First-Class Hardware Store ad, 1902

In Chinook, his name is Jim, not James.  Yup, it’s a street language 🙂


I don’t always get so technical here, but partly because I have linguists reading my site, today I will add an “interlinear” description of each (um) word:

<     McClary Famous Stoves & Ranges;
Sherwin-Williams Paints & Varnishes;
McCormack [McCormick] Harvesting Machinery.
Full stock of Repairs. >

     Kanawi ikta stov; kanawi ikta pint;
all     thing     stove     all     thing     paint
“Every kind of stove; every kind of paint; 

kanawi ikta mashin kopa ilihi; pus kakshit ikta
all     thing     machine     PREP     land     IRRealis     to.break     thing
every kind of farming machinery; if anything breaks 

kopa mashin, msaika aiak tlap ikta pus mamuk
PREP     machine     2PL     fast     to.get     thing     IRR     to.make
on a machine, you folks can quickly get the thing to make 

tlus [NULL] kopa Shim Dil iaka stor:
good     3.INAN.OBJ     PREP     Jim     Dill     3.SG     store
[it] better at Jim Dill’s store:” 

< James P. Dill & Co.
Kamloops, B.C. >

— Kamloops Wawa #201 (June 1902), page 143

Here again we have a typical later Chinook Jargon dialect that incorporates a good deal of borrowing from local spoken English.

  • Stor has replaced the older makuk haws.
  • The more English pronunciation stov has supplanted the long-established stop or stup.
  • And unlike deeper-rooted, more conservative dialects of the Jargon, this one uses mashin where they wound up extending some existing term such as lakaset “box” to indicate a modern contraption.

I haven’t managed to find out much about any James Dill of Kamloops, but in an intersection of the Jargon with my family roots, I find a single mention of a man of this name in Fernie around the same time. He was one of the investors in a water venture.