1924: Seattle and Environs: a new old CW vocabulary

An obscure but original (and good) Chinuk Wawa lexicon from Puget Sound deserves more attention…

seattle and environs

(Image credit: amazon)

Add this one to the numerous newly found CW vocabularies that I’ve featured on this site over the years.

(There are several more such, for sure, that I just haven’t gotten around to featuring…! Chinook Jargon research has advanced tremendously in your lifetime, if you’re able to read this.)

It comes to us on pages 665-667 of the book “Seattle and Environs” by Cornelius Holgate Hanford (Chicago, IL: Pioneer Historical Publishing Co., 1924).

This is the same author who created the CW operetta “Keel-A-Pie“.

Hanford’s spellings are his own, as is his way of presenting CW information, for example specifying how to say quite a lot of specific numbers in the language.

So this word list appears to be based largely on his own personal acquaintance with CW.

Alternately, Hanford could have copied this list from another source, but drastically altered the spellings and translations…hmm…?



Alki; Al-ky, by and by; future. 
Alta, now; present time. 
An-kutty, ago; formerly; previous.


Boston, American. 
Boston Illa-hee, American country.


Chah-ko, come. 
Chak-chak, eagle. 
Chee, new; fresh; young. 
Chik-a-min, metal; money. 
Chik-chik, wagon; vehicle. 
Chuck, water; fluid. 
Coo-ly, run; hurry; swift.


De-late, correct; true; straight. 
Doc-tin, Doctor.


E-lip, before; first; ahead. 
E-li-ta, slave. 
E-na-tie, across; over; opposite. 
Ess-il, corn.


No Chinook words commence with the letter F.

Glease, fat; grease; oil.


Hay-lo, none; nothing. 
Hee-hee, laugh; laughter. 
Hi-yu, many; much; plenty. 
Hoo-i-hoo-ie, barter; sell; swap. 
Hool-hool, mouse. 
Hull-el, shake. 
Hull-o-i-ma, different; another. 
Hy-ak, hasten; quick; rapid. 
Hy-ass, big; large; very. 
Hy-ass Sunday, holiday.


Ic-fat, a bear. 
Ikt, one; once. 
Ik-tah, thing; what.

Ik-tahs, garments; things; belongings. 
Ill-a-hee, land; country; home. 
In-a-poo, lice; louse. 
Is-kum, bring; get; procure; take. 
Iss-ik, paddle. 
Ittle-willy, beef; meat.




Kah, where? 
Kah-kwah, same; similar. 
Kah-ta, how? what? why? 
Kal-it-an, arrow; bullet; shot. 
Kam-ocks, dog. 
Kapp-o, coat. 
Kaw-hee-loo, goose. 
Kay-nim, canoe. 
Keek-willy, down vertically; below; under. 
Kee-la-pie, come back; capsize; return. 
Kim-ta, after; behind; subsequent. 
King Jawge Man, Englishman. 
King Jawge Ill-a-hee, English country. 
Kish-kish, drive. 
Klah, clear; free; in sight. 
Klah-hay-nie, out; outdoors. 
Klah-how-yah, the common salutation. 
Klah-how-yum, distressed; poor. 
Klah-wah, slow. 
Klak, off; away. 
Klak-stah, who? 
Klale, black. 
Klap, catch; get; find. 
Klat-a-wah, go; going; gone. 
Klim-in-a-whit, falsehood; lie. 
Klimm-in, soft; fine. 
Klip, deep. 
Klo-nass, don’t know; perhaps. 
Klone, three. 
Klootch-man, woman; female; wife. 
Kloshe, good; satisfactory; enough. 
Ko, reached; arrive. 
Kok-shut, break; broken; hurt. 
Kon-a-mokst, both. 
Kon-a-way, all; entire; every. 
Kon-e-way Klak-stah, all persons spoken of. 
Ko-pah, at; in; to; there. [NOTE THAT LAST GLOSS.] 
Ko-pet, cease; stop; quit; finish.

Kosh-o, hog; swine. 
Kow, bind; fasten; imprison. 
Ku-it-an, horse. 
Kull, hard. 
Kully-kully, bird. 
Kul-tus, worthless; despicable. 
Kum-tuks, know; understand. 
Kun-sik, amount; price; quantity; size; duration. 
Kwaist, nine. 
Kwan-e-sum, always. 
Kwin-im, five.


Laly, duration of time. 
La Gome, pitch gum. 
La Hash, axe. 
La Lahm, oar. 
La Monti, mountain. 
La Plash, board. 
La Push, mouth. 
La Vest, jacket. 
La Wen, oats. 
Le Cass-et, trunk; box. 
Le Cou, neck. 
Le Dents, teeth. 
Le Jaub, the devil. 
Le Lang, tongue. 
Le Mah, hand. 
Le Mel, mule. 
Le Met-sin, medicine. 
Le Mou-ton, mutton; sheep. 
Le Naze, nose. 
Le Pee, foot. 
Le Pom, apple. 
Le Pote, door. 
Le Sak, bag; sack. 
Le Sell, saddle. 
Le Shah-bree, plow. 
Le Tate, head. 
Le Whet, whip. 
Lip-lip, boil; stir. 
Lo-lo, carry; convey; fetch. 
Lok-it, four. 
Lum, alcohol; whiskey.


Mah-sie, thanks. 
Mah-sie Siks, thank you. 
Mahk-oke, buy; bought; purchase. 
Mahm-uk, act; do; make; work. 
Mahsh, deliver; give; leave; put. 
Man, husband; male; person; masculine. 
Mes-atch-ie, bad; wicked. 
Mes-si-ka, plural of personal pronouns you; yours; they; them [SIC!]. 
Mi-kah, same pronouns, second person, present tense [SIC!].

