Native American language * American Indian tribes * Native American culture

Wisconsin Native Animal Words

Here are the American Indian names of six native animals of Wisconsin. We have given their names in five different Indian languages: Chippewa, Dakota, Ho-Chunk, Menominee, and Potawatomi.

Three of these Native Wisconsin languages are related to the Algonquian language family, and the other two are related to the Siouan language family. Can you guess which languages are relatives by looking at the animal names on this page? (Hint: Not every word will sound similar even in closely related languages, so you will need to look at several different animals to figure it out!) You can find the answer on these pages: Algonquian languages and Siouan languages.

Wisconsin Native Animal Names


Chippewa: ma'iingan (pronounced muh-een-gun)
Dakota: šunktokeca (pronounced shoonk-tok-ay-cha)
Hochunk: cųkdjąk (pronounced shoonk-jonk)
Menominee: mahwāēw (pronounced muh-wow)
Potawatomi: mwe (pronounced muh-way)

Chippewa: esiban (pronounced ay-sih-bun)
Dakota: wica (pronounced wee-cha)
Hochunk: waké (pronounced wah-kay)
Menominee: āēhsepan (pronounced as-eh-pun)
Potawatomi: éspIn (pronounced as-pin)

Chippewa: zhigaag (pronounced shee-gog)
Dakota: manka (pronounced mahn-kah)
Hochunk: gųnške (pronounced goon-shkay)
Menominee: sekāk (pronounced say-gawk)
Potawatomi: shkak (pronounced shkock)

Chippewa: waabooz (pronounced wah-booze)
Dakota: maštinca (pronounced mash-teen-cha)
Hochunk: wactcįk (pronounced wash-cheenk)
Menominee: wāpos (pronounced wah-bose)
Potawatomi: wabozo (pronounced wah-bo-zo)

Chippewa: ginebig (pronounced kih-nay-big)
Dakota: wakan (pronounced wah-kahn)
Hochunk: waką (pronounced wah-kahn)
Menominee: kenūpik (pronounced keh-noo-bick)
Potawatomi: mnIto (pronounced muh-nih-to)

Chippewa: giigoonh (pronounced gee-goon)
Dakota: hogan (pronounced ho-ghan)
Hochunk: ho (pronounced hoe)
Menominee: namāēw (pronounced nuh-mow)
Potawatomi: gigos (pronounced gee-gose)

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