Omagakii: Frog in Anishinaabemowin

Ribbit Tell'em

Ribbit Tell’em, photo by EEKaWILL

Spring is frog season, and today’s Anishinaabemowin word of the day is Omagakii which means frog. Omagakiins means little frog and Omagakiinsag means little frogs. is a very cool (though no longer updated) website that used short videos to teach words and short phrases in Anishinaabemowin. They explain that:

Anishinaabemowin is the traditional language of the Anishinaabe people. It is sometimes referred to as Ojibwe, Ojibway, Saulteaux or Indian by people in the community. Outsiders sometimes refer to it as Ojibwa or Chippewa. On this site we refer to it by the proper name in the language Anishinaabemowin.

Some facts about Anishinaabemowin

  • During the Fur Trade era Anishinaabemowin was referred to as the ‘Lingua Franca’ or trade language of what is now called Canada, meaning at one time if you wanted to conduct business here you had to speak Anishinaabemowin
  • At one time Guiness Book of World Records listed Anishinaabemowin as having the most complex verb structure of any language in the world, a testament to the intellectual capacity of our ancestors
  • A number of English words are adopted from Anishinaabemowing including Totem (used in Freudian studies and to refer to West Coast art) which is adapted from Dodem or clan, Mocassin (leather slipper) which is adapted from Makasin or shoe and countless place names.
  • Anishinaabemowin is spoken in communities from Quebec to British Columbia, From Northern Ontario to the Midwestern United States. The diffusion of speakers means that it is now spoken in places where there never were Anishinaabeg before.
  • Old Anishinaabeg don’t die, they just Maazhiwe.

Check Will’s photo out bigger and also see the Frog slideshow from the Absolute Michigan pool!

One thought on “Omagakii: Frog in Anishinaabemowin

  1. What an excellent contribution about a very important culture! How fun that the background green expresses our common impression about frogs, though most (incld. toads) are not.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s