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Prlnton, Daniel G«rriBon, 
Notes on the Mangu*. 





049 7 B77aN LAQ 




An extinct Dialect formerly spoken in 



{Bead before the American Philo$ophic€U Society, Noveitiber SO, 1885,) 



An extinct Dialect formerly spoken in 



Professor of Ethnology aud ArchsBology at the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadel- 

(Bead before t/ie American PJdLoeophical Society, November ^0, 1885.) 


McCalla & Stavbly, Prii«tbks, 337-9 J3ock Stkbbt. 


^"sftn. Texas 


An Extinct Dialect formerly spoken in 

By Daniel G. Brinton, M.D. 

{Read before the American PhUosophieal Society, November 20, 1885,) 

Sources. Nothing whatever has been published about the 
Mangue language, except a list of ninety-five words, by Mr. E. 
G. Squier in his work, "Nicaragua, its People, Scenery and 
Monuments." Whence he obtained this short vocabulary he 
does not state ; but it is evidently the work of some one only 
slightly acquainted with the character of the language. 1 do not 
make any use of it in the present notes, except in a few instances 
for comparison. 

My authorities are, first, Don Juan Eligio de la Rocha's 
Apuntamientoa de la Lengua Mangue, MS. The author was 
born in Oranada, C. A., June 15, 1815. By profession a lawyer, 
his taste led him to the study of languages, and he acquired a 
fluent knowledge of French, English and Italian. He was 
appointed instructor in French and Spanish grammar in 1848 
in the University of Leon, C. A., and ten years later, 1858, pub- 
lished his ElementoB de Oramatica Castellana (Leon, 1858, small 
4to, pp*. 199). His death occurred in 1873. 

While living in Masaya in 1842, he became interested in the 
surviving remnants of the Mangues, and undertook to collect 
materials for a study of their language. Unfortunately, he never 
completed these investigations, and many of the sheets on which 
he had recorded his notes were scattered. A few of them, how- 


ever, were in the hands of his brother, Doctor Don Jesus de la 
Rocha, of Granada, who gave Dr. C. H. Berendt an opportunity 
to copy them in 1874. 

In that same year, 1874, Dr. Berendt collected the last 
obtainable fragments of the Mangue. In his (printed) lecture 
before' the American Geographical Society in 1876, he thus 
describes his efforts in this direction, and at the same time 
points out the localities where the Mangue speaking populations 
where located when they first came to the knowledge of the in- 
vading whites : — 

"The Spaniards on cd taring the present State of Nicaragua from Kicoya 
bay, and then marching through the country, came into contact first with 
the southern section of the Chorotegas or Mangues, as they were also 
called ; then with a Nahuatl tribe, whose capital and king are mentioned 
as bearing the name of Nicarao ; and after these again with Chorotegas or 
Mangues, who, however, did not occupy the whole tract of land up to the 
Bay of Fonseca, but were again separated from the Chorotegas on the 
shores of that bay by another foreign tribe called Maribios. Thus we 
obtain the three sections into which the Chorotegas of Nicaragua were 
divided at the time of the Conquest. Now, their language seemed to me 
an object worthy of having some special attention bestowed upon it— not 
so much for its own sake, but in order that a better understanding might 
be arrived at of the ethnological features of Nicaragua, which, on account 
of an insufficient acquaintance with its actual condition as well as with the 
early writers, and ot the rather precarious speculations and conjectures of 
modern authors based upon such scanty knowledge, have become greatly 
confused. Having studied the Chapanecan language on a former expedi- 
tion, and wishing to compare it with the Chorotegan, I visited Nicaragua 
in the year 1874. I found that the Indian population near the Nicoya and 
the Fonseca bays had entirely disappeared, and in both districts only met 
with some local names belonging to the Chorotegan language. In the 
third district also, where descendants of the old stock are still living in 
twelve villages around the lakes of Masaya and Apoyo, I was informed 
that no other vestiges of the old idiom were left, the inhabitants speaking 
exclusively the Spanish language. I had, however, the good luck to 
ferret out some old people who still remembered words and phrases they 
had heard in their childhood ; and I was enabled to collect material suffi- 
cient to convince myself and others of the identity of this Mangue or 
Chorotegan idiom with the Chapaneco language of Mexico. I was not a 
moment too early in obtaining this information, for the greater number of 
my informants died while I was staying in the country. I still hope that 
with the knowledge of the Chorotegan thus gained in Nicaragua and 
Chiapas, it may be possible to trace their history and descent backwards 

to one of the nations that were living in Anahaac in the earliest times of 
which our records speak." 

The materials were never published by Dr. Berendt, nor, 
indeed, did the many other projects which occnpied him allow 
him the leisure to collate and arrange them. I have taken them 
from his original notes, often in pencil and not always perfectly 
legible. But I believe those here offered can be depended upon 
as accurate, and have special value as the sole remaining vestiges 
of an idiom now wholly extinct. 

