Our English as she is spoke (or a column only Canadians will understand)

By Dave Bidini in the National Post.  Give’r!

But it sounds like he stopped right about the Alberta-BC border, eh?  😉

I’ve never heard BC folks call each other “Skookum”.  See my addendum below.

For years, I was a keener, but after my short-lived stint as reeve of Dildo, Nfld., in which I stumped for the still-unpopular Gouge and Screw Tax — dinged in the polls and my approval rating going downhill as fast as a runaway toboggan or a bus shagger — I put the kerfuffle behind me and tried to forget the fact that I’d been soundly turfed, even though Joey Smallwood’s buddy had cherry-picked me himself. I got off the chesterfield, threw on my old housecoat and thongs, hucked a forty pounder, half-sack of swish and mickey of goof in a Loblaws bag over my shoulder before leaving my bachelor apartment to head due west past fire halls and hydros and parkades and corner stores in the direction of Dead Rear, Oilberta looking for some kind of joe job — cleaning eavestroughs; stitching hockey sweaters; packing Smarties; anything! — although damned if I knew whether I would find work once I got there.

We listened to Tagish Elvis while subsisting on jam busters, ketchup chips, butter tarts and Crispy Crunches

Holding up a sign scribbled in pencil crayons bought at Crappy Tire and with a soaker after stepping into the muddy slough of a nearby parkette, I eventually hosed some scivey knob into driving me in his Zed 28, although he ended up being a good fellow, and I wasn’t forced to drop the gloves, even though he looked like Tiger Williams, which scared me some. The car broke down after running into a tractor trailer hauling paint rollers, but it was nothing a few twists of the Robertsons couldn’t fix, so pretty soon we were back doing burgers and spinnin’ and freakin’ for a few hundred clicks over prairie oysters in a vehicle whose engine sounded like an asbesthos’ed garburator stuffed with brown bread and back bacon.

In the CBC, we listened to Tagish Elvis and Crowchild while subsisting on jam busters, ketchup chips, butter tarts, Joe Louis’, Crispy Crunches and Glossettes, pop, a bowl of kay-dee, poutine, pogos, Pablum, donairs, Nanaimo bars wrapped in a serviette, Timbits, Kokanee, and dried pickerel purchased with the last of my pogie. We paid our loonies and toonies to get into the ferry queue at night — the boat was nothing but a glorified dory, if you ask me — and then the spudhead and I reached the mainland at dawn, having killed a deck of Dummies and then another of Ladies that he kept stashed in the glovebox.

Buddy said it was fine having been toe-dragged by love, although thinking about her still got the old snerk’s gitch in a knot

Jesus Murphy, he told me the wild story of how, last week, his fiancée had gone into town for her stagette, but she and her flippin’ slurreys had killed a Texas Mickey cut with alcool and got snokked before meeting two Molson-Muscled sliveens holding jib who got them high and eventually talked the foof out of getting betrothed. Buddy said it was fine having been decked and toe-dragged by love, although thinking about her still got the old snerk’s gitch in a knot. I said it was probably for the best, then told him that I had to head’r. Hoser said “Later, Skookum,” and I hit the concession road heading west to Edmonchuck, where the humidex said it was plus 20, and so I ditched my hoodie, touque and bunny hug.

Mighta been the Chinook.

[Dave again here:]

dictionary of canadianisms

It’s hard not to add a few BC suggestions from a Chinooker’s point of nanich.  It just so happens that the 1960s classic Dictionary of Canadianisms on Historical Principles is now readable for free online…Same question as a couple of posts ago: Do you think DCHP has all of ’em, or are you going to add some in the Comments?

Chinook

1 n. (one of) a relatively small group of Indians who lived north of the Columbia River on the Pacific Coast.

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chinook

v. blow a Chinook wind.

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Chinook arch

a cloud formation that often attends or presages the Chinook winds, observed as an archlike strip of blue sky above the western horizon, often between the peaks of the Rockies and the surrounding overcast.

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Chinook belt

that part of southern Alberta and Saskatchewan most influenced by Chinook winds.

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Chinook canoe

a large dugout canoe used by the Indians of S.W. British Columbia and N.W. Washington.

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Chinook clouds

the cloud was (lenticularis) forming the leading or western edge of the Chinook arch, the constant movement of which is caused by the rising and falling air currents of the Chinook winds pouring over the crest of the Rockies.

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Chinook country

the region in which Chinook winds prevail.

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Chinook fever

a kind of malaise resembling spring fever, said to be felt by newcomers in Calgary during the balmy winter days brought on by the Chinook winds.

