Mary gives us a new verb for Christmas(ing)
Tlus pus msaika yutl tomtom! (Rejoice!)
Chi tanas wawa chako kopa nsaika! (A new word has come to us!)
I love this fact: ‘Christmas’ is a verb in Kamloops-area Chinuk Wawa!
Appropriately, we first learn this from a Mary, who gives us Noil, from French noël, in an unpublished letter she wrote:
iawa iaka noil
there 3 to.spend.Christmas
‘There he spent Christmas.’
— Mary Pete, Deep Creek, BC, (21 January 1899):
Ten years later, an informal letter from a priest confirms the concept and gives us a synonym Krismash:
…naika mamuk tiligram kopa Soda Krik tilikom pus wawa pus naika Krismash
… I make telegram to Soda Creek (Native.)people to say would I spend.Christmas
‘…I telegraphed to the Soda Creek Indians to say I would spend Christmas‘
kopa klaska ilihi x Knim Lik tilikom … klaska tu lit … pi kakwa naika ilo
at their village. Canim Lake people … they too late … and so I not
‘at their village. The Canim Lake Indians … were too late … and so I didn’t’
Krismash kopa klaska ilihi x
spend.Christmas at their village.
‘spend Christmas at their village.’
— Father François-Marie Thomas OMI, 150 Mile House, BC, 9 February 1909
Kata maika noil ukuk kol ilihi?