American Native languages
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American Indian heritage
The name Cheyenne
Q: Hello, I don't know if you can help me... but I decided
to give it a try. Friends of mine named their daughter Cheyenne...
and they were looking for some native symbol or word
for Cheyenne. I don't know if there is one... I
haven't been able to come up with anything. And from what I've
read, it appears that the word "Cheyenne" might have
been some unfortunate misinterpretation. Can you
help me with this at all. It would be much
A: Cheyenne originally became a popular girl's name
because it is the name of a city in Wyoming (many
placenames have become girl's names in the United
States.) The city was named after the Cheyenne Indian
tribe. You're correct that this name isn't what the
tribe originally called themselves. Their name for
themselves is Tsitsistas. "Cheyenne" comes from a
Sioux word meaning "little Cree" (another Indian tribe
living further to the north.) It's not clear whether
this was a mistranslation of the Sioux word, or
whether the Sioux called the Cheyenne little Crees.
But either way, there is not a special Cheyenne symbol
representing this name, because it isn't a name from
the Cheyenne language.
Your friend could certainly teach her daughter about
the Indian tribe who shares the same name she does,
though. We have a lot of information and links about
them collected here:
Hope that helps, have a good day!
Native Languages of the Americas
Native American girls names
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