“Fish house” part 2: the confirmation

Supposedly I discovered how to say “cannery” in Jargon.  Confirmation has arrived.

Robert Sport

In my blog post several days ago, I thought I spied the Wawa words pish haws (“fish house”) hiding, in distorted form, in the Heiltsuk language of BC’s north coast.

And now indeed I see them very clearly in Nuučaan̓uł (“for outsiders we write Nuu-chah-nulth”, p.7), also known as Nootka.

Thanks to Jay Powell, who several years ago compiled the excellent book “Our World–Our Ways: T’aat’aaqsapa Cultural Dictionary”.  This superb resource displays for your eye a dozen Nuuchahnulth dialects’ terms for One Whole Ton of stuff.

My previous exposure to Nuuchahnulth was relatively limited; shout out to the Nuuchahnulth Circle at UVic and the time I spent at the same school co-learning with a LE,NONET student.

Now this book opens my eyes to a whole lot of fine Jargon borrowings.

Sure enough, for “cannery” (p.139-140), all but one dialect have pish haws.  It’s pronounced with minor variations in the various dialects:

  • piišhaawis in Ditidaht, Tseshaht, Toquaht, Hesquiat
  • piišhawis in Uchucklesaht, Ehattisaht, Nuchatlaht
  • piišawis in Hupachasaht, Ahousaht, Ucluelet
  • piišaawis in Mowachaht
  • piišhaws in Kyuquot

That is a lot of evidence that people said “cannery” this way in Jargon!  Add it to your dictionary.