Mashteuiatsh36(c) Tourisme Autochtone Québec
Mashteuiatsh36(c) Tourisme Autochtone Québec

Words of native origin

Definitions of Words of Native Origin

The following is a list of words of native origin. You will find in parentheses what each word refers to in everyday life (town, river, etc.), followed by the translation.


Where one waits for a moose.


Strips of rawhide, sinew, or gut used for sewing, lacing, or fastening: making snowshoes for example.

What is the meaning of the word Canada?

Canada means: The village where I live.


Lake crossed from edge to edge by a river. (source: Commission de toponymie du Québec)
Meeting place.

What Does the Name Chicoutimi Mean?

The meaning is interesting as it refers to where sea water and fresh water meet.

Where Does the Name Esquimaux Mean?

“They eat raw”

Ilnu / Ilunatsh

Name of the Montagnais in their language meaning “Human being”.


Long lake.


This word is used to refer to someone who is restless or too noisy.

What is a Manitou?

Manitou refers to the spirit of spirits or a superior being.


Where there is a point of land.


Current coming out of the lake.


Large rock.


Lost / away from its normal place.
(Typical local fish, sea trout which would have evolved following the disappearance of the salt water.)


Winding path, full of curves.


He tells jokes / he laughs a lot.


The water of the river is scrambled.




Flat lake.

What is the definition of Quebec?

Quebec means a narrowing or escarpment.

What Does Saguenay Mean?

Exiting water / where the water exits.


River enclosed.

Definition of Tadoussac

Bosom, it refers to the capes on either side of the mouth of the Saguenay River, where the whales come to feed.)

What is a Windigo?

A Windigo is the forest ogre (a giant cannibal).

We thank the Mashteuiatsh Society of History and Archeology for their invaluable assistance in writing this article.

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