Kahta Mamook Kopa Chinook Wawa - How to speak Chinook
Ship - ship or vessel
As distinct from boats and canoes. NB Stick ship - sailing vessel (i.e. with masts; large sailing vessels in the inland waters of Puget Sound and Georgia Strait were generally under tow and did not have their sails unfurled), piah ship or pish ship - steamer, ship-man - sailor, ship stick or mitwhit stick - mast.
Boat - boat
Also as laboat, from the English-French hybrid "la boat". This word would originally have referred to the giant canoe-like "York boat" or the fur company voyageurs, and eventually was used to refer to dinghies, dorys, etc. and other small craft. See also Canim (below in Not Quite English Loan-words). Boat nose - the prow or bow of a boat.
Sail, sill - sail
Lope - rope
Tenas lope - cord or twine. Skin lope - a leather or rawhide thong or lariat.
Liver - river
Haul - haul, pull, lift
As opposed to lolo, to carry, to lift. Haul was often used in the combination mamook haul, especially in the imperative.
Paint, pent - paint
As a noun. The verb is mamook paint.
Stick - stick, wood, firewood.
NB Canim stick - cedar, the wood most used for making dugout or split-log canoes. Isick stick - ash-wood, the ash-tree i.e. "paddle stick". Kahnaway stick - oak, i.e. "acorn wood". Lagom stick - pitch pine, i.e. "pitch wood". Eena stick - willow ("beaver wood") or (conceivably) a tree or branch that has been gnawed by a beaver. Ship stick - mast. Pish stick or piah stick - rifle. Stick shoes - boots or shoes made of leather (not moccasins)
No - no
The native words wake and halo were also used.
Help - help
Spose - if, what if, may I, from suppose Kloshe-spose - may I, please ("good if...")
Nem - name
Book - book. Sagalie book - the Bible
Pepah, pehpah - paper, a book, a contract, any writing
Court - court, i.e. a law court
Law - law, justice, police
Mahlie - marry
The French form mahliay (marier) was also used.
Doctin - doctor
Used for an "Indian doctor" or "medicine man" as well as for a practitioner of modern medicine (such as it was in the 19th Century). The French loan-word lamedsin or lametsin was also used, and also referred to medicine in general.
Man - man
Used generally, but more in reference to a non-native than a native, for whom the term siwash would have been used. When used by a woman or in relation to one, refers to a husband, e.g. yaka man - "her man". Tenass man - boy, young man
Whiteman, Klootchman, Boston man, King George man, Chinaman, Dutchman, Scotchman, Klale man, Oleman, Tamanass man - please see the People page.
Dolla, Tolla - dollar, money
Kwatah, kwahtah - quarter, two bits
Bit, pit, mit - a dime, a shilling (as in "one bit")
Klee - happy, happiness, from glee
House - house
Waum - warm, summer
Salt - salt
Pish stick - rifle, gun
Moose - moose
Hee-hee - laughter, humour, joke, happy
Not strictly an English loan-word, perhaps, as it can also be perceived as onomatopoeic. Like tumtum, its origins as a loan-word are in a pidgin-type usage.
Cooley - run, hurry
Most jargon lexicons interpret this as an adaption of the French coulir or courir, but it may have its origin in the English term "coolie", for labourer (originally Hindi).
Laball - ball, a ball-game, also a shot-ball
An English-French hybrid term, from "la ball", as in French Canadian dialects and Michif.
Box - to box, boxing
i.e. an organized bout, or the sport of pugilistics. Not technically a jargon word, at least not in the lexicons, but one that would have been in use among jargon-speakers. Would also have been used in later decades for a box, which earlier would have been described by the French loan-word lacasset.
Canim - canoe
An Indian log dugout, or one of the great cedar canoes of the coastal tribes. The birchbark or skin stick-frame canoes of the eastern part of the continent were largely unknown west of the Rockies, except for the giant York Boat, which was the hallmark of the fur company voyageurs and would have been referred to by "laboat" or hyas canim. The latter term could also describe a "great canoe" - one of the giant war canoes or chiefly canoes of the ocean-going peoples. The published lexicons give the Chinookan language as the source for this word, but it bears close resemblance to canoe, which is a Cree or Algonkian word adopted into English. The mutation from the "-oe" ending to "-im" would be similar to the change from "-or" to "-in" in doctor to doctin. NB canim stick - cedar, the wood from which the great split-log canoes of the coastal peoples were most commonly made.
