Monday, December 9, 2013


Q: Is it true that Shappa means Red Thunder in Sioux?

A: No, it's not. Baby name websites claim that "Shappa" means "Red Thunder" in a Sioux language, but this is false. "Red Thunder" is Wakinyan-Luta in Lakota or Wakinyan-Duta in Dakota. "Shappa" means "dirty" if you sound it out phonetically (shah-pah), but historically, this was the English way of spelling a Lakota man's name Capa (chah-pah), which means "beaver." The mistake apparently came about because there was a Dakota man named Shappa (Capa) who became chief and took the honorific name Wackhawendutah (Wakinyan-Duta).

Hope that helps, have a good day!
Native Languages of the Americas

Further reading:
Dakota language
Sioux Indians
Native American names

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