You can be the sharpest tool in the shed! Learn these new words!

mowing machine

Mowing machine (image credit:

Attention gearheads!

Some of these 1902 words for tools are new to any Chinuk Wawa dictionary you’ve ever seen, but still useful in our modern lives.

(*Asterisks, as usual, show things we can only guess at.)

Prior ad


< E.G. Prior & Co.
Limited Liability,
Importers of:
Iron, steel, and
General Hardware,
Agricultural Imple-
ment [sic], Wagons,
Buggies, etc.. >

Kopa Praior iaka makuk haws msaika tlap
kʰupa Práyər* yaka mákuk-háws msáyka t’łáp
at Prior his sell-building you.folks find
‘At Prior’s store you folks can find’

kanawi ikta chikmin iktas, plaw, rik,
kʰánawi-íkta chíkʰəmin-íkta-s [1], pʰláw*, réyk* [2],
all-thing metal-thing-s, plow, rake,
‘all sorts of metal products: plows, rakes,’

moin mashin, cikcik, aias pi tanas.
mówing*-mashín* [3], t’síkt’sik, (h)áyás(h) pi ténas*.
mowing-machine, wagon, big and little.
‘mowers, wagons; big and small.’

Naika mitlait makuk haws kopa:
náyka míłayt mákuk-háws kʰupa:
I have sell-building at:
‘I have stores at:’

Viktoria Vankuvir Kamlups
viktóriya* vankúvər* kámlups* [4]
Victoria Vancouver Kamloops
‘Victoria, Vancouver, Kamloops.’

< Victoria, Vancouver Kaml. >

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

A few notes for learners…

  • kʰánawi-íkta chíkʰəmin-íkta-s [1] nicely shows two of the main uses of ikta. This super-common Jargon word can be used like an adjective to refer to a ‘kind’, so kʰánawi-íkta is ‘every kind (of); all sort (of)’. It can also have the meaning of a ‘thing’, so chíkʰəmin-íkta-s is conventionally understood as stuff commonly made of metal, i.e. ‘tools’. 
  • pʰláw*, réyk* [2] — these of course are recent borrowings from local spoken English into Kamloops-area Chinook Jargon around 1900. Plaw seems to have been a common word around there; it shows up all the time in Father Le Jeune’s translations of Bible stories. We can infer with confidence that plenty other loans for tool names were also coming in from English…like the following: 
  • mówing*-mashín* [3] is obviously English as heck. It carries the “-ing” suffix, making this quite a rarity compared with Jargon of previous times, which strongly preferred to borrow English verbs as “bare stems” without any affixation. It’s noteworthy that the Upper Chehalis Salish language of southwestern Washington has a word written by a long-ago linguist as < Mo-la táu-a-mĭn > ‘reaper’, evidently mulá √t̓ə́w=mn (Chinuk Wawa ‘machine’ + Up. Cheh. ‘mow-tool’, quite likely a loan-translation of ‘machine mower’. 
  • viktóriya* vankúvər* kámlups* [4] … in 1902 Jargon, these may have been pronounced pretty much as in local English. I put asterisks on all three because we also know of Indigenous-influenced pronunciations of the first two (such as mətúliya, biktóli, pankúpa), and the third is tk’emlúps in its original Secwepemctsín Salish, which a majority of Kamloops Wawa readers spoke. 

Ikta maika chako komtaks?
What have you learned?