Synonyms. It will be seen that Berendt speaks of this 
people as the " Chorotegas or Mangues." I have given the 
origin of these names in the Introduction to " The Gtiegiience, a 
Comedy-Ballet in the Nahuatl-Spanish Dialect of Nicaragua," 
published as Number III, of *'Brinton's Library of Aboriginal 
American Literature" (Philadelphia, 1883). They adjoined on 
the north-east and south-west the Nahuatl-speaking tribe, who 
occupied the narrow strip of land between Lake Nicaragua and 
the Pacific ocean. 

"They were of one blood and one language, and called themselves 
Mdnkeme, rulers, masters, which the Spaniards corrupted into Mangues, 
The invading Aztecs appear to have split this ancient tribe into two frac- 
tions, the one driven toward the south, about the Gulf of Nicoya, the 
other northward, on and near Lake Managua, and beyond it on Fonseca 
bay. Probably in memory of this victory, the Aztec Nicaraguans applied 
to them the opprobious name, OholoUec% 'those driven out,' from the 
Nahuatl verb choloa, in its compulsive form choloUia, and the suffix, 
tecatl, people ; which was corrupted by the Spaniards into Chorotegas,** 
(The Queguence, Introduction, p. viii.) 

In Squier's work above referred to they are called " Chorote- 
gans or Dirians." The latter is from the Mangue diri^ a hill or 
mountain, and was applied to that portion of them who dwelt in 
the hilly country south of Masaya. 

The Spanish form of their native name is that which I should 
recommend for adoption in ethnological works. 

Early Notices. The old historians and travelers, on whom we 
depend for our knowledge of Nicaragua, tell us practically 
nothing about this language, and little about the people who 
spoke it. The chieftain, called Nicoya, living on the bay of that 
name, was first visited by Captain 611 Gonzalez Ddvila in 1523. 
The natives were estimated at about six thousand, who received 


the Spaniards in a friendly manner, and gave them considerable 

Oviedo in his Eistoria de las Indias gives a few words of the 
language as follows : 

mameay hell. 

nam bi, dog. 

nam bue^ tiger, 

the last two of which correspond to those in later vocabularies.f 
The Auditor Garcia de Palacio (1576) mentions the Mangue 
as spoken in Choluteca, Nicaragua and Costa Rica, in the last 
mentioned as introduced from elsewhere.J About a century later 
a colony of Mangues, several hundred in number, were found b}'- 
J uan Vazquez de Coronado, almost at the extreme eastern end 
of Costa Rica, in the Province of Pacaca.§ Those on the Pacific 
Coast, about the Gulf of Nicoya, were accustomed to cross to the 
ocean on the north for trading purposes, and to obtain salt.|| 
They appear to have been a people of moderate cultivation, and 
rather extended commercial connections. 

Affilialiqns. The Mangue is the mother tongue from which 
the Chapanec (or Chiapauec) of Chiapas branched off. The 
separation from the ancestral tribe, and the migration from 
Nicaragua to Chiapas, were distinctly remembered by the Cha- 
panec offshoot when first encountered by the whites. Remesal, 
in his well-known history, gives a brief but clear account of it. 
The date of this occurrence cannot be specifically stated, but 
its occasion can be readily surmised. The Mangues at one time 
occupied the whole coast from the entrance of the Gulf of 
Nicoya to Fonseca bay. At a period which we may locate some 
time in the fourteenth century, a large colony of Aztecs de- 
scended the coast and seized the strip between Lake Nicaragua 
and the Pacific, thus splitting the Mangues in two, and driving 
a large portion of them out of their homes. Some of these wan- 
derers remained with their relatives, but one body of them 
marched north and west until they reached a lofty peak on tLe 

♦Letter of Gil Gonstalez DAvila to the Emperor Charles V, in Coata-Riea, Nic 
aragua y Panama en el Siglo xvi, por D. Manuel £. de Peralta, p. 9 (Madrid, 1833). 
iHistoria General y Natural de Indias, Part lii, Lib. iii. 
X Palacio, Carta al Rey^ Ed. Squier, p. 20. 

'i See the Report of Coronado in the collection of Peralta above quoted, p. 777. 
Ilbid, p. 701. 

Bio Grande in Central Chiapas, where they constructed a for- 
midable fortress, and became the terror of their Nahuatl-speak- 
ing neighbors.* 

No connection has been demonstrated between the Mangue 
(or Chapanec), and any other North American language, 
although owing to the liberal exertions of M. Alphonse Tinart, 
we have now in print and easily procurable, a grammar and a 
number of texts of the Chapanec dialect.t 

A comparison, the partial results of which I have previously 
published, proves that the diiferences between the Chapanec and 
Mangue are slight and unimportant, and for purposes of colla- 
tion with other stocks the two may be looked upon as identical. 

