Words of native origin

Words of native origin

The following is a list of words of native origin. You will find in parentheses what each word refers to in everyday life (town, river, etc.), followed by the translation.

  • Ashuapmushuan 
    Where one waits for a moose.
  • Babiche
    Strips of rawhide, sinew, or gut used for sewing, lacing, or fastening: making snowshoes for example.
  • Canada
    The village where I live.
  • Chibougamau
    Lake crossed from edge to edge by a river. (source: Commission de toponymie du Québec)
    Meeting place.
  • Chicoutimi 
    How deep is it? Sea water and fresh water meet.
  • Esquimaux
    They eat raw.
  • Ilnu / Ilunatsh
    Name of the Montagnais in their language meaning « Human being ».
  • Kénogami 
    Long lake.
  • Kiwanis 
    He is restless / he is too noisy.
  • Manitou
    Spirit of spirits / superior being.
  • Mashteuiatsh 
    Where there is a point of land.
  • Métabetchouan 
    Current coming out of the lake.
  • Mistassini 
    Large rock.
  • Ouananiche 
    Lost / away from its normal place.
    (Typical local fish, sea trout which would have evolved following the disappearance of the salt water.)
  • Ouiatchouan 
    Winding path, full of curves.
  • Papinachois
    He tells jokes / he laughs a lot.
  • Péribonka 
    The water of the river is scrambled.
  • Pichou 
    Lynx.
  • Piékuagami 
    Flat lake.
  • Québec 
    Narrowing / escarpmen.
  • Saguenay 
    Exiting water / where the water exits.
  • Shipshaw
    River enclosed.
  • Tadoussac
    Bosom. (Refers to the capes on either side of the mouth of the Saguenay River, where the whales come to feed.)
  • Windigo 
    The forest ogre (giant cannibal).

We thank the Mashteuiatsh Society of History and Archeology for their invaluable assistance in writing this article.

Culture and Heritage History of Saguenay-Lac-Saint-Jean

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