kʰə́ltəs kʰámuksh in SW WA Salish?
We know that ‘dog’ is an insult in many Pacific NW Indigenous languages…
“No Good Dogs” by Ralph Steadman (image credit: Amazon.com)
So, in Chinuk Wawa’s old source language Lower Chehalis Salish, is the following an inspiration for CW, or inspired by CW, or both, or…?
xʷə́ƛ̓ x̣əs-áʔ-ɬ qáx̣ʔ táʔ-n-šən
really bad-Pejorative-very dog that-one-there
“He’s just a common, mongrel dog!” (insulting someone)
literally ~ ‘that one there’s really an awful-bad dog’
It’s possible to translate this pretty much word-for-word into Chinuk Wawa:
drét kʰə́ltəs kʰámuksh yax̣ka
really worthless dog (s)he.Emphatic
‘(s)he’s really a no-good dog’
The resemblances are quite something, aren’t they?
Elder Wilson Bobb had someone in mind when he gave us this expression using the above idiom:
kʰámuksh ɬaska, drét kʰámuksh ɬaska
‘They’re dirty dogs, real dogs.’
(From the 2012 dictionary of the Confederated Tribes of Grand Ronde.)