Mim-a-loose, dead; death; die. 
Mit-lite, remain; reside; stay; sit. 
Mit-whit, stand; upright. 
Moo-la, a mill. 
Moo-lak, elk. 
Moon, the moon; month. 
Moos-moos, cattle; cow; ox. 
Moo-sum, sleep. 
Mow-itch, deer; venison. 
Moxt, two; twice. 
Muk-a-muk, food; victuals. 
My-mie, down on surface of stream or incline.


Nan-itch, look; see; seen; saw. 
Nes-si-ka, plural pronouns we; us; ours. 
Ni-kah, pronouns singular I; me; mine. 
Now-it-ka, yes; agree; assent.


Oke-oke, this; that; it. 
O-lall-ie, berries. 
O-le-man, aged; old man. 
O-lo, hungry. 
Oo-ie-kut, road. 
O-pit-sah, knife. 
Ow, brother.


Pass-ie-ooks, French; Frenchman. 
Pe, and. 
Peach-ie, green. 
Pe-siss-ie, blanket. 
Pi-ah, fire. 
Pil-ton, coward; fool; insane. 
Pill, red. 
Pill-pill, blood. 
Pish, fish. 
Pish-pish, cat. 
Po-lally, gun powder. 
Po-like-ly, night. 
Poo, shoot; sound of gunshot. 
Pot-latch, give; gift. 
Pot-tle, full. 
Pot-tle Ko-pah Lum [SIC], intoxicated.

(Ku — substituted for letter Q. The letter R is not sounded in Chinook.)


Sail, cloth; sail.
Sap-o-lill, bread; flour; wheat. 
See-ah-hoose, eyes; face. 
See-a-po, hat. 
Siks, friend; friends; sir; you [SIC]. 
Sin-a-moxt, seven. 
Sit-kum, half; part. 
Si-yah, far; long distance.

Si-wash, Indian. 
Skoo-kum, strong; great; brave. 
Snass, rain. 
Sok-a-ly, above high up. 
Sok-a-ly Tyee, God. 
Sok-o-leks, trousers. 
So-pe-na, jump. 
Spose, suppose; if; in that case. 
Stick, timber; wood; forest. 
Stote-kin, eight. 
Sull-iks, angry; mad; sullen. 
Sun, Sunday [SIC]; one week.


Tah-hum, six. 
Tal-kie, yesterday. 
Tam-an-ous, magic; sorcery; spirits; supernatural. 
Ta-mool-itch, barrel; tub; bucket. 
Tatt-a-lum, ten. 
Tee-hee, fun; festival. 
Tee-hee Tum-tum, weak mind; silly; frivolous. 
Te-kope, white. 
Te-kope Snass, snow. [An expression unique to Hanford?]
Ten-ass, child; small; few. 
Tik-ky, wish; want; desire. 
Till-i-kum, people; relatives; friends. 
Till, tired; weary; heavy. 
Tin-tin, bell; clock; watch. 
Tip-so, grass; hay; hair; feathers. 
Tum-tum, heart; mind; will; understanding. 
Tum-wat-ah, waterfall. 
Ty-ee, chief; officer; dignitary. 
Tzum, sign; tracks; writing.


Ul-tah, now; at this time. (preferable to — Alta — )


Wake, no; not; never. 
Wake Laly, not long time. 
Wap-e-tow, potato. 
Waw-waw, speech; talk; conversation. 
Weght, again; also; more.


Yah-kah, he; his; she; her; it; their. [!!!NOTE THAT LAST GLOSS!!!]
Yieme, tale; narration. 
Yo-tle, proud; pleased. 
Yow-ah, there; that place; in that direction. 
Yuk-wah, here; this way.


1 Ikt. 
2 Moxt.
3 Klone. 
4 Lok-it.
5 Kwin-im. 
6 Tah-hum. 
7 Sin-a-moxt. 
8 Stote-kin. 
9 Kwaits. 
10 Tatt-a-lum. 
11 Tatt-a-lum pe ikt. 
12 Tatt-a-lum pe moxt. 
13 Tatt-a-lum pe klone. 
14 Tatt-a-lum pe lok-it. 
15 Tatt-a-lum pe kwin-im. 
16 Tatt-a-lum pe tah-hum. 
17 Tatt-a-lum pe sin-a-moxt. 
18 Tatt-a-lum pe stote-kin. 
19 Tatt-a-lum pe kwaits. 
20 Moxt tatt-a-lum. 
21 Moxt tatt-a-lum pe ikt. 
32 Klone tatt-a-lum pe moxt. 
43 Lok-it tatt-a-lum pe klone. 
54 Kwin-im tatt-a-lum pe lok-it. 
65 Tah-hum tatt-a-lum pe kwin-im. 
76 Sin-a-moxt tatt-a-lum pe tah-hum. 
87 Stote-kin tatt-a-lum pe sin-a-moxt. 
98 Kwaits tatt-a-lum pe stote-kin. 
100 Tatt-a-lum tatt-a-lum. 
200 Moxt tatt-a-lum tatt-a-lum. 
301 Klone tatt-a-lum tatt-a-lum pe ikt. 
422 Lok-it tatt-a-lum tatt-a-lum pe moxt tatt-a-lum pe moxt. 
534 Kwin-im tatt-a-lum tatt-a-lum pe klone tatt-a-lum pe lok-it.

The foregoing is the vocabulary of the Chinook jargon in general use throughout the Northwest and particularly in the Puget Sound section There are other words used locally in other sections taken principally from straight Indian tribal dialects of the locality The Chinook being merely a jargon developed and used primarily by the early traders and French Canadians in the employ of the Hudson Bay Company in trading with the Indians the spelling is necessarily arbitrary and differs in publications by different writers The spelling here given is phonetic in order to convey a better idea of the pronunciation…

What do you think?