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The Name To'jiilee

Q: The word "To'jiilee' is on an exit ramp sign on Interstate 40 in New Mexico. As I'm a cross country truck driver, I pass by this exit a lot. It always gets up my curiosity as to what the word means. Could you possibly help me out here?

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A: Sounds like a Navajo place name to me. A lot of Navajo place names start with To because it means water (Tonalea in Arizona and Tohatchi in New Mexico come to mind). I've never heard of To'jiilee' before but I bet it's a variant spelling of Tohajiilee (or Tó Hajiileehé), which is the name of a Navajo town near Canoncito. Literally that means "rising water" or "where they raise water."

If it's not the same name, then it could be the place name of another Navajo town (or archaeological site) that we're just not familiar with.

Hope that helps!
Native Languages of the Americas

Related Links

 American Indian place names
 Navajo language
 Navajo Indians
 New Mexico tribes



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