“Sweet BetseyAnnSpikes” :) (Part 5 of 7)

It’s been weeks since I published the previous installment in this mini-series, but #5 is worth the wait:

powerful rich

(Image credit: Pinterest)

There’s just one itty bitty Chinookism in today’s letter, < skookum > ‘powerful’, used as a jokey calque on the frontier-era American English intensifying adverb ‘powerful’.

Student of the Old School.


Squaws Flat and Poor Man’s Camp.

My Dear Ed:–

In akkordance with our previous arrangements, I take this opportunity of skribbling yer a fu lines, which, perhaps, ma be uv use ter yu, or some interest tu the gineral publick (I mean thoze who are interested in the mining industry). You ma not be aware uv the fackt uv the which I am jist about tu promulgate (kinder privately), bekaze there haz bin some terable round heded lize told in regards tu mines, etc. I wuz at Jimmy McDougal’s tuther day and tuck a walk over tu hiz higolick plaster [hydraulic placer] mines. Mack haz done lots uv work this spring and expeckts tu klean up a rite smart chance uv the yaller stuff this seazon. The same day I past by Mistersers Huston & Deen’s mine, and they wuz running a higolick pipe in full blast. The ground that theze gentlemen iz worken is konsidered mity skukum [skúkum ‘powerful’] rich, and jist a little further on iz the celebrated Willer [Willow] Springs mines az iz owned by John Baker and West Ingram, tu old batches [bachelors], uv which I don’t take any stock in (the batchelor part), but thair mines keeps them frum starving, and that beats farming and hens az laze skrambled eggs. J. H. Morris, Phillips and J. R. Hardin kum down here tuther day, kinder fishin around fur suthin more az a Dulcet Duenna, fur tha seemed mighty well plezed with our mines. More sum other da.

— Medford (OR) Mail of April 13, 1894, page 4

What do you think?