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Chinook Jargon

a relatively simple trade language used by the Indians of the Pacific Coast in their dealings with whites and Indians of other tribes, based on the language of the Chinook Indians; words from Nootka, Salish, French, English, and other languages were adapted to the jargon.

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Chinook salmon† 

a large salmon, Onchorhynchus tshawytscha, of the Pacific Coast, much valued as a game fish.

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Chinook shorthand

a set of signs used for writing and printing Chinook Jargon, adapted about 1891 from a French (Duployé) system of shorthand and used as late as 1910.

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Chinook sky

a sky characterized by the striking cloud formations framing the Chinook arch.

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Chinook wind

a warm, usually dry, west or southwest wind, commonest during winter and spring, that moderates the weather in the region east of the Rockies, including much of the western prairies on occasion, but regularly in the foothills from the Peace River to Colorado.

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shorthand Chinook

a set of signs used for writing and printing Chinook Jargon, adapted about 1891 from a French (Duployé) system of shorthand and used as late as 1910.

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tyee chinook

a Chinook salmon, especially one over a specified weight. See tyee (def. 3) 1958 quote.

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Citations

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Chinook Jargon

1849 ROSS, Alexander Adventures of the First Settlers on the Oregon or Columbia River — Being a Narrative of the Expedition Fitted out by John Jacob Astor. . . .: [Besides the foregoing language [Chinookan], there is another lingo, or rather mixed dialect, spoken by the Chinook and other neighbouring tribes; which is generally used in their intercourse with the white.]
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Chinook

1859 British Colonist: From the prospectus we learn that it will be printed in English and not in Chinook, the diplomatic language of the northern courts.
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Chinook Jargon

1862 MAYNE, Richard Charles Four Years in British Columbia and Vancouver Island: The southern tribes, as a rule, understand the Chinook jargon, in which almost all the intercourse between Indians and whites is at present carried on.
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slahal

1863 GIBBS, George A Dictionary of the Chinook Jargon, or Trade Language of Oregon: Sla-hal, n. Chinook [not Jargon] Etlaltlal. A game played with ten small discs, one of which is marked.
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Chinook wind

1878 Saskatchewan Herald: On Saturday, the Chinook wind began to blow.
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Chinook

1879 Saskatchewan Herald: On the evening of the fourth, however, a chinook sprang up and sent the cold snap to seek its old haunts.
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Chinook belt

1889 MacLEAN, John The Indians. Whence Came They? Who Are They? Their Manners and Customs: The ChinookBelt of the Alberta District is in width about 125 miles. . . .
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rancher’s friend

1899 Medicine Hat News: The ice on the rink was nearly in shape, but on Monday one of the “rancher’s friends”–achinook–struck the Banana Belt and has spoiled hockey prospects for the present.
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Wheat Belt

1905 OUTRAM, James In the Heart of the Canadian Rockies: The winters are much milder than in the wheat belt, and the warm “Chinook” winds melt the snow at frequent intervals, enabling cattle and horses to forage for themselves.
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Chinook canoe

1907 CROSBY, Thomas, (Rev.) Among the An-ko-me-nums of the Pacific Coast: The canoes of the Pacific Coast are of the type called “dugouts,” that is . . . they are mostly cut out of a cedar log. In the south, the large ones were spoken of as “Chinook canoes, with rather a stub or short stern and a very high bow or neck.
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Chinook salmon

1907 LAMBERT, T. W. Fishing in British Columbia — with a Chapter on Tuna Fishing at Santa Catalina: The king or tyee, quinnat, spring or chinook salmon . . . is the most important from the sportsman’s point of view, but owing to the white or very pale pink flesh not so useful to the canner.
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keekwil(l)ie (house)

1907 CROSBY, (Rev.) Thomas Among the An-ko-me-nums of the Pacific Coast: Besides this type of house they constructed for winter use an underground hut usually spoken of as a “keekwillie house”–“keekwillie” being Chinookfor deep underground.
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tyee salmon

1907 LAMBERT, T. W. Fishing in British Columbia — with a Chapter on Tuna Fishing at Santa Catalina: The king or tyee, quinnat, spring or chinook salmon (O. tschawytscha) is the most important from the sportsman’s point of view, but owing to the white or very pale pink flesh not so useful to the canner.
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snow-eater

1912 Western Canadian Dictionary and Phrase Book. . . .: Snow-eater, a Chinook or warm wind which rapidly melts the snow.
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range ((n.))