In the Introduction to " The Giiegiiencc," I pointed out some 
singular coincidences between the Mangue and the Aymara of 
Peru. Further examination of the two tongues has not added 
to the list given, and has weakened the J)elief I entertained of 
some possible connection in the past between them. 

I take this occasion to point out an error which has crept into 
several philological works, that of confounding the Mangue 
with the Nagrandan of Nicaragua. Thus, Francisco Pimentel, in 
his work on the languages of Mexico, falls into the capital mis- 
take of declaring the Chapanec of Chiapas to be allied to the 
Nagrandan of Nicaragua ; and to prove his assertion, gives a 
list of alleged Nagrandan words, all of which belong to the 
Mangue tongue I X 

The same confusion marks an attempt of Mr. Hyde Clark, of 

* " Vlnleron antigiiamente de la Provinciade Nicaragua unas gentes que can- 
sados de andar y de las descomodades que la peregrinacloa true conslgo, Be qued- 
aron en tlerra de Chlapa, y poblaron en un pefiol aspero orillas de un Rio Grande 
que pasa por medio della y fortlflcaronse alli, porque nunca se quisieron suj^ 
tar & los Reyes de Mejico, antes tenian contlnuamente guerra con sus capi- 
tunes." etc Rcmesal, HUtoria de Chiapa y Ouatemala^ Lib. iv, cap. xiil. 

iArtedela Leiigua Chiapeneca. Por Fray Juan de Albornoz. 

Doctrina Crisliana en Lengua Cfhiapaneea. Por Fray Luis Barrlentos. 

These two publications comprise Vol. i of the Bibliothique de LinguUtique el 
d'Bthnograpfiie AmericaineSf publiic par AJph. L. PInart (Paris, lb75). 

Dr. Berendt states that the natives pronounce the name of the province 
Chapa,noi Cfiiapa, and that the word is the Mangue Chapay which means their 
sacred bird, the Ara or Ouacamayo, f rom which they named their fortress in the 
State of Chiapas. Father Juan Nufiez, who was missionary among them about 
1620, and who preached and wrote in their tongue, also called it 'Ma lengua 
Chapaneca." See Brasseur (de BoMtboMTfO^ Bibliothiq^e Mexico- QuatemalUnne, 
pp; 109, 110. 

t Quadro Descriptivo de lae Lenffuaa Indigenaa de Mexico^ Tomo ill, p. 550 (Mexicj, 


London, to bring into relation 'Uhe Masaya language of 
Nicaragua with the Sioux language.^' The words he quotes as 
from Masaya are all from the Nagrandan of Subtiaba, near 
Leon. There is really no relationship between the Nagrandan 
and Mangue, and although Dr. Latham has attempted to indi- 
cate some few analogies,* they must be deemed quite accidental. 

A comparison of about 125 words of the Mangue with the 
Mixteca, which I find among the Berendt MSS., reveals only 
about half a dozen similarities, all apparently accidental. . 

Phonetics. The Mangue words in this paper are principally in 
letters with the Spanish powers, some of the semi-vowels being 
in smaller type. The h is pronounced as an aspirate, and is 
equivalent to the^', which has its aspirated Spanish value. 

All syllables are open ; that is, they all end in a vowel sound. 
Thus nimbu^ water, is to be divided ni-mbu. In this respect it 
resembles the Cherokee, the Japanese, etc. 

Dr. Berendt stated that the Chapanec dialect was the most 
difficult of any American language he had ever studied, on 
account of the obscurity and uncertainty of its sounds. It is 
greatly syncopated, and terminal syllables are often pronounced 
in so low a tone that they escape the unpracticed ear. The 
vowels are not distinct, and many of the consonants are " alterna- 
ting" as it is called, that is, one may be substituted for another 
without altering the meaning of the word. Thus, evil spirit 
(demonio) may be either tixdmbi' or sisa^mhH^ these two being 
the same word pronounced indifferently, either way, by the same 
individual. This is by no means without parallel in American 

The curious frequency in the Mangue of the " resonants " n 
and m will strike every observer. This is also the case in the 
Chapanec. Albornoz regards it as a phonetic phenomenon only, 
and remarks, " Whenever a word begins with 6, gr, y or rf, an n 
must be written before it, which is pronounced with the word 
itself." Dr. Berendt calls it an *' article" which appears as n, 
wa, nt, or m, especially before the letter b. As such, I may 
suggest its similarity to the Nahuatl in, and the Othomi nay both 
of which are demonstratives worn down almost to articles. 

