Another new discovery: SMOKE HOUSE = aboriginal Indian houses

SMOKE HOUSE = aboriginal-style Northwest Coast plank houses. Credit for this one goes to Dale McCreery, my absolutely crackerjack University of Victoria linguistics colleague. We don’t have this phrase in any of the… Continue reading

The People are Dancing Again, or, Hire a Linguist

An excellent book can be made more excellent by hiring a linguist.  Today I’m commenting briefly about: The People are Dancing Again: The History of the Siletz Tribe of Western Oregon, by Charles Wilkinson… Continue reading

Another famous CJ speaker: choreographer Merce Cunningham

I’ve been seeing to it that public access to the awesome CHINOOK-L archive is restored; bookmark it for your questions about Jargon.  One of the last messages in that older listserv that I… Continue reading

A Siwash Knot

“A Siwash Knot” — Charles Suimptken’s and Harriet Quinpitcher’s wedding announcement from Twisp, WA ran as a curio — I know! — in The Ledge (with which is incorporated the Boundary Creek Times), out of Greenwood,… Continue reading

Another frontier newspaper vocabulary of Chinook Jargon

One of the first newspapers in Washington Territory was the Seattle Weekly Gazette. For the benefit of new arrivals, its volume 1, number 25 (August 6th, 1864) carries a Chinook Jargon vocabulary on page 4, occupying columns… Continue reading

Chinook Wawa Day in BC: this Saturday, June 27

CHINOOK WAWA DAY The Province declares, “It’s skookum to speak Chinook Wawa.” The Vancouver Courier wants you to know “Chinook Wawa Day celebrates BC trade language.” MetroNews says this celebration is “Reviving Vancouver’s ‘original working language’.” I… Continue reading

Edward Holland Nicoll’s phony Chinook

Maybe I shouldn’t be so tough on the author of this Popular Science Monthly feature (June 1889, pages 257-261).  In his “The Chinook Language or Jargon” — which follows an interesting argument with Prof. Huxley on… Continue reading

Civil War Chinook Jargon letter mystery

The superb “Civil War Day by Day” blog (“from the Louis Round Special Collections Library, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill”) put up a post about 4 years ago that contained a… Continue reading

Lushootseed “5 cents” from US dialect English “picayune”

Here’s where it pays to be that weird picayune breed that I belong to, the reader of dictionaries. In the 1994 dictionary of Lushootseed (Puget Sound Salish) by Dawn Bates, Thom Hess and… Continue reading

Getting specific about David Douglas and Chinook Jargon

I’m not too sure that botanist David Douglas’s 1820s journal notes on early Chinook Jargon have ever been published. A few isolated words in his daily entries, to be sure, have made it into… Continue reading