Chinook Jargon Phrasebook
Kahta Mamook Kopa Chinook Wawa - How to speak Chinook

Greetings & Courtesies

Klahowya - Hello, Greetings, How are you?
NB: most published lexicons give klahowyum for poor, "miserable", but this is only a spelling convention. In most areas, the two meanings were indistinguishable by listening. Thus, the context of the greeting seems to have been originally "Mercy" or "Please help/give"
Klahowyum - poor, miserable, "I'm hungry", "please help me".
Native food-gathering societies in the Northwest were often devastated by the consequences of even early Contact. On the other hand, traders might have plead hard times before opening negotiations - "give me a break"...See above.
Nah sikhs - Hello, friend.  Nah cheechako - Hello, stranger.


Masiem, mahsie - thanks, thank you
Spose - if, what if.  Also Spose, klosh-spose - may I? Shall I? (i.e. "would it be good if...?")
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.

Greetings & Salutations | Common Phrases | Money, Trade, & Travel | Time & the Elements
Food & Domestic Life | Fun & Games | Critters & Livestock | People

The Body | Numbers | Interrogatives, Prepositions, & Interjections

Verbs & Concepts | Adjectives & Adverbs | Grammar & Pronunciation
French loan-words | English & other loan-words
Chinook-English reference (by category)
Kamloops Wawa Word List - NEW
Jim Holton's Chinook Jargon Book (draft)
George Lang's Chinook Jargon Website
Dakelh (Carrier) Chinook Jargon Website
Jeff Kopp's Chinook Wawa Website
Duane Pasco's Tenas Wawa On-Line
Chinook Night Before Christmas
Chinook Lord's Prayer & Hymns

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