Saturday, September 21, 2013


Q: I am wondering, is Sokanon a real name?  I  came to the conclusion that I would like to look for a baby name meaning "rain" or "rainbow" and I found Sokanon. Does this mean "rain" in Algonquin? Thank you.

A: "Sokanon" is not an Algonquin word-- it is probably a corruption of the Narragansett word sokenun, which means "rain." Narragansett is distantly related to Algonquin and belongs to the Algonquian language family. It's not uncommon at all for words from other Algonquian languages to be misidentified as "Algonquin."

The Algonquin word for "rain" is kimiwan (pronounced similar to kih-mih-wun) if you were curious.

Have a good day!

Native Languages of the Americas

Further reading:
Native American baby names
Algonquin language
Narragansett language

1 comment:

  1. FYI, the "sokanon" spelling probably comes from James Hammond Trumbull's 1903 dictionary of Natick, another Southern New England Algonquian language closely related to Narragansett.