House - house
Klahanie - outside, the out-of-doors
Window - window
Lapote - door
Lacaset, lacasset - box, chest, casket
Lekley, lakleh - key
Ikpooie - closed. Ikpooie lakleh
Labadoe - shingle
Kliskwiss - mat
Laplash - floor
Also means a wooden plank or similar object,
and is an adjective wide or broad or spread out.
Iktas - things, stuff
i.e. household goods, belongings. NB Iktah
- what, that. Iktas appears to be a plural form of iktah,
i.e. "those things" or "all that".
Bed - bed
Latab - table
Opitsah, opitsaht - knife or sweetheart
One of the main villages of the Clayoquot Sound Nuu-chah-nulth
was named Opitsaht.
Lapooshet - fork
Also opitsaht yakka sikhs - "the knife's friend"
Spoon - spoon
Lasset, lassiet - plate, from l'assiette
Labooti - bottle, from la bouteille
Lapoel - pan, frying pan, from la poele
Malah - tinware, crockery, earthenware
Kettle, ketling, kitling - kettle, pan,
Opekwan - a basket or tin kettle
Why the word for "tin kettle" derived from that for "basket"
may be because tightly-woven baskets were often used for boiling vessels,
and were made especially for this purpose. Certain tribes - notably
the Lakes Lillooet of Seton Lake - were renowned for their craft at making
watertight woven-coil baskets of certain grasses and rushes.
Ooskan - a cup or bowl
Tamolitsh, tamolitch - tub, barrel, washtub
Wagh - to pour, to pour out, also means
empty (as does weght)
Wash - wash
Soap - soap
Stick - stick, wood, firewood
Pish or piah
- fire. Note pish is also "fish"; it is believed this rendering
was typographical in published lexicons for settlers, and so came into
use as a mistake
Lapellah - roasted, i.e. over a fire. Mamook
lapellah - to roast, to cook over a fire
Liplip - boil
Lashandel - candle, lamp, from la chandaille,
Moosum - sleep, to sleep. Olo
moosum - sleepy ("hungry for sleep")
Get-up - to rise, risen, to wake up
Shelokum - mirror, looking glass
Mamook shelokum - to preen, to be vain
Comb - comb
Mamook comb - to comb one's hair.
Mahlie - married, to marry
Mitlite - to reside, to live, to be
Kokshut - break, broken
Mamook kloshe - fix, make better, heal,
Kehsee, kisu - apron
Lasanjel - belt, sash, girdle
I am uncertain as to whether this refers to the sash
that is the hallmark of the voyageur, or to the priestly girdle
of a cleric; it may refer to both.
Mitass - leggings
Gibbs says Anderson credits the voyageurs with introducing
this word into the Northwest; it may be of Michif origin or Cree of Ojibway.
Sakolleks - trousers, leggings, pantaloons.
sakolleks - drawers, underpants, longjohns
Kalakwahtie, kallakwatie, yelakwat - petticoast
The Indian variety worn by women was made of strands
of bark. Kalakwahtie also meant the under-bark or cambium
of the cedar, a soft substance used in the making of pre-Contact fabrics.
Some tree cambium was also a food-source. Kalakwahtie stick
Shoes - shoes
Shoes keepwot - an awl
Stocken - stockings, socks
Kushis - stockings, any elastic article
Opoots sill - breechclout ("rear end saddle"
or "ass silk")
Lawest - vest
The finely-milled Hudson's Bay Blanket, usually cream
in colour with three stripes of red, green and brown was a mainstay of
the fur trade and is still a highly prized domestic item. They were
often used to make coats - and still are.
Paseese, paseesie - blanket, woollen cloth
This word is the source of the term used for the French
Canadian fur company employees, and for Frenchmen in general (pasiooks),
i.e. "those who brought cloth".
Skin lope - a thong of leather or rawhide,
a lariat, etc.
Lawet, lawhet - whip
Lapel - fur, hide, skin
Skin - skin, hide
Lesac, lesak - sack, bag
Laswah, lasway, sill - silk, silken
Sill can also mean calico.
Tzum sill - printed calico, i.e. spotted
cloth, marked cloth
Leloba - ribbon
Spatsum, spuzzum - reeds or grass, rushes,
as used in basketry
Tupsshin, tupshin - needle, awl
Keepwot- hook, needle, awl
Kwekwiens - pin
Kweokweo - a ring, a circle; distinct from
lo'lo or lowullo, which can be used to mean a circle of something, i.e.
