So often the original meaning of a given word is not known to those employing it. An example of this is provided for us by Frank Waters, author of the seminal work, Book of the Hopi, when he discusses the curious use of the term, Anasazi,
I have often wondered how we Anglos came to adopt the use of the Navajo name Anasazi, "The Ancient Ones", for these people. Many Pueblo Indians reject this name for their ancestors, and with good reason. It seems that some fifteen hundred years ago after their people had been living here in permanent homes, a strange tribe of wild barbarians began to trickle in. The Hopis called them Tavasuh, derived from Tusavuhta (tu--person, savuhta--to pound), because they killed a captured enemy by pounding his head with a rock or stone club. Today they are known to us as Navajos, a proud, enterprising people who comprise the largest and richest Indian tribe in the United States. Why, then, if the early Navajos are not called by the Pueblo name of Tavasuh, should the ancestors of the Pueblo people be known by the Navajo name of Anasazi?
ANASAZI, Ancient People of the Rock, from the Foreward,
Copyright © 1974, American West Publishing, p. 12.