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Lakota Phrase Archives

Please note some phrases are written phonetically, while others are written as found in Lakota books.

Also, others may speak or spell a word differently; that is just fine. After all, we are all learning together!

Anpetu Wakan = Sunday (Day of spiritual Energy)
Anpetu Tokahe = Monday / the first day
Anpetu Nunpa = Tuesday / the second day
Anpetu Yamni = Wednesday / the third day
Anpetu Topa = Thursday / the fourth day
Anpetu Zoptan = Friday / the fifth day
Owankayuzhazhapi = Saturday (Day to Wash)

Haw (how) = Hello
Haw Kola (how kola) = Hello male friend
Haw Mushkay (how moosh kay) = Hello female friend
Traditionally, in keeping with proper etiquette, the female waited for the male to say "haw" first.

Waziyata = North
Wioheumpata = East
Itokaga = South
Wiyokpiyata = West

Pilamaya (pee la ma ya) = Thank you!

Doe ksh kay ya oun hey? = How are you?
Waste (wash tay) = Good!

Huh =Yes
Hee ya = No
Slol wa yea shnee = I don't know

Atanikili (ah tah nee key lee) = You are awesome!

Wana woe gla ka yo/yea =You can talk now.
Woe gla ka yo/yea = Talk Wana = now
Response to: Na pay you gxa ta yea/yo = Raise your hand.

Dokesha ay cha moo ktay = I’ll do it (later) or In a minute/at a later time, etc. but it will get done. (This can be a response to any task or questioning command of phrases we have had in the past i.e. brush your teeth, go to bed, I need some help, etc.)

Na pay you gxa ta yea/yo = Raise your hand
Oh ma key ya na/yo = Please

Hey choon sh nee yea/yo = Don’t do that!
(Male/Female endings = yea = female, yo = male)

Ee na hx nee yo/yea = Hurry!

Wa sh ka ta wa cheen = I want to play.
Sh ka ta yea = You can play now.
Wana sh ka ta yea = You can play now.

Lay he huh nee keyn oh snee = It’s cold this morning

Oh ma kxa txay ja = New Year
Wee chaxk pee he huh nee = Morning Star
In our Lakota Life books, the Morning Star signifies new beginings.

Wah nee key yea txa um pay due = This means Jesus’ birthday or Christmas.

Wopila kaniyeyapi (Wo pee la kah nee yea ya pee)=Happy Thanksgiving

Key kta yo/yea! = Wake up!
Pay = female ending
Po = male ending

Wacantoognaka (Wah chan tay ogna kay) = Generosity/Generous with the Heart

Akicita (ah kee chee tah) = Veteran/Warrior/Soldier

Wakan Takan kici un = May the Crator/Grandfather/Great Spirit/God bless you.

Cante waste nape ciyuzapo (Chan tay washday nay pay chee you za poe) = I greet you from my heart.

Lay he hun nee key wash tay! = This morning is good!

Woounspe-Woh oun spay = lesson/teacher-something you learn from

Wah oun shpay we cha key ya = Allowing or letting them learn (school).

Blue gxoe cha ah snee wa key yea. = I am tired so I am resting.

St. Joe's wah chee pee ake tah blay. = I am going to St. Joe's Pow Wow.

wacipi (wah chee pee) =dance/pow wow.

Wana me glue sh tun cha e BLA blay of Wa key he hay? = Can I go now as I am finished.  (The implied meaning is for eating, studying or anything one is doing.)

Wah ye wah ee tan chan (Wayawa Itancan) = Student Leaders

Oun she la yea = Have compassion on me. (female speaking)
Oun she la yo = Have compassion on me. (male speaking)

Tan (dan-'t' is soft 'd') yan yahee ya
(lo-ending for male; yea-ending for female) = Welcome, I am glad to see you.

(Your name) Ee ma chee ya pee ya face=(lo-male ending; yea-female ending) = My name is

Txan kal blah wah cheen = I need to go outside (bathroom).
Bathroom is implied because of past use of outhouses.

Lol wah cheen = I am hungry.
Mnee wah cheen = I am thirsty.

Ma Lakota = I am Lakota
Da Makota = I am Dakota.

St. Joe's ayk ta blay = I am going to St. Joe's.

Gna yan na aynsh (spelled nains) cham han ska?! = Trick or Candy?!

O ma key yo = Help me (implied as please; male speaking)
O ma key ya nah = Please (meaning softened for female)

Ah key chee ta-keyn-we cha you oh nee huh pay. = Honor the veterans.

