Monthly Archive: May, 2016

How to say to yourself “Don’t kill yourself” in Chinook Jargon?

  A very important message: Wik maika mamuk mimlus maika itluil: Please don’t kill yourself. Much less important is today’s grammar note.  Metaphorically, you can now stop knocking yourself out trying to express reflexive verbs in Chinuk… Continue reading

A council, a hanging, a witness: government words

Chinuk Wawa was used in frontier courts, in making treaties, in dealing with the cops — all the functions of the Official White-Aboriginal interface. (The image is not Chinuk Wawa.  It’s graffiti in… Continue reading

“Carryall”, Jargon sleighs, & French influence

It seems that I’ve written and written about newfound Chinuk Wawa words for “sleigh”. In a current project of databasing Father Louis-Napoléon St-Onge‘s handwritten dictionary, I encounter his entry under an English word… Continue reading

Highbush cranberry, a Thompson “Chinuk Wawa” word

Annie Zíxtkʷu York said, in “Thompson Ethnobotany” and the “Thompson River Salish Dictionary”: kʷúkʷns  ‘highbush cranberry’ is a Chinook Jargon loan into this southern interior BC language. This is new to me.  Any… Continue reading

“Shadow” in Chinuk Wawa

From time to time I’ve wondered how to say “shadow” in the Jargon. I haven’t found it in the best dictionary, the one from Grand Ronde. Some authorities have included “shade” and “shadow”… Continue reading

This is what a map in Chinook Jargon looks like

It occurs to me that Iʹve never seen a map in Chinuk Wawa. So this was a good find. Itʹs meant to show how the house that the Virgin Mary was born in, and… Continue reading

Whiskey ravages Kamloops Indian Reserve

What follows is heartbreaking — in case you needed it proved to you that a pidgin language can communicate emotions — and you might feel like a cleansing, both before and after. But… Continue reading

Silver bells we can do, but cockle shells?

This question was passed along to me, and I thought it was worth a discussion: “I’m interested in the difference between the word for clam and the word for cockle, if there is… Continue reading

“In the future, everyone will ride this kind of horse”

*Scroll to the bottom for my Mother’s Day note 🙂 Talk about steampunk!  The guy was a straight-up 1890s geek: Father Le Jeune of the Kamloops Wawa showed his fancy for technology in many… Continue reading


Getting right to today’s idea, the fur trade and otters were way less important in the Pacific NW by the 1890s era of the Kamloops Wawa newspaper. So the old Chinuk Wawa words for… Continue reading