The Siwash Had His Views

Again with the late-frontier era tilt towards English in people’s Chinook Jargon. This time we’re taken to far northwestern British Columbia’s Taku River district. I’ll add clarifications and translations in brackets: The Siwash… Continue reading

Typos & Indian reserves in Chinook Jargon

Today’s lesson: learn how to apologize for a mistake in your writing, and how to say “Indian reserve”.      Ukuk Disiyus nsaika wawa, wik This Decius we were [I (Father Le Jeune)… Continue reading

Impressions of a Tenderfoot: During a Journey in Search of Sport in the Far West

“Impressions of a Tenderfoot: During a Journey in Search of Sport in the Far West” by Mrs. Algernon St. Maur (London: John Murray, 1890).  It’s said that this was quite a popular book… Continue reading

The Trottings of a Tenderfoot

“Trottings of a Tenderfoot: Or, a Visit to the Columbian Fiords” by Clive Phillipps Wolley (London: Richard Bentley and Son, 1884). To read more about Mr Phillipps-Wolley‘s b. (1854, d. 1918) whack-a-mole ubiquity in frontier… Continue reading

The Heroine of ’49, by Mary P. Sawtelle, MD

The Heroine of ’49: A story of the Pacific Coast.  By Mrs. M[ary] P. Sawtelle, MD.  San Francisco, CA: Francis, Valentine & Company, 1891. The author was an emigrant of 1848 to Marion… Continue reading

A Kettle River clutchman?

“You’d better go and cut some wood for your clutchman [squaw]. As I came by I saw her chopping and splitting that old log in front of the house,” replied Maurice. — “Camp-Fires… Continue reading

The Thunder Bird Tootooch Legends

“The Thunder Bird ‘Tootooch’ Legends” (Seattle, WA: Ace Printing Co.): what is the story on this quirky 1936 book that I’ve been reading online?   In some ways it reminds me of Alfred… Continue reading

Pidgin sign languages in the Pacific Northwest

Thanks to the wonderful language-themed radio series A Way With Words, who give a justified hat tip to Atlas Obscura, we’re led to an article by Robert E. Johnson about “An Extension of… Continue reading

“Le pea-coat”, a Canadianism?

Once in a while I reencounter this rarish Chinook Jargon word that has always caused my brain a mild itch that I’ll get to momentarily: lapikwo “frock; short-coat” (as given in Father St Onge’s… Continue reading

Father St Onge writes from his deathbed, in Jargon

A strangely unsung figure in Chinook Jargon history writes from his deathbed, in Jargon, in 1898. Father Louis-Napoléon St Onge, OMI (b. 1812), had apprenticed as a young missionary with the now better-known… Continue reading