Ahaw nôtinikî-pimihâkana, ahaw! Go Jets Go!

A Winnipeg whiteout kicks off Game 4 of the NHL playoffs between the Jets and the Anaheim Ducks.

This same day that we celebrate Fred Sasakamoose’s appointment to the Order of Canada (May 2018), we (in Winnipeg, at least) are also celebrating Game 1 of the NHL Western Conference Finals between the Winnipeg Jets and the Las Vegas Knights. Maybe it’s time for some Cree-language hockey terms!

I asked #CreeSimonSays, and he suggested the following (all dialect neutral and commonly said)


  • wâpiskisîyotân = let’s dress in white
  • wâpiskâw = it is white in colour
  • wâpiskisîho = dress in white
  • wâpiskisîhowak = they are dressed in white
  • kawâpiskâw = it will be white in colour
  • My favourite (also from Simon): kawāpiskipayiw = it will turn white

Since Whiteout is also a metaphor for a blizzard, I found these two words (but isn’t that the name of another team?)

  • pîwani-yôtin, and kostâmikwan


For Jets, I could only find pimihâkan(-ak) = airplane(s).  They say the Predators burnt a small plane as part of their pre-series ritual: A lot of good that did them!

Simon provided:  nōtinikī-piminākana  Fighting planes, (n dialect)


(Thanks to Simon and to Mary Cardinal Collins for help with these!)

  • awâs! for ‘Go!’ (to one person), but if you need to yell at the whole team at once, use awâsitik for ‘Go, All of you!’
  • kisiskâpayiw (vai) = ‘go fast’ (but be really careful with your vowel length: kîsipayiw (vii) = ‘ends, terminates’
  • ahkamêyimoh = keep it up, persist
  • sohkih = go hard
  • kweyaho = hurry .
  • tahkahkih = good on u!
  • ahaw = Let’s go!
  • ahaw mâka = Come on!


For play-by-play, here’s a great example from Clarence “Tsi-boy” Iron at CFNK Radio (89.9 FM, PineHouse) Find more at the CFNK FaceBook Group.

And from Kevin Lewis, the most important play-by-play phrase of all: 

  • kitâskwêw, pihtakwatâw!!!!! = He shoots, he scores!!!

Other hockey terms:

And finally, some other general hockey vocabulary from the online itwêwina dictionary:

  • atihkwasiniy (hockey stone, puck; caribou testicle)
  • sôniskwâtahikêwikamik (arena, hockey rink)
  • sôniskwâtahikêwin (skating; hockey)
  • sôniskwâtahikêw (skate; play hockey; ski)
  • okipahowêw (jailer, prison guard; goalie, goalkeeper, goaltender)
  • ohciyâkêw (win from, over people (with things); score a win)
  • mêtawêwin (game, contest, sport; dialogue)
  • okipahowêw (jailer, prison guard; goalie, goalkeeper, goaltender)

About Arden Ogg

Arden Ogg is Director of the Cree Literacy Network, launched in 2010 with the goal of creating Cree language literacy materials suitable for use by learners of all ages.
This entry was posted in Simon Bird (#CreeSimonSays). Bookmark the permalink.

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