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Tanka's Carefully Researched and Peer-Reviewed Rez Lingo Glossary

2009-11-04
By our friends on MySpace, Facebook and Twitter


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Since we get a lot of folks who want to know about reservation life, we thought it might be fun to put together a glossary of common lingo. We asked our Native friends on MySpace, Facebook and Twitter to contribute words from their tribes and communities.


NOTE: IF YOU'D LIKE TO CONTRIBUTE WORDS TO THIS GLOSSARY, PLEASE PUT THEM IN THE COMMENTS AT THE BOTTOM OF THE PAGE AND THEY WILL BE ADDED.



Ata Cho: Multiple meanings, a reaction used for describing a situation or problem or an event. Pine Ridge Reservation. Source: Russchelle Quiver

Brick of Gold: A box of commodity cheese. Often referred to as gold for the color of the cheese and its incredible bargaining power. "Give me a ride way over there?" "For a brick of gold." Source: Shayne I. Christen

Booooo: Weak, A sound of disapproval. Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Source: Annisa Around Him

Cheesy: Something easy. Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Source: Lakota Harden

Chun: (Chu uhn) A cigarette. Derived from the Lakota word "c'anli." Pine Ridge Reservation. Source: Joshua Huston

Chun, or Chust: Multiple meanings, a reaction used for describing a situation or problem or an event. "I saw a pretty girl across the arbor, chun, she was my cousin." Pine Ridge Reservation, also used on Cheyenne River and Standing Rock reservations. Source: Scott S. Means

Chust: "Multiple meanings, a reaction used for describing a situation or problem or an event." Standing Rock Reservation. Source: Jayson Eagle

Commod: Short for commodities, a food ration given out by the USDA for low-income households and many times a staple for Native families. Pine Ridge Reservation. Source: Edwin Harris

Commod Bod: In reference to the body type common on reservations gained from eating commodity foods and a sedentary life style. Someone that is out of shape." Source: Lisa Mills

Enit: Multiple meanings, a reaction used for describing a situation or problem or an event. Source: Shirley LaCourse

Eneh: The same as "Enit." Pine Ridge Reservation. Source: Scott S. Means

Folks: Grandparents or parents. Pine Ridge Reservation. Source: Morgan Rose LeBeau

Gaw joes: Diarrhea. Source: Wopilah I.C., Oglala Lakota, Porcupine, S.D, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Gee or Hay Gee: Gosh or golly. Pine Ridge Reservation. Source: Morgan Rose LeBeau

Haw: Disbelief. "For reals?" Pine Ridge Reservation. Source: Annisa Around Him

Hey Chee: Multiple meanings, a reaction used for describing a situation or problem or an event." Pine Ridge Reservation. Source: Scott S. Means

Holay: Short for Holy Smokes! A term for something that makes an impact. Source: Shayne I. Christen

Hoopdy: A car. Source: FaTima B. Malik

Ho-Wah: An exclamation. "Cool." Leech Lake, MN. Source: Soggy moccasinz

Hown: Coming from the phrase Hound Dog. Not really a word, but more of a deep throaty sound made to signify disappointment and empathy. Sometimes ironically said as 'hewn' with a high falsetto. "That sucks." Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Source: Tiana AnpoWin Wakinyan Gleska

Icesh: As if. Pine Ridge Reservation. Source: Tanka Bar

Josh: Just kidding. Source: ~woan~

Ma: My or mine. Pine Ridge Reservation. Source: Morgan Rose LeBeau

Many Wopes: I'm very thankful. Originating in the Lakota word for giving thanks, wopila. Source: Wopilah I.C., Oglala Lakota, Porcupine, S.D, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Mazaska: Money. Fort Peck Reservation. Source: Ellieakota's official myspace

Messed Up: It describes a bad situation or something that happened or going to happen." Pine Ridge Reservation. Source: Lakota Harden

Nabz: Nope. Pine Ridge Reservation. Source: Nicole Prairie Chicken

Nay - Oh: Same "Not even." A statement of disbelief. Pine Ridge Reservation. Source: Lynn K. Pourier

Next: Just like the English word except said with disdain. Meaning what the heck else could go wrong. Source: Gina Bettelyoun

Not Even: Not agreeing, disbelief. Source: ~woan~

Og-Naysh: "The Oglala Nation Pow Wow." Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Source: Camilla Novelli

One Uuv: To knock some one out or to get knocked out. Pine Ridge Reservation. Source: Scott S. Means

Peer: Stating there is nothing greater then the word/sentence. Pine Ridge Reservation. Source: Annisa Around Him

Pure: 100% what your are talking about not watered down. Often pronounded as "peer." Pine Ridge Reservation. Source: Scott S. Means

Pure Vish: Anything that is really nice. Source: Wopilah I.C., Oglala Lakota, Porcupine, S.D, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Poss: Nose. Derived from the Lakota word "pasu." Source: Wopilah I.C., Oglala Lakota, Porcupine, S.D, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Rez: Short for Indian Reservation. Common throughout Indian Country. Source: Tanka Bar.

Rez Bomb: An old hoopdy that looks bad but still runs. Source: FaTima B. Malik

Rezafied: Has been touched by the Reservation, usually a negative connotation. Dakota/Lakota/Hidatsa from Spirit Lake in North Dakota. Source: Melissa Marrick

Rezalicious: Rez equivalent to Ghetto Fabulous. Source: Carla Ann Rabbit

Rezarodi: A car that looks nice but runs bad. Source: Nikki Schmidt

Rezifier: Their 76' Chevelle or a nice car. Source: Carla Ann Rabbit

Rezzaratti: A Rez car. Dakota/Lakota/Hidatsa from Spirit Lake in North Dakota. Source: Melissa Marrick

Rezzer : A Person from the Reservation. Source: Wopilah I.C., Oglala Lakota, Porcupine, S.D, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Rocker: A person from the Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Source: Marvella Brave Bird

Shabs: Negative, no, Equivalent to nabs. Dakota/Lakota/Hidatsa from Spirit Lake in North Dakota. Source: Melissa Marrick

Snag: Someone you go out with or go out with might be one night or longer. Pine Ridge Reservation. Source: Lynn K. Pourier

Skin or Skins: Native American or Native Americans, originating from 'Red Skins' but now 'owned' by Native American community itself, thus negating it's pejorative connotations. Common throughout Indian Country. Source: Tanka Bar

Somehow: To describe something miraculous. Source: Kareen Lewis

Teepee Creeper: Sneaking over to another Teepee that is not yours. Used on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Example; "You teepee creepin' for a snag tonight?" Source: Marvella Brave Bird

Vish: Vicious or awesome. Source: ~woan~

Wahn: Laughing you off. Disbelief. Pine Ridge Reservation. Source: Annisa Around Him

Wan -Gaya: (Wan -Ayeh) Same as "not eve" or "not even," and "Sssshhhh - Not eev, Zee" or "As If." Pine Ridge Reservation. Source: Scott S. Means

Watech: To take home leftovers from a feed. Source: Wopilah I.C., Oglala Lakota, Porcupine, S.D, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Whatev: "Whatever." Source: Wopilah I.C., Oglala Lakota, Porcupine, S.D, Pine Ridge Indian Reservation

Zi: No, nope or a negative. "Do you want go to Big Bats?" "Z." Pine Ridge Reservation. Source: Tanka Bar

Zi, Enit?: You disagree with someone and want everyone to agree with you. Pine Ridge Reservation. Source: Tanka Bar



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