Appendix:Cherokee slang

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List of Cherokee slang in common use[edit]

There are many language classes taught which provide a sound basis for mastery of the Cherokee language, but most modern courses do not teach common Cherokee slang—expressions which are unique to the culture and have evolved as local dialects within Cherokee communities across the United States. This article preserves some of the jewels of the Cherokee language not normally heard or spoken outside of Cherokee communities. (The letter ‘v’ represents the vowel ‘uh’ as in ‘cut.’)

Courting slang[edit]

  • ah-ge-hyv — young woman
  • as-ka-ya — young man
  • Ka-ge-u-s-ti ah-ge-yi — “Who is woman over there?”
  • Do-yu-s-te-tsi-do — “What’s your that name girl?”
  • S-ta-i-yu — “Are you sexed up?” (aroused)
  • Ah-yo-li di-tsu — “Are you healthy?” (= do you have anything catching?) (discreet form)
  • Do-hv-dv-ne — “How are you doing?” (casual hello to a woman, but considered a “come on” phrase)
  • O-s-da — “I’m fine.” (noncommittal response from woman)
  • O-s-hi-gwv — “I’m fine.” (seductive form)
  • Ge-s-to-s-hna gwa-do — “I have a headache and I don’t feel like it right now.” (not in the mood)
  • Ah-tsv-na — “I’m very sick.” (could mean anything from a headache to a social disease)
  • Ga-tsu-hi-ne — “Where is your house, baby?” or “Where do you live?”
  • Gv-du-s-hi — “On the Mountain.” (= I’m not telling you)
  • Gv-du-u-s-hi — “Way up on the mountain.” (= buzz off, buddy, I’m not interested)
  • Wa-tsi wi-lo-hi ku-na — “Buzz off and leave me the hell alone.”
  • Na-gwa(v)-di — “It’s around the corner.” (= come over and let’s get down)
  • U-s-di ga-tso-tu — “I live in a small house.”
  • I-gwa ga-tso-tu — “I live in a big house.”
  • Ah-gi-do-de ah-gi-ka — “I have a father and he’s probably at the house waiting.”
  • Jo-s-ta-la-nu-tsv ah-gi-ka — “I have a brother and he’s probably at the house right now.”
  • Ja-da-ya nu-dla-s-ka — “You aren’t married, are you?”
  • O-s-ta-gu-ye-lu — “I love you.” (also, “I like you sexually”)

Propositioning slang[edit]

  • Ti-ya-ha-ga — “Come in.” (spoken by woman not intending for anything to happen)
  • Ga-la-tso-de — “Come in.” (spoken by woman—you’re about to get lucky)
  • Wa-tsi-ya ah-ga — “Let me in?” (she’s slammed the door and wants you to beg, and this phrase is begging for it)
  • Ha-wa-tsa — “Please?” (begging for it. Also used to inquire afterward, “How was it?”)
  • Hi-s-tv-hu-ga — “Close the door” (usually spoken in a whisper by the woman = you’re about to get lucky)
  • O-s-da li-s-ta-ya-gwa-li-nv — “Well, you were great, but I have to get home soon” (spoken by the male after sex)

Covering your bases[edit]

The slang word for “covering your ass” or “covering your bases” in Cherokee is the word:

  • u-kaass, the part of your anatomy you cover, or slang for your reputation.
  • sha-na — hole in the ground.
  • u-k(a)-sha-na — despicable person, equivalent to asshole.

Infidelity slang[edit]

This is slang normally used by “macho men” types in the Cherokee culture. It’s also used by:

  • Ah-ni-U-ka-sha-na — obnoxious person, reprobate.
  • Shi-o o-s-ti ah-ge-hi — “Hey, little girl!” (older man putting the moves on a young girl)
  • Ah-ni-ge i-s-ah-ne-do — “Any hot babes around here?”
  • V-ne-ge tse-gwa-di ni-nu-shu — “Any women with big breasts around here?”
  • O-s-di ka-na-ti ah-ge-ya — “There’s a hot woman over there.”
  • O-s-di ka-na-ti ah-ge-ya — “There’s a hot guy over there” (homosexual form).
  • Tse-do ah-gwv-du-li — “I want your sister.”
  • Ah-ni-ge-yu o-s-da gi-ye-lv-ha — “I like younger women”
  • Tsu-s-ha — “Are you alone right now?”
  • U-wa-s-ha — “Alone?” (quiet form)
  • Ki-lo s-ta-li-go — “Are you with somebody right now?”


  • How to talk trash in Cherokee by Don Groom and John Oocumma, Cherokee Nation and Eastern Band Cherokee Indians. 1989 Downhome Publishing Company, Cherokee, NC 28719