John Muir’s somewhat funky Alaskan Chinuk Wawa

An oldie and a goodie —


Muir’s Glacier Bay, Alaska, cabin (image credit: National Park Service)

Famed naturalist and environmentalist John Muir (1838-1914) spent some time in southeast Alaskan Lingít (“Tlingit”) country in 1879, 1880, 1890, & 1899, and in his memoir, “Travels in Alaska” (Boston, MA: Houghton Mifflin, 1915), he published a:


of Words in the Chinook Jargon

Boston: English.
Chuck: Water, stream.
Delait: Very, or very good.
Friday: Shoreward. [DDR–this one’s what we call a weirdie where I come from. Nobody else has such as word in their Chinuk Wawa documentation! See also Tucktay below.]
Hi yu: A great quantity of, plenty of. 
Hootchenoo: A native liquor. See page 202 [of Muir’s book][DDR: Muir is pretty much the only person to overtly connect this word, a.k.a. “hooch“, with the Jargon.] 
Hyas: Big, very.
Klosh: Good.
Kumtux: Know, understand.
Mica: You, your (singular).
Muck-a-muck: Food.
Poogh: Shoot, shooting.
Sagh-a-ya: How do you do. [DDR — a unique spelling, tending to indicate that it’s from Muir’s genuine experience of the Jargon, not copied from someone else’s book]
Skookum: Strong.
Skookum-house: Jail.
Tillicum: Friend.
Tola [i.e. lolo]: Lead (verb).
Tucktay: Seaward. [DDR — a word from Lingít! See also Friday above.]
Tumtum: Mind, heart.
Wawa: Talk (noun or verb).

On pages 98 & 284, for example, Muir specifies that he was no genius of the Jargon, so make of this word list what you will!

What do you think? Cata mica tumtum?