1863: Oregon Latin

A bit of gentle humor on the subject of Chinook Jargon…


Some other Oregon [Territory] Latin: “Ālīs volat propriīs” (‘she flies with her own wings’) (image credit: Wikipedia)

This is from solidly in the frontier era, when Walla Walla, Washington was still firmly in the CJ-speaking world, which had however receded from its earlier association with the southern Idaho portion of the Oregon Trail.

oregon latin

The Boise News is evidently not up to “Chinook,” and gives the following at his own expense and that of Rev. C.S. Kingsley, of Portland:

“OREGON LATIN. — Rev. Mr. Kingsley called on us on Thursday morning and announced that he would ‘wa-waw’ in the evening at Union Hall. Under the impression that the word meant something connected with the litany or some other religious observance to which an outsider might not be a proper spectator, we staid away only to ascertain when it was too late, that the Rev. gentleman had made a patriotic speech, and that in the classic Chinook, ‘wa wa’ signifies TALK”

— from the Walla Walla (WA) Washington Statesman of December 12, 1863, page 3, column

qʰata mayka təmtəm?
What do you think?