Things you never thought of when you were thinking of England

I mentioned that you find the coolest, un-indexed Chinook Jargon words scattered through all sorts of other materials.  Those words can tell you a lot of surprising stories about how CJ was being used in our region.


When Dale Kinkade created his fine Upper Chehalis (Salish) dictionary, he went the extra mile to feature a list of loanwords.  There, he carefully included all the CJ roots he’d noticed in his lexicon.

But Dale only included CJ roots in that list (his Appendix C).  And there’s more CJ in his Appendix B of personal names, and Appendix C of place names.

So here are a few Jargon items, some of them pretty juicy to my palate, that you might otherwise have trouble finding in his dictionary:

    • kinčó•č-luł “King George plate or pan”
      -luł is a native lexical suffix meaning “spoon, dish”.  This is the first I’ve heard of a King George (i.e. English) plate or pan (or spoon or dish).  But I’m inferring that it’s called that because it’s a long-ago trade item.  Can any of you archaeologists help with this?
    • kinčó•č-łn̓“Englishwoman”
      -łn is another native lexical suffix, whose meaning is “woman” or “female”.
    • kinčó•čmn “Englishman”
      This one interests me because Dale didn’t segment it into “King George”+”man”, which both are CJ words.  He doesn’t list “man” in his loanwords tally.
    • taixit n “Potlatch Hayden”
      Hayden is known to be a native name, x̣ə́ytn.  So this version of it, for someone already known to have one Chinook Jargon name “Potlatch”, looks to be probably CJ: “Tyee Hayden”.
    • lαkαmάs ʼɪ́lɪʼɪ, lαkαmá•s ʼɪ́lɪʼɪ, lakamasili “a place (prairie) close to Cowlitz”
      This is plainly CJ “camas place”.  Dale doesn’t list ʼɪ́lɪʼɪ separately in his loanword tally.
  • past nsxme m “Boston pigeon (Rock Dove) (Columba livia)”
    Yes, this is CJ “Boston” showing up also in the local English name for the bird. Nice English dialect find!  sxme is Salish.
  • past n tsiks “honeybee”.
    tsiks is Salish, thus “white man’s bee”.
  • pástin-q, pastín-q̓“English language”
    Compare “Boston wawa” in CJ.
  • pástin-łn, Pastinłn “American woman, white women”
    Compare “Boston kloochman” in CJ.
  • s-ʔuxʷ-éʔł pástn “Swedes, different kind of white man”
    “Huloima Boston” in CJ?
  • s-máq’ pástn “pioneers”
    máq’ is Salish, meaning “old”–usually of worn-out, useless inanimate objects! 🙂 This word evidently doesn’t mean “settlers” generally.  It’s more like the old-time white people–might that be “anqati Boston tillicum” in CJ?
  • spastiałsteqeoᵘ “white man’s horses”
    “Boston kiutan” in CJ?
  • s-pəstə́n-tmš “Europe”
    “Boston illahee” in CJ — with the twist that “Boston” is generalized to refer to all white people, so their original homeland (-tmš) naturally is Europe.

How many of these are calqued on existing Chinook Jargon phrases? How many were invented after the CJ loans were taken into Upper Chehalis?