There is a similar resonant nasal in various South American 

• Latham, Essays, chUi/ly Philological and Ethnographical^ p. 873 (London, 1880). 



tongues, especially the Tupi-Guarani dialects of Brazil. It 
appears most frequently before the consonants b and d. Its 
peculiarity is that it is not an expiratory sound, but a soft in- 
spiratey and as such is claimed by Dr. Nogueira to be a phonetic 
phenomenon confined exclusively to American tongues.* I have 
been unable to decide from the descriptions within my reach of 
the Chapanec phonetics, whether the initial resonant is an inspi- 
rate, and I would call the attention of travelers to this interest- 
ing point. 

In addition to this simple resonant prefix there are a number 
of particles beginning either with n or m, which are added to 
indicate the absolute or independent form of the noun, that is, 
to characterize it when not attached to a personal possessive 
pronoun. Of these Albornoz gives fourteen for the singular, and 
seven for the plural. This will explain the striking prevalence 
of words beginning with these letters in the vocabulary. 

Accent is of the utmost importance in both these dialects, and 
the identity to the eye of various words as nyujmi^ ear and 
smoke, arises from absence of proper accent marks in my 
authorities. The words for bird, snake and flower are the same ; 
but Albornoz gives this very example to illustrate the import- 
ance of accent, no/o, a snake, nolo^ a flower. Unfortunately, 
none of my authorities employ any accentual mark but the acute, 
and this appears to be syllabic. A vowel wiitten above the line 
of the word, in Berendt's MSS., signifies a semi-vowel. 

Structure. The general structure of the Mangue was clearly 
polysynthetic and incorporative in a marked degree. In its 
grammar it was no doubt identical in all essential points with 
the Chapanec, about which, as above mentioned, we have con- 
siderable information in published sources. Nominal and verbal 
forms are defined by the categories of animate and inanimate 
genera, a distinction which is to a certain extent purely gram- 
matical, as for instance, a book is considered animate, and a table 
inanimate (Albornoz, Gram.y cap. xiii). The first person plural 
has an inclusive and exclusive form. Adjectives usually, but 
not always, follow the nouns. Plurals are frequently formed 
by simply lengthening the terminal vowel sound. 

•See the excellent work of Dr. B. C. A. Nogueira, Apontamentos sobre o Abi' 
fieinga tambem chamado Ouarani ou Tupi, pp. 56, 67 (Rio Janlero, 1876), 


The Vocabulary, The words in the vocabulary have been 
obtained from the Rocha and Berendt MSS. Where these two 
authorities differ the variants are indicated by the affixed 
initials, R. and B. All words quoted for the sake of compari- 
son from Squier, are marked by an affixed S. The observa- 
tions, explanations and other remarks attached to the words 
and phrases are my own. The comparative expressions takea 
from the Chapanec (marked, Chap.) are from the printed works 
above mentioned, or from MS. vocabularies of various author- 
ship in my possession. 

All of Rocha's words are from the dialect of Masaya ; but Dr. 
Berendt obtained some at the villages of Masatepec, Niquin- 
domo, and Namotiva', and this explains the occasional variants 
given. The differences, however, between the speech of these 
localities was evidently slight. 

Vocabulary : English-Mangue. 

Achiote, nariyu. (The Bixa orellana, a fruit tree ; achiote is 

Aguacate, nirimo', narimu. (Fruit of the Fersea gratissima\ 

Ancestor, kopo'. The same as old^ q. v. 

Ancestress, kapoi. Apparently a feminine form of kopOy old. 

Anona, naria^ Fruit of the Anona squamosa. 

Ant, an, naju, na*. 

Ara, lapa; Chap, txapa. The Ara macao, of ornithologists. 

Arm, ndiro. Compare handy and finger. Properly '' the 
upper extremity." S. deno. Chap. gulu"a. 

Armpit, ngisa. Compare, beard. Perhaps " hair of the armpit." 

Armadillo (Da'sypus) nyuku'. Compare lizard. 

Ashes, nitsu, nisu. 

Atole, nambo. (A dish prepared from maize.) 

Bad, gangame, ganyame. Properly not-good. 

Bark, nanso^a'. 

Basket, naj°ari. 

Bat, nyuta'. 

Bean, nyumA. 

Beast, nyumbu. Compare tiger. 

Bear, to (to bear children) pindih. 

Beard, gfsa. 


Bed, nakut^. 

Bee, nopopo. 

Beetle, nag^a. 

Belly, ngusi. 

Bird, nori, nyari'. Compare snake and flower^ Chap, nuri. 

Bitter, yasi. 

Black, nansome. 

Blood, nijoyti ; S. nenuh. 

Blue, nandipame. 

Body or Flesh, nimbrome, nampoome. 

Bone, nyu*. 

Bowels, ngita. 

Boy, nasome ; R. norome ; little boy, norominamu. 

Branch (of a tree) ndiro nya ; = " its arm, tree." 

Brandy, nimbuyasi ; = " water, bitter." 

Brave, pusit^u. 

Brook, nanda. 

Brother, manku, mambo. 

Brother, younger, mambo nyamo nasome. 

