Gold, Gold, in Cariboo!

I came across a pretty interesting book, “Gold, Gold, in Cariboo: A Story of Adventure in British Columbia”, that has Chinook Jargon as well as dramatic features that make it worth a read.

gold gold in cariboo

This 1894 item, set in 1862, was written by Clive Phillipps-Wolley and published by Blackie & Son in London.


This is a purely fictional account, so I won’t quote it at length.  But it bears many signs of its author’s familiarity with BC, and among the details I found fascinating were these:

  • A Chinese camp cook is portrayed in what I now know is a typical way, as speaking a mix of pidgin English and CJ.
  • “Kalula” is given as a Lillooet Salish word for “owl”.
  • “Sloosh” is a unique spelling for the Jargon word better known as “kloshe” (“good”).
  • Chilcotin Indians like the fella in this illustration from the book are shown as speaking their own distinct mix of CJ and pidgin English.  This too is typical across many contemporaneous sources.
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