1913 WILLIAMS, Frank The Wilderness Trail: Here on the prairie, the crust was the result of the soft Chinook west winds that came across the ranges, and melted the snow swiftly–only to let it freeze again into a sheathing of armor-plate.
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Siwash ((adj.))

1913 McGREGOR, J. Herrick The Wisdom of Waloopi: Should you ever meet a siwash spook, Ask, if you please, in your best Chinook, The fate of Legai–what course he took, And how did his choice pan out.
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Chinook canoe

1921 LAUT, Agnes C. The Cariboo Trail — A Chronicle of the Gold-Fields of British Columbia: Every party that starts from the Sound should have their own supplies to last them three or four months, and they should bring the largest sizechinook canoes, as small ones are liable to swamp in the rapids.
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skookumchuck

1922 JOHNSON, Emily Pauline Legends of Vancouver: If so, you have listened to the call of the Skookum Chuck, as theChinook speakers call the rollicking, tumbling streams that sing their way through the canyons with a music so dulcet, so insistent, that for many moons the echo of it lingers in your listening ears. . . .
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Boston man

1926 MacINNES, Tom Chinook Days: It was after this affair with the Boston, that all Americans became known inChinook as Boston men. . . .
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Chinook country

1927 Beaver: . . . the buffalo migrated south . . . never to return . . . as the . . . Indians set fire to the prairie, thus preventing their trek to the chinook country in Southern Alberta. . . .
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Chinook

1931 SIMPSON, George, Sir Fur Trade and Empire — Sir George Simpson\’s Journal, 1824-25: The Chinooks never take the trouble of hunting and rarely employ their Slaves in that way, they are however keen traders and through their hands nearly the whole of our Furs pass.
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king

1931 SIMPSON, Sir George Fur Trade and Empire — Sir George Simpson\’s Journal, 1824: Nearly the whole of the Furs got now at this place pass through the hands of [the] . . . King or Chief of the Chinooks at Point George. . . .
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Chinook

1933 SHIELS, Archibald Williamson Seward\’s Ice Box: Salmon is, of course, principally canned though there is a limited quantity salted each year and there is also a considerable business done in mild curing, principally of Kings orChinooks.
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potlatch ((n.))

1935 HALLIDAY, William M. Potlatch and Totem, and the Recollections of an Indian Agent: The word potlatch is aChinook word, and signifies ‘a gift.’ The real Indian word used in this connection is not potlatch but passapa, and while it means a gift, it also means a gift with an elastic string attached to it, so that it will come back with interest.
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Chinook arch

1941 Beaver: [Caption] The dark cloud is the “Chinook Arch,” forerunner of the warm wind of winter.
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kloshe

1942 British Columbia Historical Quarterly: He gave the grace in good Chinook. It was very short and consisted of the words, Tyee papa mahsie (from the French, merci) kloshe muck-a-muck–Great Chief Father thanks for the good food.
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tenas ((n.))

1942 HAIG-BROWN, R. L. Timber — A Novel of Pacific Coast Loggers: [The straw line is also] called “tenas” from thechinook word meaning “little.”
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chinook

1947 FREEDMAN, B.; FREEDMAN, N. Mrs. Mike — The Story of Katherine Mary Flannigan: But that night itchinooked, and I threw off all my blankets, for it blew hot and warm.
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ranch ((2)) ((n.))

1948 HOLLIDAY, C. W. The Valley of Youth: On the outskirts of [Enderby, B.C.] was an Indian reserve, on the reserve was the “rancherie”–Chinook for Indian vilage or ranch. . . .
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snow-eater

1951 ANGIER, V.; ANGIER, B. At Home in the Woods – Living the Life of Thoreau Today: Such periods (of cold) are often followed by summery chinook winds which the Indians call snow-eaters.
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prairie

1952 Beaver: The Chinook wind was singing over those high prairies. . . .
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Chinook clouds

1954 PATTERSON, R. M. The Dangerous River: Summer clouds they were, Chinook clouds, spinning becauseChinook clouds always spin, though no man has ever been able to tell me why.
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chinook

1954 PATTERSON, R. M. The Dangerous River: it never Chinooked again till early March. . . .
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potlatch ((n.))

