Category Archive: Uncategorized

George Morley, amateur detective

Readers of the anthropological literature, including dictionaries of Indigenous languages, may be familiar with scholars’ use of delicately italicized Latin: it’s to express the racier bits to their in-group readers.

Le meunier, son fils, et l’ane

A number of the stories that are preserved in Chinuk Wawa have French roots…

Lightning from Lower Chehalis

The heavy weather theme continues: I’m struck by ‘lightning’.



Our New Alaska (1886)

If I’m going to do a multi-part series on ‘rain’ in Chinook Jargon, I can do no better than to head to Southeast Alaska…

When it rains…

…there are more thoughts about rain. So today…

New light on rainy weather

“Perhaps it was onomatopoetic, inspired by the sound of drops hitting the top of an overturned canoe.”

Nootka Jargon in Haida territory

Regarding the mists of pre-Chinuk Wawa history, we can just make out that a couple of earlier pidgin languages entered the DNA of our Jargon…

The squeaky wheel…

Just in case this hasn’t already drawn attention to itself 🙂 

Culture contact: Thanksgiving

ɬush masi-san! (Happy Thanksgiving!) That Chinuk Wawa sentence captures the culture contact that we Americans like to see as the basis of our Thanksgiving observances today.