(Image credit: Lawson’s Finest)

I’ve shared TW Davenport’s memoir (written by 1907) where he said he and other pioneer Chinuk Wawa speakers called themselves “Chinookers”.

That’s a word of Pacific Northwest English that we haven’t looked at yet.

You could sort of say, “That’s the first, uh, Chinooker I ever caught.” 🙂

(Here’s hoping that video displays for you.)

If we’re to judge from the printed occurrences of it that we can track down — and it turns out that it’s murder to separate “Chinooker” from “Chinook” in searching old newspapers — this looks like a rare old word.

It was used as a synonym for “Chinook wind” and everything regionally associated with it including the “Chinook salmon”, as well as meaning a Jargon talker.



chinooker 1890


chinooker 1917


chinooker 1903


chinooker 1920

The only additional uses of “Chinooker” as “Chinuk Wawa speaker” that I know are in a couple of 1970’s linguistics papers, one by Samuel V. Johnson and one by Jay Powell.

What do you think?