1890: The Ancient Order of Neversweats

What do you think this “classic” motto means in English?

Sounds like an anti-labor-union joke to me, which is why I’m puzzled about the Chinook (“Greek”) —


[From the] Garfield Enterprise [newspaper]: The latest organization in Garfield is known as the Ancient Order of Neversweats. Their purpose is concentration to prevent infringements of the workingmans’ rights and to promote the science of whittling. They have adopted as a motto the well known Greek proverb, “Halo chah-co glease.”

— from the Seattle (WA) Post-Intelligencer of May 8, 1890, page 4, column 6

That last bit is hílu chaku-klís, ‘not [or ‘never’] get fat’. Which a mighty hardworking person might not.

Now since the name is Neversweats, as in lazy, and the goal is to promote the famously idle pastime of whittling wood, I’m thinking their protection of “workingmans’ rights” is a stance against working too hard.

Did you have to be there, in the sleepy and dusty Eastern Washington farm town of Garfield, to get the joke?

Neversweats Marker Photo_Upclose

Or did you have to have heard of the earlier “Neversweats” religious revival movement from upstate New York?

Is ‘never get fat’ someone’s rusty Chinook attempt at ‘never sweat’? Maybe they were thinking ‘never get greasy/slippery’?

Any thoughts?
qʰáta mayka tə́mtəm?