Take another quiz >

Native American Words

Can you guess these English words that originally came from a Native American language?
Includes North and South American languages
To make it easier, we give you the first letter
Quiz by Quizmaster
Rate:
First submittedMay 31, 2011
Last updatedJuly 9, 2019
Times taken17,176
Rating4.01
4:00
Enter word here:
0
 / 21 guessed
The quiz is paused. You have remaining.
Scoring
You scored / = %
This beats or equals % of test takers also scored 100%
The average score is
Your high score is
Your best time is remaining
Keep scrolling down for answers and more stats ...
Definition
Language
Letter
Word
Dome-shaped shelter made from snow
Inuktitut
I
Igloo
Large Native-American gathering
Algonquian
P
Powwow
Cone-shaped tent
Lakota
T
Tepee
Deerskin shoe
Powhatan
M
Moccasin
Type of sled without runners
Algonquian
T
Toboggan
Green, pitted fruit. In Nahuatl, it also means "testicle".
Nahuatl
A
Avocado
Pacific Northwest gathering and gift exchange
Chinook
P
Potlatch
"Masked" mammal native to the Americas
Powhatan
R
Raccoon
Native American axe
Algonquian
T
Tomahawk
Red fruit native to the Americas
Nahuan
T
Tomato
Another word for Bigfoot
Halkomelem
S
Sasquatch
A word that means "baby"
Narragansett
P
Papoose
Simple rainjacket
Quechua
P
Poncho
Smaller relative of the llama
Aymara
A
Alpaca
Small boat with waterproof covering
Inuktitut
K
Kayak
Shell beads sometimes used as currency
Narragansett
W
Wampum
A sudden warm wind that blows over the Canadian plains
Lower Chehalis
C
Chinook
Food family that includes zucchini and pumpkins
Narragansett
S
Squash
Southwest wood popular in barbeque
Nahuatl
M
Mesquite
Domed shelter used by Northeast American tribes
Abenaki
W
Wigwam
An object that serves as an emblem of a tribe or clan
Ojibwe
T
Totem
+2
level 43
Apr 7, 2012
I thought it was potluck not potlatch
+3
level 75
Dec 8, 2015
Potluck means a dinner where everyone brings a dish, or a situation where you take your chances. Not related etymologically to potlatch.
+5
level 57
Jul 12, 2019
Interesting how it is not related but a striking similar word for a not too different situation.

Edit hmm.. apparently potluck coming from potlatch IS one of the theories for the origin of the word. Nothing conclusive though ( but nothing conclusive for other theorising either, only speculation)

+2
level 54
Jul 17, 2019
IMHO it's not related to potlatch. In French we have an expression which has the same meaning as "potluck", which is "à la fortune du pot", where "pot" is meant to be understood as "cooking pot" (in old French they used "pot", now we say "marmite"). So it literally means a dinner where everyone brings something, then you put it all in the cooking pot and you hope you'll get lucky and have a good dish… So I think the English expression, like many, comes from French...
+6
level 73
Jan 12, 2014
Too American-centric
+1
level 30
Jul 16, 2019
You mean USA-centric?
+2
level 45
Jul 16, 2019
how is it too "USA-centric", 13 of these words are from Canadian/American tribes, and the rest are from Mexico and South America
+2
level 54
Feb 3, 2016
Where is Algonquin for "the good land?"
+2
level 78
Jul 16, 2019
Yes! I, too, was hoping for Milwaukee to make this list! Apparently, WE'RE NOT WORTHY!
+1
level 66
Jul 16, 2019
or Canada which actually comes from kanata and means "village" or "settlement"
+2
level 59
Oct 10, 2016
Can you please accept potlach? I live in the PNW and I've definitely seen it spelled that way before
+2
level 73
Jan 7, 2017
Yes: https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/potlach
+1
level ∞
Jul 9, 2019
Okay
+2
level 73
Jan 7, 2017
Chocolate is missing :)
+1
level 45
Jun 30, 2018
I thought wigwam and a teepee were the same thing. And I thought squash was an English word.
+2
level 57
Jul 12, 2019
yea I grew up with the word wigwam. Then as a (late) teen I heard that was wrong to say and you should use tipi, cause wigwam was some word made up by europeans and was derogatory to call a tipi a wigwam. That was quite confusing to me.

