Germansen promises to be the “tyhee” creek

ah hoo

Old Ah Hoo, Omineca miner of 1871, on Germansen Creek (image credit: BC Archives)

A common spelling of táyí (chief; main) in the 1800s shows up in an untranslated loan into British Columbia English. 

A couple of historical scene setters:

Men from Cornwall (the historically Celtic far southwest of the island of Britain) were a major presence among Western North American miners.

And, more often than mining, I suspect, enterprising frontierspeople made quick fortunes by laying out townsites near gold deposits, and selling the house lots.

< Tyhee > is just a variation on the more familiar < tyee > (táyí, ‘chief; primary, main; best’). Already a word loaned into local Cariboo English quite early on.

That’s more than you need to know to make sense of the following, but this is such a slender offering that I wanted to beef it up 🙂

germansen

On Germansen — which promises to be the “Tyhee” creek — J. Bryant, Stocker, Ede, Sampson, and a couple more Cornish boys, are doing well on a high bar on the upper portion of the town site.

— from the Barkerville (BC) Cariboo Sentinel of August 12, 1871, page 3, column 1

What have you learned?

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