Pelton - foolish, stupid, crazy
Gibbs says that this word derives from the name of a deranged individual, an Archibald Pelton (or Felton), who was found en route and taken to Astoria by a Wilson P. Hunt.
Kullaghan, kullagh - a corral or stockade, a fence, a fenced yard.
Kullagh stick - fence rails.
Gibbs gives the Salishan Chehalis and Lummi as the source of this word, noting that it meant the stockade with which Indian houses and villages were often surrounded. However, I will venture a guess that, like pelton, it is a name-borrowing from an individual, perhaps the first in the region to build a British/American-style fence, i.e. a Mr. Callaghan or a similar name, or of a Gaelic word such as currach or corac (a fortification?).
Klook - crooked
Also Klook teahwhit - broken legged, lame. Not given as of English derivation in the published lexicons, but the similarity to English crook is too close to not be pointed out.
Stoh, sto - to loose, to untie, to undo
Possibly from "stow", which in English normally means put it away into a storage-place, but on board ships means to get rid of something holding (or so it would appear to someone not familiar with the language.
Pottle, pahtl, pahtlum - full, bottle, from bottle
In the context of "full", this may not be an English loan-word, but would be of native origin. Most jargon lexicons give the source here as the Chinookan pahtl ("full")
Papa - papa, father
Mama - mama, mother
Both these words may also be interpreted as French loan-words.
Kopasetty, copascetic - doing jes' fine, sitting pretty.
Jeff Kopp contributed this, which I have used for a long time without ever considering it to be of Chinook origin. But now that he's pointed it out, the "kopa-" beginning is a hallmark of Chinook phrases - I just can't think what "setty" would mean.
Tickety-boo - perfect, in place, etc.
I am only including this because it may be of jargon origin, given the ticke- beginning (from "to want" or "to have") and the formation of such words as mucketymuck (from muckamuck). The possible origin here may have been a Chinook-French hybrid, tikke p'ti beau - "I have a little beauty", i.e. "everything's nice". This is only a speculation......
Tumtum - heart, stomach, feelings, to feel, to think
Anderson says this word, which has a resemblance to English pidgin, is onomatopaeic from the beating of the heart. See Tumtum Compounds on the Verbs & Concepts page.
Poh - a breath, to blow out or to extinguish (a candle)
This may be a corruption of English blow.
Poo - the sound of a gun, also the gun itself
Mamook poo - to shoot. Moxt poo - a double-barreled gun. Tohum poo or taghum poo - a six-shooter. In Nisqually on Puget Sound, Opoo was to break wind.
Piu-piu - to stink, to smell badly
Not strictly onomatopaeoia, and technically from French puer. perhaps in a pidgin-like corruption as with tumtum.
Humm - a bad odor, an unpleasant smell.
As if savouring the air, this word seems to be a way of saying politely "hey! - someone farted!". Equiv. to English "Whew! that smells".
Puk-puk - a blow with the fist, to strike (someone), to box. Not exactly onomatopaeoia, but descriptive.
Toh - the act of spitting, a gob of spit. Mamook toh - to spit
This was an invented word, but no less valid or useful than any other, and altogether rather descriptive..
To-to - to shake, sift, or winnow
Gibbs says this word's origin is onomatopaeoic.
Hoh-hoh - a cough, to cough
Ko-ko - to knock, a knocking sound
Onomatopaeoic, but also from ko - to come ("someone has come").
Tsish, chish - to sharpen, sharp, sharpened
In imitation of the sound of a grindstone. NB Tshiss, tshis - meant "cold" in the Chinook language area on the Lower Columbia.
Some animal names are onomateopaeoic - e.g. skwis-skwis (squirrel), ka-ka (crow), skwah-kuk (frog) and haht-haht (duck)
By "other languages" I am referring here to languages
other than English, French, and the native languages of the Northwest.
Exceptions here are those words from other native languages known to have
come into the Northwest via English or French (such as tobacco/tabak).
Kanaka - Hawaiian
Wawa - Language, Speech, Word(s)
Moose - moose
See also French loan-words
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