Primary Resource

"The maner of their language"; an excerpt from "Map of Virginia. With a Description of the Countrey, the Commodities, People, Government and Religion" by John Smith (1612)

In this excerpt of "Map of Virginia. With a Description of the Countrey, the Commodities, People, Government and Religion," first published in 1612, the Jamestown colonist John Smith provides a list of Algonquian-language words and phrases he encountered in his dealings with the Virginia Indians of Tsenacomoco.Some spelling has been modernized and contractions expanded.

Transcription from Original

Because many doe desire to knowe the maner of their language, I have inserted these few words.

  • Ka ka torawincs yowo. What call you this.
  • Nemarough. a man.
  • Crenepo. a woman.
  • Marowanchesso. a boy.
  • Yehawkans. Houses.
  • Matchcores. Skins, or garments.
  • Mockasins. Shooes.
  • Tussan. Beds.
  • Pokatawer. Fire.
  • Attawp. A bowe.
  • Attonce. Arrowes.
  • Monacookes. Swords.
  • Aumoughhowgh. A Target.
  • Pawcussacks. Gunnes.
  • Tomahacks. Axes.
  • Tockahacks. Pickaxes.
  • Pamesacks. Knives.
  • Accowprets. Sheares.
  • Pawpecones. Pipes.
  • Mattassin. Copper.
  • Vssawassin. Iron, Brasse, Silver, or any white metal.
  • Musses. Woods.
  • Attasskuss. Leaves, weeds, or grasse.
  • Chepsin. Land.
  • Shacquohocan. A stone.
  • Wepenter, a cookold.
  • Suckahanna. Water.
  • Noughmass. Fish.
  • Copotone. Sturgion.
  • Weghshaughes. Flesh.
  • Sawwehone. Bloud.
  • Netoppew. Friends.
  • Marrapough. Enimies.
  • Maskapow. The worst of the enimies.
  • Mawchick chammay. The best of friends.
  • Casacunnakack, peya quagh acquintan vttasantasough. In how many daies will there come hether any more English ships?

    Their numbers.

  • Necut. 1.
  • Ningh. 2.
  • Nuss. 3.
  • Yowgh. 4.
  • Paranske. 5.
  • Comotinch. 6.
  • Toppawoss. 7.
  • Nusswash. 8.
  • Kekatawgh. 9.
  • Keskeke. [10.]

    They count no more but by tennes as followeth.

  • Case, how many.
  • Ninghsapooeksku. 20.
  • Nussapooeksku. 30.
  • Yowghapooeksku. 40.
  • Parankestassapooeksku. 50.
  • Comatinchtassapooeksku. 60.
  • Nussswashtassapooeksku. 80.
  • Toppawousstassapooeksku. 70.
  • Kekataughtassapooeksku. 90.
  • Necuttoughtysinough. 100.
  • Necuttwevnquaough. 1000.
  • Rawcosowghs. Daies.
  • Keskowghes. Sunnes.
  • Toppquough. Nights.
  • Nepawweshowghs. Moones,
  • Pawpaxsoughes. Yeares.
  • Pummahump Starres.
  • Osies. Heavens.
  • Okes. Gods.
  • Quiyoughcosucks. Pettie Gods, and their affinities.
  • Righcomoughes. Deaths.
  • Kekughes. Lives.
  • Mowchick woyawgh tawgh noeragh kaquere mecher. I am verie hungry? what shall I eate?
  • Tawnor nehiegh Powhatan. where dwels Powwhatan.
  • Mache, nehiegh yowrowgh, orapaks. Now he dwels a great way hence at orapaks.
  • Vttapitchewayne anpechitchs nehawper werowacomocomoco. You lie, he staide ever at werowocomocomoco.
  • Kator nehiegh mattagh neer vttapitchewayne. Truely he is there I doe not lie.
  • Spaughtynere keragh werowance mawmarinough kekatenwawgh peyaquaugh. Run you then to the king mawmarynough and bid him come hither.
  • Vtteke, e peya weyack wighwhip. Get you gone, and come againe quickly.
  • Kekaten pokahontas patiaquagh niugh tanks manotyens neer mowchick rawrenock audowgh. Bid Pokahontas bring hither two little Baskets, and I wil give her white beads to make her a chaine.

Finis