Broken down: "ah key chee ta" is the word for "veterans;" "keyn" equals "the;" "we cha you oh nee huh pay" is "honor them" in plural form.

Dacoo oun ktay hey? = What are we going to eat?
wa glay kshoun na taspan opemnipi wag moo zee! = Turkey and pumpkin pie!
Note: wa glay kshoun (turkey) na (and) taspan openmipi wag moo zee (pumpkin pie)

Ah kay wan chee keyn ktay = It was good to see you again! (female speaking)
Ah kay wan chee keyn ktay low = It was good to see you again! (male speaking)

Wah zee ya! = Santa!
Wah zee ya wana ou! = Santa is coming!!

Doe key ya lay hey? = Where are you going?
Wah gnee ktya! = I am going home!

Phonetic spelling: Txay huh wan chee youn kay shnee = I did not see you for a long time!!
Written spelling may be: te hu wan ci yun ke sni.

Ina ji (yea) = Female speaking
Ina je (yo) = Male speaking
Means either "to stop" or "the motion to stand up"
Phonetic spelling: ee nah zhee (yea) or (yo)

Oh snee. = It is cold.
Lila oh snee! (leela oh snee)= It is VERY cold!

Come here!
    Male speaking to one person = He you woe.
    Male speaking to two or more = He you poe.
    Female speaking to one person = He you way.
    Female speaking to two or more = He you pee.

Wa nee yea due ne doe na hey? = How many winters are you? (How old are you?)

Chuntay skoo ya = Sweetheart
Lila waste chi lake (lee la wash tay chee la kay) = I really like you, very much!

Lay he hun nee key lee la washtay. = This morning is good. (Good morning)
Leela ampaytu keen washtay. = Today is a good day!

Chewy ta. = He/she is cold.
Nee chewy ta. = You are cold.
Ma chew ta. = I am cold!

He k pa sha sha yo. = Brush your teeth. (male speaking)
He k pa sha sha yea. = Brush your teeth. (female speaking)
Due way nee shnee. = There is no one around.

Cheek se ya. = I remember you!

Ee glue zha zha yo. = I want you to wash up. (Male)
Ee glue zha zha pee. = I want you to wash up. (Female)
Me glue zha zha ktay. = I am going to wash up. (Either)

Dacoo ya cheen hey? = What do you want?
Ah sum pee (milk) ay dun ma kou way. = Give me some milk.
Remember Please: Male - Oh mak key yo; Female - Oh mak key ya nah

Kee nee un pay due. = Easter.

I yo monk pi sni (Ee yo monk pee shnee). = I feel bad.
I yo monk pi. = I am happy.
Use as response to: Doe ksh kay ya oun hey? = How are you?

Oh ya hey he! = You can do it!
Oh wa key he! = I can do it!
Oh key heeb! = They can do it!

Hunta yo = Get out of the way; something's coming (male).
Hunta yea = Get out of the way; something's coming (female).

Wa chay key ya yea. = I want you to pray.
Wana wa chay oun key ya ktay. = We are going to pray now.
Wakan Tanka = Creator/Great Spirit

Lakxol woe glag oun spay me tch chee yea cha wa glue sha na huh duh oh ma key ya yea (female) yo (male). = I'm learning how to speak Lakota, so if I mispronounce, please help me.

Txay huh wan chee youn kay shnee! = I did not see you for a long time!!

Ee yo monk pee. = I am happy.
Ee yo monk pee shnee. = I am not happy.

Oh lou lou tah! = It is stifling hot (no breeze)!

Wah oun chee! = You and I are dancing!

Doe kay sh kay lay ay cha moo ktay hey? = How do I do this?

Heen akeeya = Smile

na GXee oh wa key tay. = I am looking for my spirit.

Txun blays ya huh, txoe kata key ya, ma wah nee. = I am walking toward the future making good and sober decisions.

Lee la you pea ya nee glue zay. = You dress well today. (Used as compliment after the greeting "Hau.")

Nee coo zha hey? = Are you sick?
Na da ma y azan. = My head hurts. (words to replace head: he = tooth; tay zee = stomach)

Wa chay key ya yea. = I want you to pray.
Woe ksue yea. = In memory of those who died & remembering the living veterans.

Pilaymaya = Thank you! (A message from our first-graders!)

Hoke she la hay cha = It is a boy!
We cheen ja la hey cha = It is a girl!

"Wa cheen txan e tch ya yo." = This is from the Lakota value of the northerly direction, and in this case, it means to have patience.

