“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 Amazon.com.) The first has to… Continue reading


Sometimes you just need a dose of old-time advertising in Chinuk Wawa… HORSES! CUITANS!! The subscriber begs leave to inform his numerous friends and the public generally, that he is always on hand,… Continue reading

Salish as an intercultural lingo…before Chinuk Wawa?

I have an idea building in my mind that Coast Salish provided an intercultural lingo, maybe before “contact” with the (drifted ashore/dead/floating houses/other hypotheses) white people…and definitely soon after. (Photo credit: SFU Museum.)… Continue reading

‘Round water’, a Native metaphor

Words for ‘bay’… In Chinuk Wawa you say luʔlu-tsəqw, ’round-water’. And you think, yes, that makes sense. (Images from Australia.com.) Salish speakers in the homeland of Chinuk Wawa agree with you. Quinault speakers say tál̓-maɬ-ču which… Continue reading