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Etymology 1[edit]

łi- (adjectival) + -Ø- (ni-modal 3rd person subject prefix) + -Ø- (classifier)-tso (neuter imperfective stem of root -TSOII, “to be yellow”).

The łi- prefix appears to have originated historically from the -ł- classifier. When this prefix appears immediately in pre-stem position, it takes the shape of a -l- classifier.



  1. it is yellow
    Tsídii łitso — The (one or two) bird is yellow.
    Tsídii daaltso — The (three or more) birds are yellow.
Usage notes[edit]

This is a neuter verb. As such, it has only the imperfective stem.


Paradigm: Neuter imperfective (ni).

IMPERFECTIVE singular duoplural plural
1st person łinistso łiniitso dałiniitso
2nd person łinítso łinohtso dałinohtso
3rd person łitso daaltso
4th person jiltso dajiltso
Derived terms[edit]
Łitso, yellowish 5¢ note

Etymology 2[edit]

The use of łitso (yellow) to refer to the nickel coin comes from the gold or yellowish color used in the fractional currency note for this denomination during the Civil War.



  1. nickel (coin)

See also[edit]

Colors in Navajo · nidaashchʼąąʼígíí (layout · text)
     łigai      łibá
(dark gray: dinilzhin)
     łizhin      dibéłchíʼí, yishtłizh
(dark brown: dinilzhin)
             dinilchííʼ              łichííʼ, ?              łichxíʼí
(light orange: diniltsxo)
(light yellow: diniltso), dinilgai
             ?              dinooltłʼizh,
chʼilgo dootłʼizh
             {{{mint green}}}, {{{dark green}}}              dootłʼizhii, ?
             yágo dootłʼizh              dootłʼizh              ?, diłhiłgo dootłʼizh              ?, tsédídéehgo dootłʼizh