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

I was saying about “railroad” being Chinuk Wawa…

…and here’s a real example in the Jargon of an Aboriginal fella. Joseph Thompson, probably recently surnamed thus for his Salish tribal affiliation, contributed a letter to issue #94 (03 September 1893) of Kamloops Wawa,… Continue reading

A second word for ‘sailor’

I talked yesterday about a word for “sailor”, shipman, that most likely jumped ship from the S.S. Chinook Jargon and took up residence in Hul’q’umi’num’ Salish of southwestern Vancouver Island, Canada — so today let’s pursue the… Continue reading

1907 letter in Chinook to Edmond Meany

James “Jim” A. Wood‘s letter in Chinook Jargon to Professor Edmond Meany, June 25, 1907, regarding the upcoming (1909) Alaska-Yukon-Pacific Exposition. Typically for the West, we were in a rush: the expo was planned… Continue reading

A Salish word for talking pidgin

So I take it: <hwshupmenqun> in Hul’q’umi’num’ of Vancouver Island, BC is said to mean “speak broken English”. In Americanist notation, that’d be xʷšəpménqən. It’s thought to be “probably from ‘shipman’ “. (With… Continue reading