1957 FISHER, Vardis Pemmican: Potlatch was a Chinook term meaning a free feast with gifts and was generally taken by the Indians to mean the Christmas season.
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chinook

1957 HUTCHISON, Bruce Canada: Tomorrow\’s Giant: If the weather took to Chinooking, the temperature could rise by eighty degrees in a few hours.
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Chinook

1958 Encyclopedia Canadiana: Four-fifths of the Chinook were wiped out by a fever epidemic in 1829.
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Chinook Jargon

1958 Beaver: Actually, the Chinook jargon was older than any of the white men. Neither the traders nor missionaries invented it, but both expanded the vocabulary and extended its use.
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Chinook shorthand

1958 Beaver : [Caption] The column in Chinook jargon is repeated in phonetic Chinook shorthand, English, and in a French phonographic version.
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Chinook sky

1958 Beaver : [The] vaguely luminous cloudscapes of the Pacific have here given way to the riotously magnificentChinook skies of the eastern foothills.
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chuck ((1))

1958 British Columbia — A Centennial Anthology: “Chuck” is a Chinook jargon for “water”. . . .
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Kinchotch wawa

1958 Beaver : Not being a tribal language, Chinook is rarely used in Indians homes. Nor is it needed between the tribes, for most Indians use the Kinchotch wawa as a common tongue.
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kloshe

1958 Beaver : [John Meares, trading at Nootka in 1788, notes one word of the Chinook jargon–cloosh, meaning good.]
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shorthand Chinook

1958 Beaver: Somehow the Indians learned to read shorthand Chinook, much more quickly than ordinary writing. . . .
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Siwash ((n.))

1958 British Columbia — A Centennial Anthology: . . . Father Rohr . . . addressed the kneeling siwashes, the priest speaking in the Chinook, and the interpreter rendering his speech in the native tongue.
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tyee chinook

1961 Sun: Record tyee chinook is a 92-pounder on rod and reel, a 126 1/2-pounder by net. . . .
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cultus

1962 Alberta Historical Review: “Bad medicine,” “chaffy,” “snide,” “jim-crow,” and “pizen,” are applied to anything worthless on the Eastern slope of the Rockies while “cultus”–a Chinook Indian word–is most frequently employed with like significance upon the B.C. side.
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Chinook

1963 Calgary Herald: [George] used Chinook, the language [of] conversation between whites and Indians in fur-trading days. . . .
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Chinook

1963 Calgary Herald: I’m thankful for breezy Chinooks that make our city the envy of all Canadian cities. . . .
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Chinook belt

1963 Calgary Herald: In the Chinook belt of southwestern Alberta the warm air hit with a tremendous blast especially at Pincher Creek where peak winds reached 65 with gusts of 90.
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Chinook fever

1963 Calgary Herald: “You’re suffering from a typical case of Chinook fever,” the doctor said . . . “People coming here from the coast are particularly vulnerable.”
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Chinook salmon

1963 Sun: Kelly started mooching a herring, caught himself a 10-pound chinook salmon.
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illahie

1963 TOLMIE, William Fraser The Journals of William Fraser Tolmie — Physician and Fur Trader: “Passed a canoe fastened to the trunk of a tree in the bank about 5 yards from margin, containing the ashes of a Chenooke [Chinook]. The indians call these sepulchres Nimilush elihe ‘the Place of the Dead’.”
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King George(‘s) man

1963 British Columbia Digest: He proclaimed himself a King George Man–the Chinook term for Englishman–and always flew a Union Jack in front of his house.
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mooch

1963 Sun: Kelly started mooching a herring, caught himself a 10-pound chinook salmon.
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tyee chinook

1963 Sun: Fletcher reports a friend drew a blank Sunday at Britannia . . . another ordinarily good tyee chinookhangout at this time. . . .
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Chinook

1964 Islander: Spring salmon . . . have become extinct through the modern terminology of science and will from now on be known . . . as Chinooks.
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Chinook canoe

1964 British Columbia Digest: In the morning we got on board a large Chinook canoe, with five Indians and four white men.
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Chinook Jargon

1964 DUFF, Wilson The Indian History of British Columbia, Vol. I — The Impact of the White Man: . . . Father J. M. Le Jeune . . . printed books and the weekly journal “Kamloops Wawa” in Chinook jargon.
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jack

1964 CARL, G. C. Some Common Marine Fishes of B.C.: Some [Chinook] males become sexually mature in their second or third years, while still quite small; these are commonly called “jacks” or “jack springs.”
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Sagalie Tyee

1964 DUFF, Wilson Anthropology in British Columbia Memoir 5: Coast Salish groups who do not remember this name refer to the deity by a name which translates into “Chief Above,” and this is an exact equivalent of the term for God used by missionaries and Indians in the Chinook jargon–“Saghalie Tyee.”
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spring salmon

