“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” as senses of the generic term púlakli (night/dark) in their dictionaries.
Thanks to Samuel V Johnson’s 1978 dissertation, I located the phrase kawkwah ecta for “shadow” from page 24 of John Booth Good’s 1880 booklet. That literally means “it’s like something” (kákwa íkta in Grand Ronde spelling). I can imagine this expression working okay in context, where you’d point at the shadow…
But come on 🙂
I always sensed there ought to be an easy way to achieve a more precise expression.
I found it!
Pus iaka kuli kopa oihat, tilikom
When he would travel along the road, people
lolo klaska sik tilikom wik saia kopa kah iaka
would bring their sick folks near to where he
kuli, pus iaka “shado, iaka son cim”
was going along, so his “shadow” [as they say in English], his shadow
chako kopa klaska pi mamuk kopit klaska sik.
would fall on them and end their sickness.
— Kamloops Wawa #143 (August 1896), page 182
So there you have it: son cim, or in Grand Ronde writing, sán-t’sə́m. Literally “sun mark”. Shadow. Works, eh?
Add this to your dictionary.