“Nose-in-the-Soup”, a Grand Round Chinuk Wawa name?

File under ‘Chinook Jargon names’.

(There are lots.)

I wasn’t previously aware of Chief Nose-in-the-Soup.

His name looks like it could be:

  • A mocking English nickname — I hope not.
  • A representation of something natively Chinookan.
  • Or of something natively łəw̓ál̓məš (Lower Chehalis Salish); it resembles a couple of place names in that language.
  • Perhaps translating a Chinookan name, a Chinuk Wawa phrase that I’ll guess as nús kʰapa (la)súp ‘nose in the soup’.

For my readers here, the interesting possibility is this last one.  I’ll elaborate in brief.

As a word for ‘soup’ the variant súp is definitely known in other regions’ Jargon, if not at Sháwash Iliʔi [Grand Ronde reservation community], where it means ‘soap’.

At GR, lasúp is typical as one of the synonyms for ‘soup’ or ‘stew’.  If the name that this leader was known by was nús kʰapa lasúp, I can bring myself to suppose local English … and French Prairie’s French … speakers thought of him as ‘Nose in the Soup’ as opposed to ‘Nose in Soup’.


— The Portland Sunday Oregonian, May 13, 1906, page 11, column 4

Do any of you have further information about Chief Nose-in-the-Soup, or his daughter Mrs. Louisa Feliz-O’Chena, that might clarify this question?

This “O’Chena” reminds me of the prominent GR family name, Wacheno, if that’s a helpful lead…