Buelville headscratcher

buelville sign

(Image credit: Amazon)

Crowdsource call, going out to my readers!

Yet again, a frontier newspaper uses Chinuk Wawa with no translation, because their major demographic of miner readers must’ve “cumtuxed” plenty fine.

Even in northern California’s thankfully now-extinct Klamath County, which was pretty much the thinned-out farther limit of the Jargonosphere…as well as the scene of “one election [in which] there were many more votes tallied than voters.”

But I don’t quite grasp the one word — you’ll see it. Want to leave your interpretation in a comment below?


BUELVILLE — SOUTH FORK OF SALMON. — Miners here are doing remarkably well just now. The Slam-bang company, No. 1, make from $8 to $10 to the hand — claim at the lower end of Buel Flat. The flat is half a mile wide, and is claimed as far as Summerville, where Slam-bang Co. No. 2, is doing quite as well as the other. Water plenty in the ditches, and cheap. The water is high in the river, at which washerwomen, milkmen and bar-keepers rejoice. Mr. Short and lady keep a good hotel at Summerville. The Frazer fever is cooling off: we Yankees won’t work under anything but the stars and stripes. We shall wait until Frazer has ‘friz,’ and then ascend it on skates. As an Indian matron of this place beautifully remarks: ‘Boston paper hi-u squzer, wa wa, (big talk) but whar’s the chickerman? (money.)”                    N.

[We don’t ‘sabe’ that Digger name o’ yourn. It means suthin’, we reckon.

— from the Weaverville (CA) Weekly Trinity Journal of June 26, 1858, page 2, column 2

The heavy dose of slangy English, the Chinese/California American Indian Pidgin English “sabe”, and the topical disdain for BC’s Fraser River gold rush, suggest this whole article was recognizable as local color to the readership.

So what’s squzer?

qʰáta máyka tə́mtəm?
Qhat do you think? 🙂