Category Archive: Chinuk Wawa

4 Aboriginal letters from Spuzzum + North Bend

From Kamloops Wawa #115 (April 1894):

Clattewah, or, how variant spellings led me to a mixed Spanish-English-CJ pidgin

[ *** Edited for clarity — because I posted this late last night 🙂 *** ] A humorous bit about the high cost of living in San Francisco — how timely! A racist… Continue reading

Tate’s Chinook/Tsimshian hymn

Good old C.M. Tate, the missionary who gave you the spectacularly odd and rather rare “St Marks Kloosh Yiem Kopa Nesika Savious Jesus Christ“, also left this behind: Chinook Hymn  “Nothing but the… Continue reading

Mocking Haida song lyrics in Chinuk Wawa

A Haida mocking song in Chinook Jargon. From Rolf Knight, “Indians at Work: An Informal History of Native Labour in British Columbia 1858-1930“. An aside about Haida fishermen and cannery workers who journeyed… Continue reading

Chinook saw

I’m blogging this for the name “Chinook saw”.  This was a mystery we discussed 16 years ago on the CHINOOK listserv. The phrase “Chinook saw” turns up in the Thompson River Salish dictionary,… Continue reading

Tobacco: not just an Indian weed

Tobacco‘s but an Indian weed, said a moralistic Elizabethan song: But it sure was popular. Chinook Jargon had many words for it… I want to add one to the documentation. You’ll never guess it. Will… Continue reading

Prosch’s ms. dictionary: a critical find

Washington territory pioneer Thomas Wickham Prosch (1850-1915 and yes, a son of early [1857] North Oregon settler, Steilacoom newspaper editor, and official territorial publisher, Charles Prosch) published a Chinook Jargon dictionary in 1888 that I… Continue reading

Til mamuk: a Kamloops idiom

Til mamuk: literally “heavy work”: an expressive idiom for violent mayhem. You’re only going to discover this one if you take the trouble to dig into Kamloops Chinook Jargon, shorthand alphabet and all. First of… Continue reading

Kata meaning “messed up” outside of Grand Ronde creole

One use of qĘ°áta, literally ‘how’, that’s always seemed to me an idiom characteristic of the Grand Ronde (Oregon) creole variety of Chinuk Wawa is as a predicative adjective (or stative verb, it… Continue reading

What do saying a Catholic mass & a near-death experience have in common?

What do saying a Catholic mass & a near-death experience have in common? I’m sorry to say there is a sad answer to that, for many who went through the residential-school experience, but… Continue reading