Chinook Wawa in the language cloud

“Chinook Wawa in the language cloud“: EGADS, what does that mean? Focus on the red dot.  Now, slowly cross your eyes.  JK! In seriousness, I’m presuming the good folks over at Ethnologue will… Continue reading

Brought to you by the letter O (in shorthand)

(Update 05/07/2013:  See below for edits showing my interpretation of the CJ here. — Dave) The first issue of the legendary Chinook Jargon missionary newspaper Kamloops Wawa has been shown in a lot of articles… Continue reading

Chinook Jargon tux

A lot of people oddly wind up here because they were searching for “Chinook Jargon tux”. Some of you are shaking your heads perplexed. Some of you are chuckling. Folks are probably encountering… Continue reading

Talk strange language

The Jargon was being reminisced about already in 1904! The Morning Oregonian (Portland, Or.), Thursday, June 21, 1904, page 12, columns 3-4 has this report of a typical pioneers’ get-together of the time, at… Continue reading

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