Pidgin sign languages in the Pacific Northwest

Thanks to the wonderful language-themed radio series A Way With Words, who give a justified hat tip to Atlas Obscura, we’re led to an article by Robert E. Johnson about “An Extension of… Continue reading

“Le pea-coat”, a Canadianism?

Once in a while I reencounter this rarish Chinook Jargon word that has always caused my brain a mild itch that I’ll get to momentarily: lapikwo “frock; short-coat” (as given in Father St Onge’s… Continue reading

Father St Onge writes from his deathbed, in Jargon

A strangely unsung figure in Chinook Jargon history writes from his deathbed, in Jargon, in 1898. Father Louis-Napoléon St Onge, OMI (b. 1812), had apprenticed as a young missionary with the now better-known… Continue reading

Rudolf Wickberg: Ett blandspråk i nordamerikanska vestern

This looks like quite good Chinook Jargon information (it might help answer a recent question about how Scandinavians pronounced their CJ), but I’ll need a friend to translate it from this Swedish: The… Continue reading

The Ice-Caves of Washington Territory

“The Ice-Caves of Washington Territory” was an uncredited travel piece in the illustrious Bret Harte‘s Overland Monthly, volume 3, number 5, November 1869, pages 421-427. (Earlier in the same issue is an interesting article… Continue reading

Three Mox places, or, I digress

In a comment to my post about Molalla-area pioneers, Sara Palmer raised a question about an Olympic Peninsula place name: We see “Mox Chehalis” here in the south Sound as a road and watercourse… Continue reading

Molalla-area pioneers

I have readers who will take exception to the title “Our Proud Past” of the book where I found the following nuggets of Chinook Jargon.  (It’s subtitled “A Compiled History of the Families… Continue reading

Gi-a-wak (doggerel)

“Should you ask me, whence these stories?” — H.W. Longfellow There’s evidence in the following “Song of Hiawatha” clone that Chinook Jargon lies beneath.  For instance: You have the overt “Shaped his lips… Continue reading

Cree loan words into BC Chinook Jargon

Yesterday, in my article about Walter Moberly’s cool 1885 book “The Rocks and Rivers of British Columbia”, I asked about a word that some apparently Columbia River Shuswap (Kinbasket Secwepemc) guys used, likely… Continue reading

Kinbasket’s “Columbia River Shuswaps”, a railroad surveyor, and the Jargon

“The Rocks and Rivers of British Columbia” by the engineer/surveyor Walter Moberly (London: H. Blacklock & Co., 1885.) This is the sort of old Northwest book that’s not quite crammed full of the stuff… Continue reading