But apparently that was wrong aswell !! Wigwam do exist... and do not look like tipis.. Wth does everybody think that and teach others that then..

+1
level 65
Jul 16, 2019
In England the vegetables known as squashes in America are called marrows..
+1
level 38
Oct 14, 2018
I never knew that a Kayak had a roof (covering). None that I've ever seen.
+2
level ∞
Jul 9, 2019
Have you ever been kayaking? This is what they look like.
+1
level 57
Jul 12, 2019
Where is the roof? ;) they are enclosed, but a roof I consider something above your head. But I dont know kayak terminology welll enough, maybe that is indeed what it is called in english.

Enclosed I would ve gotten and even (closed) "top" but if that is what the termonology is.. (cant find it though, only keep getting stuff on how to transport a kayak on the roof of your car..)

+1
level 57
Jul 12, 2019
I imagined some doubledecker type of structure haha, something actually above your head.
+2
level 66
Jul 16, 2019
the question said nothing about a roof, it said it has a "covering" which it does have. A kayak without a covering is a canoe
+2
level 75
Jul 9, 2019
@divantilya: perhaps you are thinking of a canoe?
+2
level 71
Jul 13, 2019
diva and Sif – You’re overthinking this. The clue says “covering”, not “roof”. When you sit in a canoe, if it rains, your feet will get wet, as the whole boat is open and water can accumulate. With a kayak, you don’t step into so much as you squeeze yourself into the top opening. Because of this covering, you cannot get up and move around; you are stuck sitting in that position. You can’t even see your feet, because it’s underneath the shell (aka covering). If it rains, your head and torso will get wet, but your tootsies will stay nice and dry – but more importantly, the rain will not accumulate in the bottom of your boat and cause you to, you know, sink. Hope this helps, but I bet you already knew it and were just having a temporary brain fart!
+4
level 76
Jul 9, 2019
Weird fact: Of the 12 states in the upper midwest, the only one without an Amerindian name is Indiana.
+1
level 66
Jul 9, 2019
Cue: fruit vs vegetable debate. XD
+5
level 78
Jul 9, 2019
Jetpunk fact - Knowledge is knowing the tomato is a fruit - wisdom is knowing not to use it in a fruit salad.
+2
level 79
Jul 9, 2019
Chinook is a word AND, separately, a language in this quiz?
+1
level 75
Jul 9, 2019
And in the real world. There's that warm wind called the Chinook. And the Chinookan family of languages originate along the Columbian River in what's now Oregon and Washington (Lower Chinook is the downriver language with several dialects, while Upper Chinook is the upriver language). There are also Chinookan peoples (e.g. the Yakima Nation, Quinault Nation).
+2
level 75
Jul 9, 2019
Oh, and Chinook salmon, which are delicious.
+4
level 67
Jul 16, 2019
Wait, so "Danish" is both a language AND a pastry?
+1
level 65
Jul 9, 2019
Great quiz! Fun and interesting to see all the tribes these words came from.
+1
level 66
Jul 10, 2019
I got 14/21 and tbh I'm surprised I got even that many. The only one I missed which I knew was tomato (duh!), but the "fruit" in the description threw me off. It was quite interesting for me to see how many words from the other end of the world are being used in my mother tongue as well (wigwam, toboggan, tomahawk, moccasin etc.). I understand the reasons, but I still find it fascinating.
+1
level 61
Jul 10, 2019
Algonquian is a large language family.
+1
level 76
Jul 16, 2019
Don't think I've heard Wampum or Potlatch before.
+1
level 66
Jul 16, 2019
Great that the quiz identifies Nahuatl and Amayra as Native American words, too. People in the US and Canadians often are exclusive about the indigenous people as only those from what is now within the borders of those countries, but the nations on both continents of course cross the colonizers' borders.
+1
level 69
Jul 16, 2019
The "baby" answer should also mention that it can refer to the child carrier (or cradle board) as well. That's how I've heard it used.
+1
level 34
Jul 17, 2019
Did much better than I was expecting, 10.
+2
level 58
Jul 17, 2019
I'm a wigwam! I'm a teepee! I'm a wigwam! I'm a teepee! Relax. Your two tents.