Word of the Day

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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Your Chinook Wawa Word of the Day: Stick

In a “stick illahee” (forest) one could easily find both "mitwhit stick" (a standing tree) and “whim stick” (a fallen tree), as well as the occasional “koko stick” (wood-pecker)....

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Your Chinook Wawa Word of the Day: Klootchman

Historically, “klootchman” only referred to a First Nations adult woman, unless combined with another word, such as “Kingchauch klootchman” (Englishwoman) “Boston klootchman” (American woman), or some other descriptor, such as “tenas klootchman” (girl; young woman)....

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