Ladies’ clubs named in Chinook Jargon

nesika study club

The Nesika Study Club of Tacoma, 1895 (image credit: Washington State Historical Society)

A turn-of-the-century convention of Washington State women’s clubs has a significant Chinuk Wawa component!

womens clubs convene

Among those in attendance:

sahale club

…the Sahale Club (sáx̣ali = ‘above; higher’)…

hiyu wawa club

…the Hiyu Wawa Club (háyú wáwa ‘lots of talking’ or hayu-wáwa ‘talking’)…

cultus club

…the Cultus Club (okay, you might suppose this is a noble Latin name meaning ‘care; cultivation; worship’, but it’s documented that the members themselves considered it Chinook Jargon for ‘just a plain old club’)…

nesika club

…the Nesika Club (nsáyka ‘us’)…

eenate club

…and the Eenate Club (ínatay ‘across; beyond’). I have doubts that this unusual spelling is a pun on the obscure English word “enate” meaning “a relative whose relation is traced only through female members of the family” — but I’m putting it out there.

— from the Ellensburg (WA) Dawn of June 23, 1904, page 2, columns 1-3

These were far from the only clubs with Jargon names. Previous posts on my website prove that…

What have you learned?