stink (3)

noun perceptual_olfactory


Proto-Siouan *yą́ɣe

Proto-Mississipi-Valley *yą́ɣe


Lakota wačhą́ɣa ‘sweetgrass’ EJ

Proto-Hoocąk-Chiwere *ną́xe

Chiwere ną́xe ‘be stinky, acrid’ GM

Hoocąk ną́ąx ‘smell of urine, bad smell’ KM:2262 , nąąx


Kanza/Kaw mažą́ɣe ‘onion’ RR



Biloxi yaⁿxí , †yąxí ‘strong odor from a goat’ D&S:290b , nto yaⁿxí , †yąxí ‘the odor from a negro’ D&S:290b

General comment

Cf. ‘stink (1)’, also ‘ice’ for correspondences. Kanza/Kawonion’ is sometimes analyzed as mąžą́ ‘earth’ and an unidentified derivational suffix -ɣe, but comparison with Dakota here shows that to be a folk etymology. It now seems clear that Lakota ‘sweetgrass’ is cognate, and the earlier meaning was not ‘earth-something’ but ‘that which smells (strongly)’. Nasalization of the initial syllable in Kanza/Kaw either took place via the usual nasal spread before *y > ž, or represents a native attempt to justify the folk analysis.

Language Cognate Phonetic Siouan Meaning Comment Sources