Monthly Archive: October, 2017

How to say “Halloween” in Chinuk Wawa

You didn’t know how to say “Halloween” in Chinook Jargon? I have a treat for you.


From the Grand Ronde Tribes dictionary: ikta-qʰata ‘What’s wrong?, what’s the matter?; something gone wrong, fouled up, haywire.

Did Chinook Jargon ‘pish’ = all marine creatures?

File under Chinook Jargon expert witness, ethnoichthyology, ethnozoology, Chinook Jargon translator, etc.: 

The life & poems of Theo. Winthrop

One of the most popular Chinook Jargon-related books ever published was Theodore Winthrop’s 1863 “The Canoe and the Saddle“. (Read a fine-looking copy of it for free at that link.) Titled in the… Continue reading

Oregon: There & back in 1877 (& again)

Here’s someone who monetized his travelogues to beat the band! Eventual Oregon State University founder Wallis Nash published not one but two books about his visits from England to Oregon. And he dedicated one… Continue reading

Mock Chinook Jargon

The other day, I shared a couple of genuine Chinuk Wawa letters from the far northwest corner of Washington State, the Bellingham area. Today, from the same region but instead continuing my sporadic… Continue reading

Bill Kaihumua weds a queen of the Quiniaults

  The intersection of Chinook Jargon and Hawaiian Pidgin English? What language did the blissfully wedded couple talk at home? The Hawaiian Gazette of November 26, 1907 reports (page 8) on the nuptials of Maggie… Continue reading

Even newer light on “moniasses”

Once you get the fraught title out of the way, “The Aryan Element in Indian Dialects” is one heck of an article.

Inventor of Dene syllabics slams inventor of Jargon shorthand

-Notorious Northern character Father Adrien-Gabriel Morice’s “Carrier Reading-Book” (Stuart’s Lake Mission, BC: 1894) starts with one of his diatribes. This might seem odd in a lesson book. But there’s a very real reason… Continue reading

Ways to express fractions in Chinuk Wawa

Fractions are a challenge, in the majority of human languages that I have experience of. This has to do with culture and history. Some regions of the planet — not all — have… Continue reading