Coast Salish “thread” etc. as BC Chinook Wawa

I was kindly provided a copy of a Chinook Wawa manuscript.  It’s a vocabulary that was written in approximately the 1880s, by a storekeeper-slash-lay preacher in the area of Bella Bella/Waglisla, a fair ways… Continue reading

Wah-Kee-Nah and her people, including James Clark Strong

“Wah-Kee-Nah and Her People“ by James Clark Strong New York: G.P. Putnam’s Sons, 1893 In places, a solidly interesting piece of Northwest Americana. New Yorker J.C. Strong lived in the PNW starting in… Continue reading

Gentrifying a Siwash neighborhood in Olympia: The history of a word in local English

The Vancouver (Washington Territory) Independent of April 8, 1876, at the end of its “Olympia Notes” column, reproduces news from the Olympia Echo.  The piece includes the following sentence of note: Little shanties which have been… Continue reading

Mencken on Chinook Jargon’s influence

H.L. Mencken‘s famous 1945 book on “The American Language” (Supplement 1) gets into the subject of Chinook Jargon’s influence on our English, on pages 310-311. I hear a wisely skeptical voice in his… Continue reading

I preached the first sermon at White Salmon…in English anyway

“Early Days at White Salmon and the Dalles”, by Camilla Thomson Donnell. Washington Historical Quarterly IV(1) [January 1913], pages 105-115. Page 109: Rev. Mr. Tenney gave me this incident. He said: “I preached the… Continue reading

The Chahco-Hyler (!) group of Campfire Girls

By November 24, 1921, the Portland Oregonian was reporting on the activities of a Chahco-Hyler, or its non-typo’ed version, the Chahco Hyas Group of the Campfire Girls. In the context, I take the name to have… Continue reading

Chinook Jargon and Asian immigrants, at Ricepaper magazine’s blog

Judith Ichisaka‘s good popular article in Ricepaper magazine, about Chinook Jargon with special emphasis on Asian immigrants, also got posted by Elliot Chan at that publication’s blog. It’s titled just plain “Chinook Jargon”.… Continue reading

The work of Tom MacInnes

Chinook Days, by Tom MacInnes.  1926.  Vancouver: Sun Publishing Co. Ltd. It’s seldom that I find myself promoting the work of an avowed fascist in this blog.  But as some used to say… Continue reading

One-line new year’s blessings

How do you say “Happy New Year” in Chinuk Wawa? The only way I’ve seen this expressed in actual usage, is… …cue the drumroll… an English loan, “Hapi Nyu Yir”! That was used… Continue reading

Mika tum-tum hyass t’kop (oh brother)

Just to bring alive for you one of the uses we talk about the Jargon having–a “token of pioneer identity”, a “badge of Northwesternness”–I give you the following correspondence, nine letters that were… Continue reading