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

“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

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

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

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 qʰáta, 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