Tupsin, tupshin - needle
Mamook tupsin - to sew, to mend, to patch.
NB similarity to tupso - grass, leaves, blade of grass
Leseezo - scissors
Tshish, chish - to sharpen, sharp, sharpened
NB different from tshiss, tshis - a word used
for "cold" in the Chinook language area of the Lower Columbia.
Tenas lope - cord, twine
Klapite - thread, twine
Keepwot, kipwot - needle, thorn, sting
of an insect. Shoes keepwot - an awl used in shoe-making and
Kamosuk, Camosuck, camosun - beads
Tyee Camosuck - the best-quality large blue glass
beads, imported by fur traders as a trade commodity; most originated in
a certain town in Moravia in today's Czech Republic. Note that camosun
also referred to the camas plant/food, and was the original name
of the region around Victoria harbour, where these plants grew in abundance
- but also which was a major trading centre.
Tsil-tsil, chil-chil, dil-dil - buttons
See also Critters
and Money, Trade & Travel.
Muckamuck, mukmuk - food, eat, dinner
Mamook muckamuck - to cook, to prepare food, to
serve food. Hiyu muckamuck - plenty to eat, enough for all. Hyas
muckamuck - a feast, a formal dinner. High muckamuck -
a popular corruption of hyas muckamuck, meaning "one who sits at
the head table", i.e. an official, a bigshot, or a VIP.
Piah - fire, ripe, cooked
Mamook piah - to cook, to burn. Wake
piah - raw.
Lum - rum, booze, alcohol in general
Chuck - water, fluids
Olo chuck ("hungry for water") or halo chuck
- thirsty. Tikegh chuck, iskum chuck - drink.
Salt, sel, lasel - salt
Suk, shugah, shukwah, lesuk - sugar
Tsee - sweet
Jewitt mentions the use of the word chamass, a
variant of camas, as meaning "sweet" or "pleasant to the taste",
among the Nootka.
Klil, klilh, klilt, klitl - bitter, also
Kwets, kwates - sour
Poolie - rotten
Accent is on the second syllable.
Tatoosh - milk, butter. Also means
Tatoosh glease - a more specific word for butter.
Kaupy, kopi - coffee
Lateh, tee - tea
Lice - rice
Lawhen - oats
Sapolill, sapolil, sapolillie - wheat,
NB this word is distinct from sapolallie/sopalallie,
the soapberry, but originally dried soapberries were crushed into a flour-like
powder, which may be the origin of this usage in reference to grain flour
as we know it. Lolo sapolill - whole wheat. Lawhen sapolill
- oat flour. NB different from sapolallie - berries.
Esalth, yesalth - Indian corn or maize
This is a Kalapuya word. Maize would have been
largely unknown north of the Columbia. Once corn was introduced by
settlers, the word corn would have been used.
Labiskwee - biscuit
Bannock - bread (pan-fried). Not
exactly a Jargon word, but well-known in the region; introduced by the
Scots in the fur company employ and still widely popular with native peoples.
Basically an unsweetened, very greasy deep-fried pancake.
Lapan - bread, from le pain
Gibbs says this refers to raised or light bread, as opposed
to hardtack or other types. I am uncertain, however, as to whether
the bread referred to by this word may be bannock, which was the
staple of the French-speaking voyageurs of the fur trade era and
has since become a staple of native peoples throughout British Columbia.
Bannock (the word is Scots in origin) is a virtually deep-fried bread made
in a frying pan with flour, water, and salt (and, of course, lots of oil).
Wapato, wapatoo - Potato
Originally the Indian potato, the camas or others of
the lily-root varieties, but later applied to the domestic potato.
Camas, also lakamass and camosun
- a lily whose scientific designation is scilla esculente (succulent
Camas was a major food staple of all Plateau and
coastal lowland peoples, providing a tender, sweet root-corm something
like a small potato. Its stalks were also edible when young. Camas-gathering
was an important time of year, with whole families following the woman
to the special localities where it grew in each area. There are various
other lily-roots and other edible greens gathered for food, including a
wild onion, Indian cabbage, Indian rhubarb (hakwahk), Indian mustard as
well as the Indian potato or wapato. Note that the original name
for the Victoria harbour area was Camosun, where these plants grew
in abundance (described by Cook as a "perfect little Eden" because of its
relatively dry and warm climate). Camosun can also mean the
same as Camosack, i.e. beads used in trade. The lakamass
variant is a French-Chinook hybrid term.
