noun physical_artefact_container


Proto-Siouan *ó-xe


Hidatsa wa•xu-he• ‘to cache’ H&V , ma•xu-


Mandan wų́x, wų́xe ‘cache’ H:307 , wų́x ‘cellar’ RTC

Proto-Mississipi-Valley *(wa-)óxe

Proto-Dakota *wóxa

Lakota wóḣa , †wóxa ‘a place to bury in, a place of deposite [sic] in the ground; a cellar, a pit; something buried’ EB:598a

Dakota wóḣa , †wóxa ‘a place to bury in, a corn-hole or other place of deposit in the ground, a cache; a cellar, a pit; something buried’ SRR:587b


Chiwere wó•xe ‘cellar, storage pit, grave’ JDH

Proto-Dhegiha *óxe

Kanza/Kaw óxe ‘cache’ RR

Osage úxe , †óxe ‘cellar’ MAS:36



Biloxi máx hoⁿní , †mą́x ‘a cache; to bury in a cache or grave’ D&S:227a

General comment

The Hidatsa form, vis-à-vis the Mandan, shows rightward vowel exchange. In both languages, the transitive verb ‘to cache’ is formed from the stative (noun) by way of the causative. The obvious synchronic analysis suggested by R and B (‘something buried in’) does not account for the nasalization in Biloxi and Mandan or the u attested in Hidatsa and Mandan. Rather, an inherited form seems to have been folk etymologized. Biloxi ma- is a dissimilation from *wų. The Biloxi initial m suggests the prior existence of a preceding protective vowel.

Alternatively, this may be the same root in Biloxi as we find in ‘bury, grave’ in which apparently a term for ‘earth’ has been incorporated. Similarly in Mandan, we may be dealing with a fused reflex of mą + oxe > wųxe. In any event this appears to be a nominalization from xe ‘dig, bury’.

Language Cognate Phonetic Siouan Meaning Comment Sources