|Identity & Ethnicity | Status | Family & Relationships | Pronouns|
Tillikum, tillicum - people, person, friend, used to signify a nation,
tribe or band
Has an optional plural form with "-s", as in Hiyu tillikums - many people, a gathering. Cultus tillikums - ordinary people, insignificant people, nobodies. Huloima tillikum - a stranger. Naika tillikum - my relations, my people. Elip tillikum - the first people, those who inhabited the world before the Indians. Konaway tillikum - everyone, everybody.
Sihks, Seeks, shikhs - a friend
Man - man, male
Siwash - man, a male
Klootchman - woman, a female. Technically a female of any species,
but normally by itself an Indian woman
Kingchauch, kingchauchman - Britisher of any species, also written
King George Man
Boston, Boston Man - American
Dutch, Dutchman - German
China, Chinaman - Chinese person
Kanaka - Hawaiian person
Pasiooks - French
Scotchman - a Scot
Klale man, klale siwash - a black person or a mulatto.
Shama - White man.
Whiteman - White man or whites in general.
Sitkum siwash - half-breed.
Cultus whiteman - evil white man, worthless white man, dishonest
Cultus siwash - bad Indian, untrustworthy Indian, lazy Indian.
Lemolo - wild, crazy. Lemolo boston - crazy American,
Tyee - Chief, King.
A common coastal word and generally reckoned as of Indian origin, but note the Cantonese homonym "tai" - great or mighty. Indian oral tradition says that there were Chinese visiting the coast long before Cook or Vancouver. Tyee is also used in the Campbell River area to refer to a large Chinook salmon of extraordinary size - although technically meaning "king salmon", the latter term is used by Americans to refer to the prized salmon variety known to Canadians as sockeye.
Hyas tyee - Great Chief, King
This was the title used by Maquinna and Wickanninish, the two principle chiefs of the Nuu-chah-nulth (Nootka) at the time of explorers Vancouver and Bodega y Quadra.Theis was also the title of the famous chiefs Khatsahlahno (of the Squamish) and Cumshewa (of the Haida), etc. and also of the British king or local governor. In later years, it could also mean a high company or government official or chief military officer. Unofficial social status without (necessarily) command authority or formal hierarchy was designated by high muckamuck, although this term could readily have been used for someone who was also a hyas tyee, although the latter is a title, the former more having the context of social standing.
Hyas muckamuck, high muckamuck - bigshot, bigwig, official ("someone who sits at the head table").
This word is still in wide use in English in the Pacific Northwest, especially in British Columbia, where it is even heard in news reporting
Doctin - doctor (usually an Indian doctor, i.e. medicine man)
Tamanass man - medicine man, sorcerer.
The word tamanass also refers to black magic, spirits, and Indian medicine.
Tsiatko - witch, sorcerer, demon
This word comes from the name of a nocturnal demon, something like a Sasquatch, which was much feared by natives throughout the region. Gibbs says that the Skagits used this for a tribe of Fraser River natives named the "Couteaux", which I believe is a reference to the Nklapmx or Thompson (known in frontier times as the Hakamaugh), but may have been the Sto:lo or Katzie.
Lamedsin, Lametsin - doctor
Usually a white doctor or priest, but also medicine in general
Laplet, lapret - priest
Oleman, oloman - old man, old (as adj.).
Used as an adjective for "old" for objects and male animals, e.g. hyas oleman kiuatan - a very old horse. Concerning objects,it is used in the sense of being "worn out", rather than in terms of age or provenance. The alternate spelling of this word suggests that it may come from "hungry man", as elderly natives were often destitute in hunter-gatherer societies and dependent on others for their food. Like Scotchman, this is a family name in the Lillooet region.
Lammieh, lummi, lummieh - old woman
Could be used as an an adjective for "old" for female animals, e.g. hyas lummi kiuatan - a very old mare, although hyas oleman klootchman kiuatan may have been more likely a construction.
Mistchimas - slave
In the original Nootka a common person or of low origin. It acquired the meaning slave upon its adoption into the jargon, common people being the sort most commonly taken in slave raids or otherwise turned to servitude. The slave-trade of the Northwest was a major component of society and the economy, and potlatches often involved brutal and wanton killing of slaves as a demonstration of the chief's wealth.
Elite - slave
Of Chinook derivation. Pronounced "ehlight".
Burdash - Hermaphrodite, gelding, mule.