Melas - molasses, syrup
Glease - grease
Also from the French as lakles, from la graisse.
Although the English loan-word became a generic term for greases, it also
became used for "oolichan grease", the highly-prized rotten-mash preserve
made from oolichans was one of the most widely-traded products in the native
economy. Trade routes were often marked by grease drippings as a result
of centuries of deposition. Grease was used in cooking and was a fixture
on any well-laid native table. Recipes for the preserve vary from tribe
to tribe and family to family and are jealously guarded, and tastes vary
widely across the region and within communities as well. Made from months-long
decomposition of the oily fish, and treated according to a variety of methods
for preservation and before consumption, oolichan grease goes by many names
but is invariably high-smelling and difficult for the non-native palate.
Its aficionados, however, maintain that it varies in quality and sophistication
as much as wine or other cuisines. Tatoosh glease - butter.
glease - very fat, really greasy.
Lacalat - carrot
Lapool - chicken, fowl, poultry
Lacock, lekok - rooster, cock
Lezep, lesap - eggs
Itliwillie - flesh, meat, muscle
Lejam itlwillie - leg muscle. mahkook itliwille
- buy/sell meat. The meat of all animals was referred to simply by
the name for the animal; hence mowitch referred both to deer, and
to venison. Itlwillie sick - bruised or sore flesh or muscles.
Lomooto, lemotoo - mutton, sheep
As in French and with animal-words, this word refers
to both this animal and its meat.
Cosho, gosho, lacosho, lagosho - pork,
As in French and with animal-words, this word refers
to both this animal and its meat.
Kiyah, kaiyah - entrails, innards
Yakwahtin, kwahtin - entrails, the belly,
Lakutchee, lakwitchee - clams
Ona - clams, presumably another kind.
Geoduck or gooeyduck is a very large local clam; not a Jargon word officially
but probably in use.
Toluks - mussels
Klo-klo - oysters
Pish - fish. NB Pish is also "fire"
Please refer to the Critters
page for specific kinds and varieties of fish.
Salal, sallal, shalal - the salal berry
and its plant, one of the many berries harvested for food by NW peoples
Olallie, olillie - berries, berry
There were many kinds of berries harvested throughout
the Northwest. This word was used in some areas for a particular berry,
and in others for berries in general. Aside from salal Oregon Jack, the
huckleberry-like soapberry called xoosum (in Salish, the "x" is "h"; see
below), which can be prepared a variety of ways, was an important staple
throughout areas in which it grew.
Klikamuks - blackberries, dewberries, salmonberries,
In Coastal regions, the raspberry-like salmonberry was
an important and abundant food. Since Contact, blackberries and other vines
were introduced to the region, in whose wet and mild climate the blackberry
has prospered. In many large areas they have taken over from the original
vegetation (from any vegetation) .
Shot olallie, shot olillie - huckleberries
(small, shot-sized berries)
Sapolallie, sopalallie - a certain kind
of berry and its bush, usually the soapberry (xoosum - see next)
NB different from sapolill, sapoleel - flour.
Amote - the strawberry
Wild strawberries are common in many regions of the Northwest.
This was the word on the Lower Columbia; there may have been other terms
in other areas.
Lapome - apple
Apples were introduced into the Northwest early on into
the 19th Century, both coastal and plateau regions being ideal climates
for temperate fruits. I have not seen other Chinook words for fruits, but
if any were used they probably would have been French loanwords, as cherries,
apricots, peaches and other fruits were planted widely in the Oregon Territory,
and then in BC. I suspect that fruit trees may have been trade goods during
the fur trade era, accounting for a French origin for the word for "apple",
rather than an English one.
Powitch, powitsh - crab-apple
These may have been wild on the Lower Columbia before
Contact, which would be why this word is of Chinook origin.
Tukwila, tukwilla - nuts, specifically
hazelnuts. Most other nuts, e.g. walnuts, chestnuts,
were introduced; a variety of hazelnuts are indigenous.
Kahnaway - acorn. Kahnaway stick
- oak, oak-tree
NB different from konaway - the whole thing, everything;
the 'h' is pronounced, presumably.