Beatnik Cherokee

Next time you are hanging out in Tahlequah, practicing your bongo-playing and like sipping espresso at the
Iguana Café, man, you can groove on some Beatnik Cherokee and mystify the squares. Like coolsville, dig?

The most important word to learn is: 'yust' ("like"). Intersperse that freely into your conversation and that will get the ball rolling.

Yust aya yust Jani dagwado(?a), hisgaya. : "Like I am called like John, man."
Unesayvtli, Usdi. Yust dohi yust gusdi ? :
"Cool, Baby. Like what's happening?"
Yust ulisdv?i, hisgosdidvsgo ? :
"Like endsville, you dig?"
Ganasinvsdi. :
Dohi yust' gusdi? : What's happening?  nadanvtesgvna : free-thinker
gowelisgi : a writer  kawi : coffee
unesayvtli : cool  nvwodiya?i : alcohol
uditlega : hot  gog'sta agwaduli : I want a cigarette
ditlilosdodi : art  osi or osda : good, it is good
ditlilostanvsgi : artist  dikanogisdi : guitar
kvnigit' : I'm flat broke  nigalistanvnidohv : happening
ahanulvsv : beard  galvladi : high
ayouli : lame/gimp  akasgeni : hip
usdi : baby  Uwelugv : Howl
ganasinvsdi : drag  gagolige : I comprehend, know

No word for bongoes (yet), so we'll substitute: tali dihuli : two drums

Edoda : Father (vocative)
Edodio : Daddio

Hena : (you) go
Asgaya : man, Hisgaya : (you) man
Hena Hisgaya, hena! : Go Man, go!

Nunanelvna : Bolshevik (¡Yes this is for real!)
Kawi na nunanelvna gowelisgi aditasga :
The Bolshevik writer drinks coffee.

Na : the
-gi/hi: in, on, into, onto
Nvnohi : Road, Na Nvnohiga : On the Road
Agolige : S/he reads
"Na Nvnohiga" agolige : He reads "On the Road."

Kla yihi : It is not

Ulvnotisgi : crazy

Adatlohisdi : Beat
Atsitlosv : Beaten 

Gadu : Bread

-?i : suffix, place of ... "-ville"
Gosdiyuli?i : dullsville
Ulisdv : End, uUisdv?i : endsville

Jitag(a) usdi : chick (baby chicken)
Wes(a) : cat/cats

Aniwina : young men
Unahnalv Aniwina : Angry Young Men

Usgosdi : to dig, s/he digs
-sgo : suffix meaning "?"
Jisgosdi : I dig.
Hisgosdi : (You) Dig
Hisgosdidv : (You) Dig!
Hisgosdisgo : You dig?
Ijisgosdisgo : You dig? (plural)

Elati : Lower, Dikatlvgv?i : East, Asquageni : Side, Elati Dikatlvgv?i Asquageni : Lower East Side.
(The "Asquageni" refers to side as in side of the human body, so a Lower East Side would literately be "hip.")

Kawi na nunanelvna gowelisgi aditasga Elati Dikatlvgv?i Asquageniga :
The Bolshevik writer drinks coffee in the Lower East Side.

Kawisgo jaduli : Do you want coffee?
Vv, unesayvtli, Edodio :
Yeah, cool, Daddio.

Goliga : I am reading, understanding
Uwelugv goligadv : I am really understanding "Howl."
Hiwoni :
You speak, talk, speak!, Jagigohv : I saw
Hi?a ulvnotisgi usti jitaga jagigohv na Uyosi Ayahi :
I saw this crazy chick in the Hungry I.

Uyvtlv?i : North, Amayuladi : Beach,
Uyvtlv?i Amayuladi :
North Beach, Alasgalodi : Ball
Yust, Uyvtlv?i Amayuladi galasgalodi geso?i, Usdi :

Like, North Beach is always a ball, Baby.

keyboardAhanulvhi : Bearded
Hidosdi hi?a unesayvtli ahanulvhi wesa : Dig this cool bearded cat.

Gigage-yusti Svg(i) : Purple Onion
Uyosi Aya :
Hungry I

I leave it to the native speakers to find the Cherokee word for "groovy."

  • Did you hear the Beatniks have made Santa Claus their hero? They heard he never shaves and only works one day of the year.
  • Who do Allen Ginsberg and Jack Keurouac hang out with? A bunch of dead beats.

©2002-2013 America Meredith. All rights reserved.