Nuu-chah-nulth Language Glossary

“Our language is so important to our culture. You can’t tell our stories without our language” – Stanley Sam Sr., 1997

Language ImageThe Nuu-chah-nulth people live at the west coast of Vancouver Island from the Kyuquot Sound in the North down past Pacheeedaht in the South. The entire population of this language group is approximately 5000 people, and is organized by the Nuu-chah-nulth Tribal Council. The Nuu-chah-ulth Tribes consist of 13 Bands.

Below is a list of Nuu-chah-nulth some words that are relevant to the Wildside Trail. It is important to engage with the landscape, creatures and plants on the trail as they are language teachers, this is the land from which the Nuu-chah-nulth language emerged. At present there are less than 200 remaining Nuu-chah-nulth speakers. While many efforts are being made to restore and pass on the language, it currently remains endangered. One of the most important things that can be done to revive this rich language is to create meaningful opportunities for young people to learn their language and engage with it meaningfully in everyday life. All along the Wildside trail is an ideal place for this engagement to occur.

This information, as well as the definitions below, is informed by the incredible work of Layla Rorick and the First Voices Nuu-chah-nulth team. Further information at can found here.

Banana Slug: Enme'
Bathroom: hat?inquwil
Bird: maamaati
Big Mussels: ??uc’im
Bear : c’ims
Bull Kelp: Hoos min
canoe: c’apac ?
Cloudy Weather: liw?ahak
Chiton: hay?ištup
Coast: ??aa?aas
Cold Weather: m?aluk
Cockle: huupisi
Cougar : c eechpaw
Crow: k?ii?in
Deer: muwac
Eagle: c?ix?atin
Eating: ha?uk
Eggs: n?ucak
False Lily of the Valley: Ku wik mupt
Fire: ?ink
Fisheries Boat: c?ac?aaluk
Fisherman: ciic?aq?
Food: ha?um
Four Legged Animals: saštuup
Gets Windy: yuk?i?
Go out to Sea: hinaaci(?)
Going out to Play: ?imc’a?aas
Gooseneck Barnacle: Ca?inwa
Grandparents: nananiqsu
Great Blue Heron: Haunus
Grey Whale: Cith cith naii
Halibut: p?uu?i
Harbor Seal : k?ilanuus
Herring Eggs: k??aqmis
Huckleberry: his?inwa
Human Being: qu?actup
Hummingbird: saasin
Humpback whale: ?iituup
Insect: t?at?apw?in
Killer Whale Whistle: k?iitqaa
Kingfisher: Too-mook
Knife: ?akyak
Man, Human or Native Person: quu?as
Medicine: ?uy?i
Memorial Feast: laakt?uula
Moon: hupal
Mountain: nucii
Mussels: ??uc’im
Nettles: ?iilmaq?
Nice Weather: ?u?uuquk
Noise of a Crow: k?aak?ee?itqa
Ocean Freight Canoe: p?inw?al
Octopus: tiiluup
Orca Whale: kakawin
Osprey: em-waatz
Our Name: ?uklaamin
Outhouse: ciišul
Outside: hinii?as
Paddle Away: ?ihši?
Playing with Seashells: k?aayišk?in
Porpoise: hicwin
Raccoon: ?apisum
Radio: nuukcu
Rain: m?i??aa
Rainbow: ??inih?ak
Red Cedar: Hoomis
river: c?a?ak

River Otter: wax?nii
Road, path, trail: t?ašii
Running water Noise: c?iitqaa
salalberry: y?am?a
Salmon Berry: qawii
Salmon Berry Sprout: maayi
Sand: ?upximc
Sandcastle Making: k?aayišk?in
Sasquatch; c'inii?ath
Seagull: q?inii
Sea Cucumber: taa?inwa
Sea Lion: Tukuuk
Sea Otter: k’ wak’aa
Sea Urchin: t’ucup
Shaman, Medicine Man: ?uštaqyuu
Shoes: šuuwis
Sleep: we?ic
Sleepy: pu?al?atu
Smokehouse: ??u?uwil
?Snake: h?iiyi
Song before Feasts: huuli?i?y?ik
Song before Meal: ha?ukši?y?ik nuuk
Soul: tiic'aqstim
Spirit Power Song: c?iiqaa
Spring Salmon: sac?up
Sitka Spruce: tuuhmapt
Squirrel: c?imt?u
Star: t?at?uus
Starfish: kuskiip
Start Singing: nunuukši?
Start Walking: yaacši?
Storyteller: himw?ica
Sun: ??upa
Sunbeam: ??uup?in
Sweets, Candy: camastuup
Sword Fern: ši?mapt
Thimble Berry: Clawchtlh
Thimble Sprouts: c’ašxiw?a
Tide is High: muluk
Tide is In: muluk
Tide is Rising: mulaa
To be Hungry: hak?iy?iha
To Eat: ?u?iis
To get to Know, Learn: h?amatsap
To help one Another: hupiit?al
To Howl: huhši?
To Hug: ?apkši?
To Kiss: hicknkši?
To Know: h?amat?ap
To Learn: huuh?takšiih?
To make a Net: miityaqiil
To make a Fire: ?ink?iil
To prepare Food, to Cook: ?uucaaqa
To Run Away: c’iilši?
To Walk: waal
Toilet Paper: t?ihim
Tree: ??aqa?as
Understand: nanaa?a
Unpleasant Weather or Scenery: wiwiiquk
Waterfall: tux?ul
Weather gets Bad: wiiwiqukši?
Weather gets Nice: ?u?uuqukši?
White person: mamalni
Wind: yu?i
Wolf: q?ayac?iik
Yew Tree: Klut mapt
You: suwa