Wa chuntay oh gna kay = Generosity/Generous with your heart.
E wang oh ma nee (yo/yea) = Be careful when you travel.

Due wah he hey? = Who arrived?
Me da coo yea pee. = Formal greeting with good manners.

Lay he huh nee keyn oh snee. = It is cold this morning!

E woe blue wan ou yea (low/lay) = A blizzard is coming! (low - male ending; lay - female ending)

Doka hwo? = What's up? (Note: Very informal greeting; hwo is an elder male ending, so only use if you want to be considered an elder male!)

Wah oun hey? = Did it snow?

Enila = Be quiet!!

Hunta yea/yo = Get out of the way. (yea = female ending; yo = male ending) 

Hoe gxan oun you da pee ktay. = We are going to eat fish.

Ah snee wa keyn ktay. = I am going to rest.
Ah snee key ya po/pay. = All of you get some rest.
(po = male ending; pay = female ending)

Key kta yo/yea! = Wake up!
Key kta po/pay! = All of you wake up!
(yo/po are to be used as ending by males; yea/pay are female ending.)

Hey choon sh nee yea/yo. = Don't do that!

Maza sh kxan sh kxan doenakja hey? = What time is it? (Note: Native Americans did not live by a clock; instead, they lived by nature's clock.)

Umpo = Dawn/just before sunrise
Lay hee hannee = This morning
Hee hannee key = Next morning
Wee choe kan = Noon
Wee choe kan sum eya = Past noon or sun is past highest point
Hxtah yea tue = Evening
Han hey pee = Night

Txan kal doe kja hey? = What is it doing outside? (weather implied)

New gxay sh lou sh lou tay. = You don't listen. (Slips off ears)

Oh ya lay hey? = Who are you looking for?

Tiyospaye (tee-osh-pa-yea) = Extended family (St. Joseph's)
Tiwahe (tee-wa-hey) = Immediate family
Ospaye (ohsh-pa-yea) = Tribe family (Sicangu Lakota, Oglala Lakota, etc.)
Oyate (oh-ya-tay) = Entire nation (Lakota, Dakota, Nakota Oyate)

Tan yan yahee ya (lo)! [Male speaking ending (lo)] = Welcome, I am glad to see you. (dan)= the T is a soft sounding D
Tan yan yahee (yea)! [Female speaking ending (yea)] = Welcome, I'm glad to see you.

Haw (how) = hello (intermixed hello)
Haw Kola (how kola) = hello male friend
Haw Mushkay (how moosh kay) = hello female friend *In traditional time, it was good etiquette for the female to wait until the male said hello first.

Unci (oonchee) = Grandmother
Tungasila (tunk ga sheela) = Grandfather
Lalais short for tungasila

Hau ______ imaciyapiya (ye/yo - female/male ending)= My name is ______.

Taku eniciyapi hey = What is your name?

Tanyan yahi yelo (lay/lo - female/male ending) etka St. Joe’s = I am glad you came to St. Joe's!

Cante waste nape ciyuza (po/pe) (Chantay washday napay cheeyou za po/pay - female/male ending) = I greet you with a good heart and a hand (handshake).

Doksa ake waunkte = I will see you again later. (Implied on earth/spirit world)
Doka = later, slang for see you later. Lakote people didn't say good-bye.

Hiya(hee ya) = No
Ogu (ohgxoo) = x is a futtural sound = Maybe
Oh hu = Yes

Le umpetu kin Lakota (Lay um pay tue keyn)
Lakota = Lakota Day
Sign of the Cross
Ate yapi (ah tay ya pee) = Father
Na cinca na (na cheen cha na) = and the Son and
Woniya waken (whoa nee ya wakan) = Holy Spirit
Caje kin on (cha zay keen oun) = in the name

Gna yan nains waskuyaca hey? (Gna yan nayeensh wa skoo yea cha hey?) = Trick or Sweets/Candy?

Itancan, waonsila ye/yo = Lord, have mercy
Christ, waonsila ye/yo = Christ, have mercy

Itancan kin kici niunpi ni = The Lord be with you
Na nakun niye ko = and also with you

Anpetu un Pilamaya (ye/yo) = Day of Thanks
Ahn pay tue oon pee la mah yeh (yea/yo)

Sina Sapa = Black Robe (to honor Fr. Steve and Fr. Anthony)
Wicasa waken = Holy Man

Masopiye Christmas = Christmas Store
Masopiye (mas oh pee yea) = Store

Wazi = Grandfather of the North or Santa


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