
That hot dish is white.
Kshëte në opënchu.
it-is-hot that white-dish.
That white dish is hot.
Opsu na hus.
he-is-white that bucket.
The bucket is white.