Don’t write Bisi, write B.C.

One of Father Le Jeune’s tidy little charts that can be so fun:

Abbreviations (2)


Pus msaika tiki mamuk
If you folks want to 

tanas iht iht nim, tlus msaika tlus nanich ukuk:
shorten this or that name [in Chinook shorthand], you should pay attention to this: 


<1o> mun klaska nim:
1. names of months:

<1o> Shanwari = Sha.     <7o> Shulai = Shi.*
1. January = Sha.     7. July = Shi(?)

<2o> Fibrwari = Fi.     <8o> Ogyust = Og.
2. February = Fi.     8. August = Og.

< 3o> Marsh = Ma.     <9o> Siptimbir = Sip.
3. March = Ma.     9. September = Sip.

<4o> Ipril = Ip.     <10o> Oktobir = Okt.
4. April = Ip.     10. October = Okt.

<5o> Mi = Mi     <11o> Novimbir = No.
5. May = Mi     11. November = No.

<6o> Shun = Shun     <12o> Disimbir = Di.
6. June = Shun     12. December = Di.


Ilihi nim:
Village names:

Kamlups = Mk.     Shugir Kin = Sh.K.
Kamloops = Mk.     Sugarcane = Sh.K.

Chokchokwah* = SShB     Alkalai Lik = Alk.*
Chu Chua = SShB     Alkali Lake = Alk.(?)

Skishistin = Sk.     Knim Lik = Kl.
Skeetchestn = Sk.     Canim Lake = Kl.

Shhkaltkmah = Shkh.     Kanu Krik = KK*
Sahhaltkum = Shkh.     Canoe Creek = KK(?)

Duglas Lik = Dl.     Soda Krik = Sok.*
Douglas Lake = Dl.     Soda Creek = Sok.(?)

Kwilshana = <Q>     Hai Bar = Hb.
Quilchena = Q     High Bar = Hb.

Kol Watir = Klwa.     Bonapart = Tl.
Coldwater = Klwa.     Bonaparte = Tl.

Nort Bind = NB
North Bend = NB

Spisom = Sp.
Spuzzum = Sp.

Ilo mamuk cim Bisi; mamuk cim <B.C.>
Don’t write “Bisi”; write B.C. [in English letters].


I won’t go into it now, but the above abbreviations are formed in two or three different ways.  That’s why I represent them variously in transcription, with some all in capitals, some with initial capitalization and periods, etc.

And you’ll notice that some of the abbreviations actually stand for the (Chinuk Wawa) name of the village, but others diverge a lot.  In the second case, what’s usually abbreviated is then the Indigenous name of the place, such as “Tlohtaws” for “Bonaparte”.

“Bisi” really was used.  I have found it in the shorthand letters written by Indigenous people.  Here, Le Jeune is advising his readers that shorthand “Bisi” won’t work when you address an envelope!

Abbreviations (3)