“Catechism house”: a BC regionalism in Jargon

I often point out words that you should add to your Chinuk Wawa dictionary, because they got left out for the first 200 years. From the old Kamloops Wawa newspaper, I’ve learned a… Continue reading

A Jargon word for edible cambium

“What does that even mean?” some will be asking 🙂 Which goes to show you that it’s never been put into Chinook Jargon dictionaries! Definition of cambium from Dictionary.com — A cylindrical layer… Continue reading

Saying “potlatch” in Chinook Jargon isn’t so easy!

Welcome back to the Chinook Jargon blog! I took a hiatus to work on some grants, and I’ve missed you. The other day on Facebook, I gave a heads-up that this site will… Continue reading

Chinook Jargon month names…did they come from somewhere?

In the Chinook Jargon Word of the Day group on Facebook, the inquiring mind of Colin Bruce put forth Father Le Jeune’s little-known 1924 list of Chinook Jargon month names…

Why 19th-c. Chinook dictionaries are misleading & unreliable. Sad!

Quick!  Our safety depends on it!  (That’s how I get unfiltered linguistic data out of people.)  Translate tluchman-sik into English!

And why do we say “cold” in CJ for “year”?

A lot is known about Chinook Jargon’s words — but what about its ideas?

Why do we say kʰúl-íliʔi “cold land” for “winter” in Chinook Jargon?

One of my correspondents who consistently asks great questions brought this up: Why do we say kʰúl-íliʔi, literally “cold land”, for “winter” in Chinook Jargon?  Is it an Indigenous thing?

Púlakʰli, the “dark-time”

Some deeper background for you on a well-known basic word of Chinook Jargon.

Another Salish word for “socks” in CJ?

A discovery? Leave it to the extravagant Roman emperor Heliogabalus (the dangerous transgender Syrian immigrant, not to be confused with the friendly Martian autism-whisperer of that name) to show us something new under the… Continue reading

New words for trapping: a 1903 ad

Chinook Jargon’s connection with the Northwest fur trade is proverbial.  But until now, we’ve had extremely little documentation of how people talked in CJ about the trapping side of that equation.