Buttocks, bojo* ; nbasi, ba8ti^ 

Cacao, nytisi. 

Camote, yujmi (an edible root). 

Cane, sugar, niri6mbome. 

Cantaro (a water jar), natiyojpo. 

Casava, see yuca. 

Cat, misa, mixa. 

Cat, wild, misa se nirome; = " cat of the forest." 

Chachalaca, t^sara. A kind of partridge called, in Nahuatl, 

Chalchihuitl (a green stone, Nah.),nyu se rayo ; the last word, 
rayoj is Spanish, and the expression means " stone of the light- 
ning," the belief being that these stones are thunderbolts. 

Cheek, girote. Compare /ace. 

Chief, ruler, mdnkeme. Chap. mana;^ama, from x^nidj the 
head. See The Queguence^ Introd., p. viii, note. 

Chief, female, najyumbu. 

Child, nasungi. 

Chile (a sort of red pepper"), nlngi. 

Chocolate, nimbu nyusl ; = " water-cacao." 


ChocoUo (a bird), naturi. 

Church, nakdmbui. 

Clay, nambroj. 

Clay, potter's, nambr6j se nati ; = " clay of jars." 

Cock, a, norij"^. 

Cockroach, nambisa. 

Cocoyol, Dcme ; a species of palm. 

Cold, poro', yoro, oro. 

Collar, or necklace, bakoya'jo. 

Comal (a dish or plate), nambujyo'. 

Come, to, na. 

Conch-shell, txote. 

Cook, a female, naka' nakupasi. Comp. kitchen. 

Corn-field, namasinyu^, ndam bur'rio. 

Cotton, naroti'. 

Cotton, thread of, tapakiisime narbti. 

Dance, to, tasosmo. 

Daughter, banya naslnyamo. Comp. son and girl. 

Daughter-in-law, mbdjtioro. 

Dead, ko*jme. Comp. to die. 

Deaf, gungupajo ; = not hearing. 

Deer, nytimba ngami. 

Devil, natamasimo. 

Die, to, naga'nyu; imper. ko\jme. 

Dish from a gourd, nambira. Comp. water. 

Distant, ha'tsu. 

Door, nya sfyu. 

Drink, to, imper. koi ri (T). 

Drum, nyunsu. Comp. jicara. 

Dog, nyumbi'. 

Dog, female, nyumbi nyaka*. 

Ear, nytijmi. 

Earth, land, nikupu^, nambrome. 

Eat, to, nasu, imper. ko*ta'. 

Egg» nyuga-yori. Comp. bird. 

Egg-shell, nanso'^a. Compare hark. 

Enclosure, mendi. 

Enclosure of stone, mendi nyu\ 

Excrement, nig'^a. 


University of Texts 

Austin, Texas 


Eye, nate. 

Face, ngroti; Compare cheek. 
Father, k"*^; kujk'^e; S. gooha. R. coehyo. 
Feather, napa yorf. 
Female, of animals, nyaka. 

Finger, ndiro. Compare arm and hand. Chap, banya dild. 
Finger nail, monsu', munsd. 
Fire, nyayu, naku ; S. nahu. 
Fish, nyujd. 
Flatus, pij^ 
Flea, louse, etc., nyu*. 
Flesh, for eating, nampumi. 
Flint, nyupa nyugo. Compare stone. 
Flower, nyuri, niri. Compare hird^ and snake. 
Fly, a, nimbrome. 
Food, nyumuta. Comp. bean. 
Foot, ngira* 
Forehead, gula. 
Forest, nijome, nmandi. 

Fork, a, nya nangu. Compare house. Probably the forked 
stick, which supports the ridge-pole. 
Friend, nguri ; manku. Comp. brother. 
Frog, natakop6. Comp. toad. 
Fruit, narime. 

Qall, bayalimd. 

Qaspar, nyuju yansu. A fish sometimes called the '4izard 

Girl, nasunyamo. K. najinamu. 

God, kupankeme Dio; nikus'p^a. (Our Lord.) Chap, kop- 
andj^ame ; comp. chief. S. gopahemedeo. 

Good, pami, pame, yame. 

Great, yok"e, yok"eme. 

Green, apame, yapame. 

Guacal (small dish), nari. 

Guayabo (a fruit), nikonyo'. 

Hair, nimbi'. 

Half-breed, nyukds^a. 

Hamack, nyu. Comp, mecate. 

Hand, ndiro. Comp. arm and finger. Chap. di4a. 



Hat, nimpe. 
Hatchet, nimunguy^. 
Hawk, nake'. 
He, pron. neje. 
Head, nga' kimo. 
Heart, nambume. 
Heaven, sky, nakup"i ; nakujpu. 
Heavy, arime. 

Hedge, or fence. See enclosure. 
Henequen (a fibrous plant), notome. 
High, opome. 
Hoe, bajaritojo. 
Hog, nyuju. 

