Category Archive: Uncategorized

“All same” as 2 pidgins influencing each other

Believe it or not, pidgin languages — like Chinook Jargon — quite frequently interact with each other.  Cultural contact situations have, historically, often been cyclone-like: traveling swirls of activity moving from one locale onward to… Continue reading

Let’s go crazy with Chinuk Wawa!

Being a scotty boffin o’ contact linguistics, I say let’s go crazy with Chinuk Wawa! We have at least 3 simplex words for “insane” in the Jargon, another instance of embarrassing riches where… Continue reading

Units of measure, charismatic megafauna, & bridging from Chinook to English in 1890s Kamloops

“Units of measure, charismatic megafauna, & bridging from Chinook to English in 1890s Kamloops” How’s that for a dissertation title? 🙂 Because, in the course of a small excerpt from Kamloops Wawa #100 (15 October… Continue reading

I was saying about “railroad” being Chinuk Wawa…

…and here’s a real example in the Jargon of an Aboriginal fella. Joseph Thompson, probably recently surnamed thus for his Salish tribal affiliation, contributed a letter to issue #94 (03 September 1893) of Kamloops Wawa,… Continue reading

A second word for ‘sailor’

I talked yesterday about a word for “sailor”, shipman, that most likely jumped ship from the S.S. Chinook Jargon and took up residence in Hul’q’umi’num’ Salish of southwestern Vancouver Island, Canada — so today let’s pursue the… Continue reading

1907 letter in Chinook to Edmond Meany

James “Jim” A. Wood‘s letter in Chinook Jargon to Professor Edmond Meany, June 25, 1907, regarding the upcoming (1909) Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. Typically for the West, we were in a rush: the expo was planned… Continue reading

A Salish word for talking pidgin

So I take it: <hwshupmenqun> in Hul’q’umi’num’ of Vancouver Island, BC is said to mean “speak broken English”. In Americanist notation, that’d be xʷšəpménqən. It’s thought to be “probably from ‘shipman’ “. (With… Continue reading

A metaphor: “to eat” as “to hold a grudge”?

I’ve noticed this expression a few times through the years in my travels through the expansive Chinuk pipa shorthand world: makmak, with a human as its direct object. Nowhere have I found this term overtly… Continue reading

An American Indian pidgin in a Top 20 song

I heard a Native American pidgin in an old Top 20 song today! Or I was hearing a creole of French that’s native to Louisiana! Or it was an amazing but believable African… Continue reading

Earliest use of “law” in Chinook Jargon?

“Law”, like most English-origin loanwords in Chinook Jargon, was studiously omitted from the frontier-era vocabularies. You have to figure: reasons of economy. Paper was expensive, ink too. Both were rare. Anyone who could… Continue reading