Chinook Wawa

Your Chinook Wawa Word of the Day: Delate

DELATE [de-LATEY’] or [de-LEYT’] — adjective, adverb. Meaning: Physically straight, direct, true, truly, exact, definite, definitely, sincere, sincerely, sure, authentic; accurate; without equivocation; without hesitation. Origin: Either a corruption of English, straight; or Norman French drette > standard French droite ‘right’, both the directional and legal senses. Often used to…...

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Your Chinook Wawa Word of the Day: Hyak

HYAK [HY’-ak] — adverb. Meaning: Swift; fast; quick; hurry; make haste Origin: Chinook ai-ak Used to denote speed, urgency, or even frequency, as seen in “hyak hyak” (so often) or “hyak kilapi” (return quickly), and could even be used as an imperative simply meaning “Hurry!” or “Hurry up!” The word…...

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Your Chinook Wawa Word of the Day: Chuck

CHUCK [chuhk] or [tsuk] — noun. Meaning: water; liquid; river; stream Origin: Nuu-chah-nulth chauk, chahak; Chinook, tltsuk; Clatsop, tl’chukw, fresh water Used to refer to any fluid or body of water, such as “cooley chuck” (river), “tenaschuck” (lake; pond), “sagalie chuck” (holy water; magical potion; hot spring), and “cultus chuck”…...

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Your Chinook Wawa Word of the Day: Tenas

TENAS [TEN’-as]  — adjective.   [ten’-AS] or [dun’-US] — noun. Meaning: Small; few; little; lesser; weak; young;  a child; a youth Origin: Nuu-chah-nulth tanassie; Toquaht tenas, “child” Opposite of skookum, hyas, and hiyu in differing contexts, tenas often occurs in place names in northern Cascadia, as at Tenass Lake, just north…...

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Your Chinook Wawa Word of the Day: Puss-Puss

PUSS-PUSS [puss’-puss] general, [pish’-pish] Puget Sound — noun. Meaning: A cat. Also used for cougar, lynx, bobcat, etc. Origin: English, An informal term of address for a cat. From a common Germanic word for cat, perhaps ultimately imitative of a sound made to get its attention. While the term for…...

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Your Chinook Wawa Word of the Day: Hiyu

HIYU [hi-YU’] or [hy-IU’] — adjective, noun. Meaning:  Much; many; lots of; plenty; enough (to go around), abundance. Origin: Nuu-chah-nulth, iyahish; Toquaht, aiya Used with reference to quantity and numbers rather than size or degree, the term hiyu is used to describe “many”, “several” or “lots of” something, If one…...

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Your Chinook Wawa Word of the Day: Saghalie

SAGHALIE [SAGH-a-lie] or occasionally [SAH’-ha-lie] — adjective. Meaning: Up, above, high, heaven, sky, celestial, top, uppermost, over, upwards, holy. Origin: Chinook, sakhali; Clatsop, ukhshakhali. Up; above; high. Sometime rendered as ‘sagalie’, ‘sagalee’, ‘saqalie’, and even ‘sahhalie’ or ‘sahali’, this word was usually pronounced as if it were spelled ‘sockalie’ by…...

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Your Chinook Wawa Word of the Day: Hyas

HYAS [hy-AS’]  or [hay-ASH]— adjective, adverb. Meaning: Big, great, vast, large, auspicious, powerful, important, celebrated, very. Origin: Possible corruption of Nuu-chah-nulth, iyahish  “many” While similar in use to the word skookum, hyas generally has connotations of greatness, importance, or auspiciousness rather than outright strength or power. “Hyas Sunday” was a…...

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Your Chinook Wawa Word of the Day: Opitsah

OPITSAH [o’-pit’-sah] — noun. Meaning: A knife; dagger; razor; something sharp Origin: Chinook óptsakh “a knife” Illustrating the flexibility and poetic nature of the Jargon, the word for knife forms the bases of many other words and terms within Chinook Wawa. While a fork was sometimes called “lapooshet”, it was…...

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