Why 19th-c. Chinook dictionaries are misleading & unreliable. Sad!

Quick!  Our safety depends on it!  (That’s how I get unfiltered linguistic data out of people.)  Translate tluchman-sik into English!

And why do we say “cold” in CJ for “year”?

A lot is known about Chinook Jargon’s words — but what about its ideas?

Why do we say kʰúl-íliʔi “cold land” for “winter” in Chinook Jargon?

One of my correspondents who consistently asks great questions brought this up: Why do we say kʰúl-íliʔi, literally “cold land”, for “winter” in Chinook Jargon?  Is it an Indigenous thing?

Púlakʰli, the “dark-time”

Some deeper background for you on a well-known basic word of Chinook Jargon.

Another Salish word for “socks” in CJ?

A discovery? Leave it to the extravagant Roman emperor Heliogabalus (the dangerous transgender Syrian immigrant, not to be confused with the friendly Martian autism-whisperer of that name) to show us something new under the… Continue reading

New words for trapping: a 1903 ad

Chinook Jargon’s connection with the Northwest fur trade is proverbial.  But until now, we’ve had extremely little documentation of how people talked in CJ about the trapping side of that equation.

Suckling from Mother Kamloops Wawa

A constant source of sustenance for your curiosity:  The motherlode of Chinook Jargon words that nobody seems to have researched before.  Here’s a new one.  (Warning: offensive language.)

Shilalam, another Salish loan in Chinook Jargon

I’ve written about several recent (circa 1891-1904) loans from the Salish languages into Kamloops (BC)-area Chinook Jargon.  They come from two main regions …

Crowdsourcing: what’s the tune to this Chinook hymn?

  Can you help me find the tune to this Ten Commandments hymn in Chinook Jargon?

The Journals of George M. Dawson: British Columbia, 1875-1878 (volume 1)

An excellent document of Chinook Jargon use — especially in the underdocumented northern end of its range — from a fella who put real effort into learning it, at a time when the pidgin… Continue reading