Mystery photo

(See the answer in the update line below! — Dave) Here’s a test of your Chinook Jargon-related geographic knowledge: Can you identify this place? Thanks to the kind reader who submitted this via… Continue reading

Dictionary of American Regional English and “Chinook”

The legendary Dictionary of American Regional English, which you ought to go look at in a library if you can’t afford it, also has online pages that are mighty interesting. I found one… Continue reading

“Potlatch” #99 with a bullet!

Probably one of the most visible pop-culture uses of the Chinook Jargon word “Potlatch” was this #99 hit by the Native American band Redbone: (Their drummer was from Neah Bay.) It wasn’t as… Continue reading

“Kanaka(s)” in old newspapers

It’s often been noted with interest that Chinook Jargon, and 19th-century English in the greater Northwest, both had a word specifically for Pacific Islanders: kanaka.  There were plenty of Islanders out here at the… Continue reading

Who talks with whom? Or, there really is a Northwest speech community

This is a typically fascinating question by Robert Krulwich at his blog: Who talks with whom? Go read it. It’s fascinating the data that support the observation that folks in a given region… Continue reading

Potlatch Club ball invitation

The Daily Morning Astorian. (Astoria, Or.) Tuesday, March 27, 1888, column 3. I invite your interpretations of this text! Most of it’s quite clear.  Some is new to me. — Dave Potlatch Club Ball.… Continue reading

Chaku-Kəmdəks Chinuk Wawa

Another website that’s great for us Chinook Jargon learners and preservers is Eric Michael Bernando’s blog “Chaku-Kəmdəks Chinuk Wawa“. As the URL for Eric’s site tells, it’s a place to “learn Chinook Jargon”.… Continue reading


Among the few (but increasing number of) websites where you can practice your Chinook Jargon, is VOVA. That’s the Vocal & Verbal Arts Archives.  They’re a nonprofit working for language documentation and revitalization;… Continue reading

Northwest nerdery: Soccer + Chinook Jargon

Northwest nerdery: soccer + Chinook Jargon… Portland Timbers fans holding up banners during the national anthem before a match: “TIMBERS HIAS SKOOKUM” (it’s a chant, too) “WHITECAPS HIAS CULTUS” “SOUNDERS HIAS MESACHIE” “TIMBERS… Continue reading

Chinook Waw-Waw revitalization (100 years ago)

Chinook Waw-Waw clubs are being formed for its study with a view to its perpetuation. –from a book review of Laura Belle Downey-Bartlett’s “Chinook-English Songs”, in the Spokane Spokesman-Review, Sunday morning, March 7, 1915,… Continue reading