Why is the late Paul Allen’s superyacht the “Breast” in Chinook?
Sure, he was a Seattle billionaire; did he ask someone to find a Chinook Jargon word for ‘beast’?
Image credit: dirt.com
The article at Dirt.com makes linguistically untrustworthy claims about the name.
Anyone here know more?
Dr. Peter Bakker emailed me a comment (have any of my other readers had difficulty posting comments here?) —
“The word tatoosh in Chinuk Wawa is obviously a borrowing from Cree/Algonquian. It means indeed ‘breast’ in both. I understand that there are a couple of landmarks along the Washington/Oregon/BC coast that have tatoosh in their name. Those must be from CW. And there is indeed a Tatoosh Ridge in Arizona, but the mountain range shows no obvious similarities with (a pair of) breasts. This is also too far away from the expanse of Chinook Jargon and Algonquian languages, so I suspect that the name of the Arizona mountain range happens to coincide with the Chinuk name. Its etymology should be sought probably in Uto-Aztecan or Athapaskan. The question remains why Allen called it tatoosh. By the way, every year another Microsoft rich guy, Charles Simonyi, used to come to Denmark with his enormous yacht. He had given in the Danish name “skat”, which means both “darling” and “taxes”. True. He used to have a Danish girlfriend in his youth.”