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?
-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?
another similar issue is when French loanwords turn up in this or that language, e.g. I remember seeing some in Nuxalk…. should they be considered as CJ loans, or French loans….because they were most likely learned from francophones in the employ of the fur company, or from priests. I remember latay (tea) and latab (table) and from someone I met once who was Carrier, “laboat” (for boat, which isn’t French either)…….I rmemeber a certain scholar getting kind of irate at my inclusion of “burdash” on my site, from “la berdache” even though “burdash” features in Gibbs and Shaw et al….point is when is a French loanword in the CJ that also occurs in a traditional language a French loanword and not a CJ loanword?.. Also the “cnmn” (Chinaman) term turns up in various languages, where unlike in English it is not considered a derogatory (just as for a long time it wasn’t in English either until it was politicized)……I think it’s in Ktunaxa as well as in various Salishan languages, not sure about Wakashan languages, but then Chinese were more common in Salishan-speaking areas than on the outer coast…..as for the French loanwords, I’ve only seen some lexicons and not studied them in detail, and the totting up of CJ loanwords in various languages I don’t think has been fully done either…….Chilco Choate makes reference to Russian words, and German, in the Chilcotin-region version of the CJ, but gives no examples, nor any explanations of how the Tsilhqot’in would have made contact with Russians (Germans were fairly common in the old days, in ranching especially, though). How much CJ is found in Tsimshian or coastal Tlingit and other northern languages I’m not sure…but in the Yukon “masi” is considered a native word, though clearly from French “merci” . CJ or French loan? I’d say the former huh?
It’s definitely fascinating in the Northwest to tease apart the puzzle of which French loan words came directly from Canadian French, versus missionaries’ continental French, versus those that came through CJ. I generally get the sense that the highfalutinest words came from the missionaries, and that very few Native people actually used them. For example, the number of Catholic words used in Native folks’ CJ letters to Father Le Jeune is small, even though they were often discussing religion with him. Le Jeune’s own Chinook Jargon, however, contained plenty more French (and Latin and Greek) technical terms.