An ad (& a joke?) in BC Chinook Jargon, 1902

Short and sweet —

Read and learn!howse ad

< A.E. Howse >, Hawc [sic]

                           kopa Nikola.

< General Merchant,
Nicola Lake, B.C. >

Tilikom, kanawi ikta msaika tiki, msaika
tílixam, kʰánawi-íkta msáyka tíki, msáyka
friend, all-thing you.folks want, you.folks
‘Friends, everything you want, you’ll’

tlap kopa naika haws, pi naika kwanisim
t’łáp Ø kʰupa náyka háws, pi náyka kwánisəm
find it at my house, and I always
‘find it at my house [sic], and I’m always’

tlus tomtom pus msaika chako nanich naika.
łúsh-tə́mtəm pus msáyka cháku nánich náyka.
good-heart if you.folks come see me.
‘happy if you come visit me.’

— Kamloops Wawa #201 (June 1902), page [125]

That Chinuk Pipa shorthand letter “C” in Howse’s name is meant to stand for a “Z” sound.

Is Albert Elgin Howse (1855-1938), or Kamloops Wawa editor J.M.R. Le Jeune, making a pun here — “find it at my house”? He was a hardworking but funloving guy; here’s his Nicola Lake Hockey Club team, also from 1902:

howse hockey

Howse and team (image credit: Merritt Herald)

Was that a locally current joke in Chinuk Wawa? Howse surely spoke it; he not only sold things to Native people and was Indian Agent for  time, but also was in the Settler social circle that included Jargon speakers Susan Allison and Clive Phillipps-Wolley.

It would work better in the Jargon (where haws means any building) than in English.

And Le Jeune often let his sense of humor shine in his Chinook newspaper.

What have you learned?

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