Sxéyes (also pronounced sxóyes) is the Halq’eméylem word for ‘head’. You can use it for a human head or the head of an animal, fish, etc. …
There are two alternative pronunciations for this word:
- Sxéyes sounds like SKAY-us, except that instead of a “k” you say the Halq’eméylem ‘hard-x’, which is made with heavy friction at your uvula.
- Sxóyes (alternative pronunciation) sounds more like SKY-us, but again with the Halq’emeylem hard-x.
Both sxéyes and sxóyes are ‘correct’.
Audio: Elizabeth Herrling, Elizabeth Phillips
Here are some examples of how you can use sxéyes or sxóyes (you can use either form in each of these examples):
- Tesachsem la te’ sxéyes! – Touch your head!
- Motest te’ sxéyes! – Point to your head
- Sáyem tel sxóyes – My head is sore
- Sá:lth’tem tel sxéyes. – My head is dizzy.
- sxóyes te sthóqwi – fish head
Elders also vary in the plural form for this word:
- Some say sxexéyes for heads.
- Others say xexéyes
The difference is just the initial `s`. Both versions are ‘correct’ for the plural (audio here). You can also just say ye sxéyes – the heads.
One word related to sxéyes is: xéyeslótel – wild ginger. This means literally facing each other.