Hog, wild, nyuju mandi. Comp. forest 
Honey, nambo' pu, nomb6. 
Horn, nimbomo. 

'Horse, nyumpie'. Comp. tapir. 
Hot, tsujmu, yatsumu. 
House, nangu, nge. 

Husband, boh"e. Comp. man »nd male. 
Iguana, nyumbu. Comp. animal^ beast. 
Indian, an, namba'jimo. 
Jar, of pottery, nimbtlgu. 
Jicaro (tall jar), nyi'insu. 
Kill, to, tambajme. 
Kitchen, nakupasi. 
Lake, ninda. 
Leaf, nyuma'. 
Leg, ngiko. 

Light, adj, ngari me ; = not-heavy. 
Lightning, koyo'mo (?J. 

Lion, couguar, nyumbd nyangami. Comp. deer. 
Little, kame ; R. fiamu. 
Lizard, nyukd. 
Low, nyamo. Comp. small. 

Macana (an iron implement for cutting brush), nampilj. 
Mecapal (a net for carrying loads), napalumu. 
Machete (a heavy knife), nimb*u. 
Maize, nama. 


Maize, ear of, Dyup6. 

Maize, cob of, neje'. 

Maize, green, njopome. 

Maize, cooked (nistamal), nju'ritu. 

Maize, masa of, nambima. 

Male, of animals, j'e, Pe. 

Mamma, su ngitsu, ngisu. 

Man (homo), ndijpu. Chap, dipaju. 

Man (vir), nyugo, nojue, enkaj ; S. nubo. Chap. nu"a. 

Mantle, of cotton, nambu sangui ; R. nimbu ranguma. 

Married man, koipnjma nasominyamo. 

Married woman, noji. 

Mat, nuri. 

Metapail (hand-stone for pounding grain), ndiro nyupa (hand- 

Metate (mealing stone, mortar), nyupd ; = stone. 

Mill woman, a, nasinyarao tapa' kup"i. 

Mole, nyu'kupu, Comp. armadillo. 

Money, najrao.' Comp. silver. 

Monkey, nambi. 

Moon, yn. Chap, yuji'i. 

Mother, ngumo; nyame; ngimo; S. goomo. R. guirmoh. 

Mountain, hill, tiri, diri. 

Mouth, nyunsu ; R. fiunzu. 

Much, p6kopi. 

Musquito, ndju. 

Nacatamal (maize cooked with flesh), nyuga mpume. Comp. 

Navel, ngutinyamo. 

Near, kopunapu. 

Neck, nko*. 

Negro, a, nanso'me. Comp. black. 

Nephew, batsiln kdnyamo. 

Nest, nga. Comp. house. 

Net (for carrying), niskupu, namu. 

Net (for fishing), najkupu ; niskupu se yuju. 

Night, koyujmi (it is now night). 

No, aku. 

Nose, nyungd ; R. nungu. 


Old, man, kopo'. Comp. ancestor. 

Old woman, naka*, naska'me. 

Opossum, niyi\. 

Orphan, but^jmu. 

Pain, gaime. 

Parrot, nimbusojo. 

Pearl color (nacar), narlmbame. 

Pebble, nipa. Comp. stone. 

Penis, bu'yore. 

Petticoats, nimbusame ; nambusangume. Comp. mantle. 

Pigeon, nyurinjamo. 

Pineapple, nindi. 

Pinole (maize roasted and pulverized), nambari. 

Pisote (a badger?), nyundi. 

Plantain, green, nirinte, nikotona. 

Plantain, ripe, ndurime. 

Plate (of dried gourd), nambira, 

Pleiades, the, napopo. 

Poor, nambajimo, nambalnjume. 

Pretty, tapustxuya. 

Priest, ku°jk-d 

Privates (female), sungip^ai motxo'tete. 

Rabbit, nyuku. Comp. lizard. 

Rain, nimbu. Comp. water. 

Rat, nangi. 

Red, arimbome. 

Reed, n^jeri. 

Rind (peel), nansoV. Comp. bark. 

River, neju. 

Road, niro. 

Roof, nimd, nakamu^. 

Room, apartment, nakangu. Comp. home. 

Rope, string (mecate), nyu*. 

Sacate (a species of grass), nimd, nakamo. 

Saliva, nimb6jmo. 

Salt, niri. 

Sandal, or moccasin, nyansu, ninsu. 

Sapote, red (a fruit), noxa', nyuxa'. 

Scorpion, nyumbukukf. 


Sea, nirabu yumbu. 
She, pron. neja. See He. 
Shirt, for men, mboyii. 
Shirt, of women, nayu. 
Shore, ninda. Comp. lake. 
Shoulder, inku*. 
Silver, najmo. Comp. money. 
Sing, to, undamo. 

