Monday, December 10, 2012


Q: Could you tell me whether Delsin is, in fact, an American Indian name and what is the meaning? Online the meaning is "he is so."

A: "Delsin" is a word from the Walam Olum, an 1800's book based loosely on Lenape/Delaware mythology. Although the white man who wrote it tried to pass it off as an antique Lenape document and was therefore exposed as a fraud, it does come from real Algonquian legends-- the fake part was that he pretended he had found this as a Native-authored document, when in fact he cobbled it together from second-hand sources.

Anyway, delsin is listed as meaning "is there" in the glossary, with w'dellsin meaning "he is so" or "he does so" (i.e. he behaves in a certain way.) Looking in an older Lenape dictionary, I find "wdellsowagan" meaning "behavior," which suggests this is probably indeed a genuine word of Lenape origin. However, it is definitely not a name. I think "is there" would be a really strange meaning for a dog's name, but that is a matter of personal choice!

Hope that is helpful to you, have a good day!
Native Languages of the Americas

Further reading:
American Indian names
Lenape language
Algonquian mythology

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