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Illustration for 'fish'

Sth’óqwi is the Halq’eméylem word for ‘fish‘. This is the noun form (not the verb). Sth’óqwi is a general term, which you can use for any kind of fish.


Sth’óqwi sounds like S-TSOCK-wee, or S-TS-THOCK-wee, except that:

  • There is a catch in the throat (glottal stop) after the first S-TS or S-TS-TH (sth’).
  • Instead of CK, you say the Halq’eméylem q sound, made with the back of your tongue touching your uvula. In this word the q also has rounded lips (qw).

Audio: Elizabeth Herrling, Elizabeth Phillips

Plural form

Sth’óqwi has a special plural form, like this: sth’óleqwifish (plural). (Audio here.)

Illustration for plural form for 'fish'


Elders make this type of plural by inserting an –l into the word (with some slight changes to the vowels, in some words).

You use sth’óleqwi  mainly with large numbers of fish. For just a few you can say ye sth’óqwithe fish (ye means ‘the‘, but you use ye only with plurals, so it itself indicates plurality).

Related words

Sth’óqwi is related to some other words, including:

  • tsth’óqwito fish (this is the verb form, i.e. the action of fishing)
  • sth’óth’eqwifisherman, one who is fishing (this comes from partial doubling of sth’óqwi, to indicate an ongoing action)
  • Temth’óqwiNovember (literally ‘time to fish‘)

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