Sister, boronyamo, mambo. Comp. brother. 
Skin, hide (of animals), ninsu, nausu, nyiin su. 
Sleep, to, nagu. 

Small, txote, nyamo. Comp. low. 
Smoke, nyujmi; S. nemare. 

Snake, nyurf. Chap, nultl. Comp. bird sxi^ flower. 
Son, banya. 
Son-in-law, ngismd. 
Sorcerer, nyu^ja. 
Sour, yagu. 

Speak, to, nata, imper. papa'me. 
Squirrel, nar^. 

Star, nyuti ; R. nuti ; S. nuete. Chap, nahuiti.' 
Stone, rock, nyup^ (pi. nipa). 
Stool, nambu ku ta'. 
Sugar, nomb6. Comp. sweet. 

Sun, nyumb"i,nomo; S. numbu. Chap, mapiju. Comp. moon. 
Sweet, nombo'. 

Tamal (a dumpling of sweetened maize), nyuga. 
Tapir, the, nyumpi<^ mandi. Comj). forest. 
Tear, a, nimbu nate. Comp. water and eye. 
Tenamaste or cooking stone, hajmi nyugu (three stones), 
nakupasi (see, to cook), nikusugo'. 
Thief, tiposi'tinyo. 
Thorn, ni, nindi. 

Thunder. Koi tapu'meme ; lit, *' it thunders.'' 
Thrush, nyiya. A species of Caprimulgus. 
Tick, nambisa, nansuma. 
Tiger, jaguar, nyumbii. Comp, animal. 
Tiste (a drink of cacao, etc.), nimby usi. Comp. water. 
Toad, natakop6. 


Tobacco, nyumurime ; nlmburime ; S. nemurema. To smoke 
tobacco, fasomo nimbu rimi. 
Tomate, naripo. 

To-morrow, majimi. Comp. yesterday. 
Tongue, grij°f. 
Tooth, niji. 
Tortilla, no*. 

Totoposte (a kind of corn-bread), nyua yanji. 
Town, nama puma, nam^pume. 
Tree, nya. Comp. wood. 
Trough, nimb6ya. Comp. water. 
Turtle, of water, nyuka, 
Ugly, gan} ame. Comp. had. 
Unio (the shell so-called), nyukanyamu. 
Vapor (mist, steam, etc.), ndipi. 
Vase (tinaja), nojpu. 
Washwoman, nasinyamo tapapa^poro. 
Wasp, najtS (?). 
Water, nimbii. 
Wax, nyu. 
Well (noun), kita. 
Where? nde. 
White, nandirime. 

Wife, mboome, cjujmi. Comp. husband. 
Wind, nitiu' ; nijl*u. S. neshtu. 
Woman, noji, nasi. 
Wood, nya, nindomi (?). 
Yellow, nandiume. 
Yes, un ; taspo (?). 
Yesterday, yajimi. 
Yuca (the Yatropha manihot)^ noya, nuya. Chap, niya. 


1. tike. 

2. ha, ja, jami, jojo. 

3. hajmi, jajame. 

4. hahome. 

5. hagujmi, 
10. jendo. 
20. jaju<^. 

800. ja'mbf. 


The Verb "<o 6e," R. 

I am. 
Thou art 
He is. 
We are, 

, simuh. • 
neje sumu. 
cis mi muh 




saho, 8. 
amba, mba. 
neje, R. 
neja, R. 


Koi mtirio, It is already dawn. 

Eoi yujmi. It is already night. 

Koi prijpi, It is already growing dark. 

Eoi djumbo, He has already urinated. 

Koi gaimi ndiro. He gave me his hand. 

Koi pajo nama sind, I am going to die (ya me voy a la muerte). 

Koi-li nimbuyati, I drank some brandy. 

Koi-ta outaca numbi', I ate like a dog. 

Koi-li gipomo ga muningui, I ate broth with chile, 

Tagiiaime ga mununso yok"e, Give me a large jar. 

Tari nimbuin, on guari ? Will you drink some tiste, or will you 

Oyat us ma? How do you like it (i. e., hot or cold) ? 
P6kopi ndijpo, \ 
Taku pamu ndijpu, J ^^^^ P^^P^^' 
Koi jini ktijk"e, His father died. 
Muri kagro', Here is the old woman. 
Ai nambunii ju, I have a pain in the belly. 
Ni koi sime, You have already bought. 
Pe ya puti nakuta, Go and lie down in the room. 
Tiki numapuna. It is the town. 
Nam bu mejo. His stomach is weak. 
Koi tsujmti nimbu. The water is already warm. 
Koi pur6 nimbu, The water is already cold. 
Koi piro. He has already come. 


Pami nyurauta, The food is good. 

Cajo rismoh, I am seated. 

Neje zumu rimah, They are lying down. 

Giiay cane noy, Give me a piece of tortilla. 

Koi guaja, I have already given you some. 

Garoh, Not yet. 