The lexicons state this word is of French origin - possibly from "bourru" for "rude, surly, peevish" although probably via a Metis/Mechouf variant) - although "berdache" is the more direct etymology. How such a concept as hermaphroditism would have been necessary in the region seems a mystery until the introduction of livestock and horses into the region in the early 19th Century is considered, along with the fact that the Metis were the main influence on the lexicon of Chinook in that period, especially for objects and concepts that none of the contributing native languages had terms for. Hence burdash cayoosh - mule or gelding - and burdash moos-moos - a steer. It is unlikely that there were many human hermaphrodites in the region during the frontier era as neither the slave trade nor ritual societies of the natives are recorded to have involved the creation of eunuchs, although burdash has obvious derisive applications for effeminacy, cowardice, celibacy, or gutlessness. Sexual dualism as known among Plains peoples and others was relatively unknown in the Northwest, although burdash could have been used for a homosexual or transvestite within native culture if any existed.
Papa - father
Mama - mother
Naha - mother. Note nah! - "look here!"
Chope - grandmother
Chitsh - grandfather
Kahpo - older brother, sister, or cousin
Ow - younger brother
Ats - younger sister
Kwalh - aunt
Tot - uncle
Other relations, or specific ones, are formed by compounding, e.g. nika mama yaka ats - a maternal aunt.
Siks, sihks, seeks - friend
|As modifiers of nouns, these could come before or after the word modified. If used with verbs, they generally came before the verb in the nominative and after in the accusative or dative/ablative.|
|Naika, nika - I, me, mine
Maika, mika - you, yours (sing.)
Nesaika, nesika - We, us, ours
Mesaika, mesika - You, yours (pl.)
Yaka, yahka, yokka - him, her, they and his, hers, theirs
Klaska - they, them, theirs
Okook klaska, oke klaska - they, those present.
Yaka could also be used for the 3rd person plural.
Okoke, okook, oke - this, that, here
Ka, kah - what, that
Also where, whither, whence. NB kah-kah - here and there, wherever . Konaway kah - everywhere.
Klaksta - who, someone, which one
Oke klaksta, okook klaksta - he who.
Na, nah - who, which one
Na was used in both interrogative and pronomial senses. It was also used as an interrogative particle to turn a phrase into a question, or as a querying interjection. Gibbs says that in Yakima it is used as the vocative. See also interjections.
Halo klaksta - no one, nobody
|Under Construction!!!! Currently identical to the Chinook-English section above!!|
|Identity & Ethnicity
| Status | Family &
Relationships | Pronouns
Human being, person - tillikum(s), man, siwash
Male, man - man, siwash
Female, woman - klootchman
British, English - Kingchauchman, kingchauch, king george man,
American - Boston, Boston Man (most fur-trade
era Americans were Bostonian)
German - Dutch, Dutchman
Chinese person - China, Chinaman
Hawaiian - Kanaka
French, a Frenchman - Pasiooks
Scottish, a Scot - Scotchman
Klale man, klale siwash - a black person or a mulatto. As in other parts of North America, blacks were easily accepted by native societies. Most blacks and mulattos in the Northwest were British subjects, usually West Indian, including the Crown Colony of Vancouver Island's first Governor and first troops/police. There were extremely few blacks, if any, in American part of the Northwest until after the American Civil War. One of the first ships in the region, the Venus, had an all-African crew composed of "negroes of Lolo"; the Venus' fate is unknown, as there is no record of her after her presence in the area of the BC coast around 1790.
Shama - White man. Not strictly a Chinook word, but in wide use in many variants throughout Salishan and adjoining areas. Emphasized or otherwise mutated vowels indicate derision and hostility, and probably menace.
Whiteman - White man or whites in general. Whitemans is an alternative plural, but can also be the genetive. Pronounced as one word, with vowels more or less the same as in English but with an emphasis on the first syllable.
Sitkum siwash - half-breed. The term "Metis" (pron. "maytsee") was not used in historic BC except in reference to fur company voyageurs
Cultus whiteman - evil white man, worthless white man, dishonest white man. NB cultus - also flawed, broken, nothing.
Cultus siwash - bad Indian, untrustworthy Indian, lazy Indian.
Obviously cultus can be used to generate other derisives, but these
two were the most common historical usages, along with cultus boston.
A truly evil, malicious individual would have been described or accused
as tamanass whiteman, tamanass siwash, tamanass boston,
etc. or as mesachie whiteman, mesachie siwash, mesachie
boston; mesachie means crooked, untrustworthy, or malign, whereas
tamanass indicates evil, malice, crazy viciousness. All of these
derisive forms would have been used commonly as expletives and/or to-the-face
denunciations. The same derisives applied collectively would tend to use
a plural form, if available - cultus whitemans ("whites suck"),
tamanass boston mans ("damn Yankees").
Tyee - Chief
Papa - father
Huiloma - other, another, someone else
|Greetings & Salutations | Common Phrases | Money, Trade, & Travel | Time & the Elements|
|Food & Domestic Life | Fun & Games | Critters & Livestock | People|
|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|
E-mail | Chinook Jargon Main Page
Bridge River-Lillooet Country | BC History & Scenery | Clevens & Periards | Poetry