Kettle cloth

A Chinuk Wawa expression unique to the Kamloops, BC area is: kitl sil,  literally “kettle cloth”, as in this interesting passage: CORPUS CHRISTI AT SHUSHWAP      Alta wik saia mokst Sondi naika… Continue reading

Orphan grammar: why “pi” is less used than you’d think

(Image credit: The structure, NOUN PHRASE[type X]     NOUN PHRASE[type X] seems to me more common in Jargon than what an English-speaker like me would expect, NOUN PHRASE[type X]     pi   … Continue reading

You there! With the Salish name!

There is a Chinuk Wawa word nixwa that people have translated in a confusing variety of ways. (Image credit: To list the earliest ones: ‘let’ (1847, Joel Palmer) ‘how is it’ (1853, The… Continue reading

“iaka siahus NOUN”

It’s a while since I shared a little grammar lesson, so start your egg timer: (Image credit: Orthodox Christian Network.) aias tlus iaka siahus Barbara very good her face Barbara “Barbara’s face was… Continue reading

Mixed-breed ‘cat’?

More tricky treats for your October: (Image credit: The Daily Coyote) A single strange word in somebody’s old field notebook doesn’t have to have much significance. Sometimes a mistake is a mistake is… Continue reading

lisítaluy: Yet another Jargon word discovered

lisítaluy: (Photo credit: LewisTalk) It’s glossed as “squash” in the Quinault Salish dictionary I have. Every time I saw the word, I thought, That looks so weirdly intricate in Quinault. To be native,… Continue reading

Franz Boas learns Chinook shorthand in an evening & writes a want ad in it!

File this under Believe It Or Not! Perhaps THE most amazing case of synchronicity in our Chinook Jargon world: the, well, legendary Franz Boas (he founded the Department of Anthropology and indirectly the… Continue reading

A. Delano & why Chinuk Wawa was thought to extend to the Rocky Mts.

Not too long ago, I read the Forty-Niner A[lonzo] Delano’s 1854 book: “Life on the Plains and Among the Diggings; being Scenes and Adventures of an Overland Journey to California: with Particular Incidents… Continue reading

Chinuk Wawa alím ‘to rest’ is Salish

This Chinuk Wawa word alím ‘to rest’ has been a puzzle. Grand Rounde’s dictionary plays with possible French or Lower Chinookan sources for it…    (Photo credit: Cheryl’s Trading Post) But now that I’m constantly… Continue reading

Dudes of Seattle

I though you’d enjoy a couple of fun anecdotes from Clarence Bagley’s detailed, knowledgeable “History of Seattle” (published there by S.J. Clarke Publishing Company in 1916). (Image from The first has to… Continue reading