TT.. I r Take some I 

Susupusca? ) _. Q 

^ . . of How are you ? 
Kuj mi mo f ) "^ 

Ko' mi muya' i ku ? And you, how are you ? 

Camo cujmi umyaique, Nasi pujimo camo? There is nothing 

new ; and you, how are you ? 

Gusapo, Take a seat. 

Nam bro' gatsuro yaji ? Why did you not come 3^esterday ? 

Koi k"eme, I was up there. 

Kupa kastai, Senor, Good-by, Senor. 

Nohue opome, A tall man. 

Nya opome, A high tree. 

Nya nyamo, A short tree, 

Nyumbi yok"e, A large dog. 

Nyumbi pusit^u, A brave dog. 

K5y6mo nikuj"i nimbu, With thunder comes rain. 

Ko' pirami nimb"i, Already comes the rain. 

Tapuko kuno tipo kunyo, Let us go to see the sick man. 

Mundamo, The pigeon sings. 

Nde yat supu is ya ? Where are you going ? 

Tsupu nekajui, I am going to the garden. 

Munsu supu kujkui, They are (go) lame. 

Kopia, Come here. 

Ropia no somingamo, Come here and sweep. 

Koi apiname naturi, The Chocollo (bird) has already cried. 

Koi pindih Juana, Joanna is with child. 

Pieyas mah, She already was. 

La puta {Span,) ansu punah, The whore that bore thee. 

Cumbii puy muh, I do not remember. 

Neje rumu coy cuhme, He is already a great man. 

Nis puzu punah ? What did she bring forth ? 

Naci fiamu, A little girl. 


Taru mito, They are all mine. 

Neja guirmifio, That is my talf. 

Niora muLa pu ninda ? Are you going to the shore ? 

Taspo, Yes. 

Ya pu camu, In a little while. 

Mu koi cu pum^, Thou hast already seen it. 

Koi cu pumd, I have already seen it. 

Unol Seel 

Mis upa' ? Where are you going ? 

T^ ! , .. ^* ' f We are out of breath. 
Pasi pujimo, ) 

Pangare' manijitar^, Be quiet, I will pay you to-morrow. 

Gugapi, koy ujmi, Let us sleep, it is night. 

Bu^si na', munikako. Get away from here, you son of a devil I 

Nim bu' tajo pa'yamo ? What were you doing by the water ? 

Tapame, Be good. 

Motan atima nyumpia, You come on horseback. 

Observations on the Vocabulary. 

Prejixe8.^-/rhe most frequent prefixes in the vocabulary are 
nyu and nya. They probably indicate the position of the noun 
as independent of expressed possessive relations. In the Cha- 
panec they are also found, but not so commonly. They do not 
appear to be classificatory particles, as they are prefixed to the 
names of the most diverse objects. 

Generic Names. — These are quite common, as is frequently 
the case in American languages, in spite of what has often been 
said to the contrary. The word nyu-mbu means any large quad- 
ruped ; nyu*, any insect ; narimu, any kind of wild fruit, etc. It 
must be remembered that the genera into which individuals are 
grouped have a widely different connotation from those to which 
we are accustomed. 

Cat. — The word for cat, mi^, seems identical with the Cak- 
chiquel mez. In Chapanec it is kitu^ reminding one of kitten. 
As the domestic cat was unknown in America before the dis- 
covery, these words can probably be traced to some European . 


Color Names — The color names appear difficult to analyze, 
and vary from those in Chapanec. Thus, as given by the various 
authorities, they are : 


nanzome, R. 

nandirime, R. 

nandiume, R. 
f nandipame, R. 
(apame, B. 

arimbome, B. 


Blue or Qreen, 





In these adjectives the termination me or md does not belong 
to the root. Father Abornoz tells us that this suffix character- 
izes adjectives in the singular number, when they qualify a cer- 
tain class of nouns " in tighe^ (See his Oram. p. 16.) The 
nasal or resonant beginning most of them is also a mere prefix. 

Proper Names. — ^But few native families of the Mangue dis- 
tricts of Nicaraugua have retained names drawn from their 
ancient tongues. In a list before me of several hundred persons 
in Masaya and Managua, the only surnames from the Mangue 
are Norori, Namendi, Namullure^ Futoi, Nionongue, Macanche^ 
and perhaps Huembes and Fiura. Generally, the natives adopted 
Spanish surnames. 

On the other hand, a large number of local names, derived 
from the Mangue language, on the map of Nicaragua still define 
the region once occupied by this nation. Such are Nindirta 
(from ninda, shore, diri, hill), Nakutiri (from naku^ fiT^'diri, 
hill), Monimbe (nimhu, water, rain), Nandasimo (nanda, brook), 
Mombonasi (nasi, woman), Masaya, Managua, Namotiva, No- 
rome, Nicoya, Oretina, etc., etc.