1964 CARL, G. C. Some Common Marine Fishes of B.C.: A few mature [Chinook salmon] may enter the larger rivers in late spring or early summer (hence the name “spring salmon”). . . .
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Chinook arch

1964 Calgary Herald: This Chinook arch appeared in the western sky Sunday but its usual promise of warm air sweeping in from the west is not expected to come true.
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Chinook

1966 Globe and Mail: The weather still hasn’t broken–no chinook has made its appearance [in S. Alberta]. . . .
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Chinook wind

1966 Kingston Whig-Standard: In Alberta warm chinook winds allowed many rural schools to open again . . . after a four-day holiday enforced by the cold snap.
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Alberta District

1982 MacLEAN, John The Indians of Canada — Their Manners and Customs: The Chinook Belt of the Alberta District is in width about 125 miles …
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Other text

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Meanings

Chinook

a relatively simple trade language used by the Indians of the Pacific Coast in their dealings with whites and Indians of other tribes, based on the language of the Chinook Indians; words from Nootka, Salish, French, English, and other languages were adapted to the jargon.
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Chinook

a warm, usually dry, west or southwest wind, commonest during winter and spring, that moderates the weather in the region east of the Rockies, including much of the western prairies on occasion, but regularly in the foothills from the Peace River to Colorado. Also spelled chinook.
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Chinook

a large salmon, Onchorhynchus tshawytscha, of the Pacific Coast, much valued as a game fish. Also spelled chinook.
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Chinook Jargon

a relatively simple trade language used by the Indians of the Pacific Coast in their dealings with whites and Indians of other tribes, based on the language of the Chinook Indians; words from Nootka, Salish, French, English, and other languages were adapted to the jargon.
Go to full entry >

Chinook arch

a cloud formation that often attends or presages the Chinook winds, observed as an archlike strip of blue sky above the western horizon, often between the peaks of the Rockies and the surrounding overcast.
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Chinook belt

that part of southern Alberta and Saskatchewan most influenced by Chinook winds.
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Chinook clouds

the cloud was (lenticularis) forming the leading or western edge of the Chinook arch, the constant movement of which is caused by the rising and falling air currents of the Chinook winds pouring over the crest of the Rockies.
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Chinook country

the region in which Chinook winds prevail.
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Chinook fever

a kind of malaise resembling spring fever, said to be felt by newcomers in Calgary during the balmy winter days brought on by the Chinook winds.
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Chinook shorthand

a set of signs used for writing and printing Chinook Jargon, adapted about 1891 from a French (Duployé) system of shorthand and used as late as 1910.
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Chinook sky

a sky characterized by the striking cloud formations framing the Chinook arch.
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King George

(used attributively) of or having to do with Englishmen or subjects of King George, the English king when white traders first appeared on the Pacific coast, the term being adopted with this meaning into the Chinook Jargon and used in contrast to Boston.
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Siwash ((n.))

any native Indian language, especially the Chinook Jargon.
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Siwash tongue

any native Indian language, especially the Chinook Jargon.
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chinook

blow a Chinook wind.
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jargon

a relatively simple trade language used by the Indians of the Pacific Coast in their dealings with whites and Indians of other tribes, based on the language of the Chinook Indians; words from Nootka, Salish, French, English, and other languages were adapted to the jargon.
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king

a Chinook salmon.
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king salmon

a Chinook salmon.
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shorthand Chinook

a set of signs used for writing and printing Chinook Jargon, adapted about 1891 from a French (Duployé) system of shorthand and used as late as 1910.
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spring salmon

a mature Chinook salmon.
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trade jargon

a relatively simple trade language used by the Indians of the Pacific Coast in their dealings with whites and Indians of other tribes, based on the language of the Chinook Indians; words from Nootka, Salish, French, English, and other languages were adapted to the jargon.
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tyee

a Chinook salmon, especially one over a specified weight. See 1958 quote. 
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tyee chinook

a Chinook salmon, especially one over a specified weight. See tyee (def. 3) 1958 quote. 
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tyee salmon

a Chinook salmon, especially one over a specified weight. See tyee (def. 3) 1958 quote. 
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white ((n.))

a mature Chinook salmon.
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Usage Notes

Stick Indian

an Indian from the bush country of the interior, originally so called by the Indians of the Pacific Coast.
In the Chinook Jargon, stick meant anything of wood, from a ship’s mast to a forest; hence “Stick” Indians were the forest dwellers as opposed to the people of the coast. 
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