Monthly Archive: September, 2017

Orphan grammar: why “pi” is less used than you’d think

(Image credit: The structure, NOUN PHRASE[type X]     NOUN PHRASE[type X] seems to me more common in Jargon than what an English-speaker like me would expect, NOUN PHRASE[type X]     pi   … Continue reading

You there! With the Salish name!

There is a Chinuk Wawa word nixwa that people have translated in a confusing variety of ways. (Image credit: To list the earliest ones: ‘let’ (1847, Joel Palmer) ‘how is it’ (1853, The… Continue reading

“iaka siahus NOUN”

It’s a while since I shared a little grammar lesson, so start your egg timer: (Image credit: Orthodox Christian Network.) aias tlus iaka siahus Barbara very good her face Barbara “Barbara’s face was… Continue reading

Mixed-breed ‘cat’?

More tricky treats for your October: (Image credit: The Daily Coyote) A single strange word in somebody’s old field notebook doesn’t have to have much significance. Sometimes a mistake is a mistake is… Continue reading

lisítaluy: Yet another Jargon word discovered

lisítaluy: (Photo credit: LewisTalk) It’s glossed as “squash” in the Quinault Salish dictionary I have. Every time I saw the word, I thought, That looks so weirdly intricate in Quinault. To be native,… Continue reading

Franz Boas learns Chinook shorthand in an evening & writes a want ad in it!

File this under Believe It Or Not! Perhaps THE most amazing case of synchronicity in our Chinook Jargon world: the, well, legendary Franz Boas (he founded the Department of Anthropology and indirectly the… Continue reading

A. Delano & why Chinuk Wawa was thought to extend to the Rocky Mts.

Not too long ago, I read the Forty-Niner A[lonzo] Delano’s 1854 book: “Life on the Plains and Among the Diggings; being Scenes and Adventures of an Overland Journey to California: with Particular Incidents… Continue reading

Chinuk Wawa alím ‘to rest’ is Salish

This Chinuk Wawa word alím ‘to rest’ has been a puzzle. Grand Rounde’s dictionary plays with possible French or Lower Chinookan sources for it…    (Photo credit: Cheryl’s Trading Post) But now that I’m constantly… Continue reading

Dudes of Seattle

I though you’d enjoy a couple of fun anecdotes from Clarence Bagley’s detailed, knowledgeable “History of Seattle” (published there by S.J. Clarke Publishing Company in 1916). (Image from The first has to… Continue reading


Sometimes you just need a dose of old-time advertising in Chinuk Wawa… HORSES! CUITANS!! The subscriber begs leave to inform his numerous friends and the public generally, that he is always on hand,… Continue reading