from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.
- noun A pidgin language combining words from Nootka, Chinook, Salishan languages, French, and English, formerly used as a lingua franca in the Pacific Northwest.
from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.
- proper noun A
pidginized Native Americanlanguage used by various tribes of the Pacific Northwest.
Sorry, no etymologies found.
Check out the Chinook Jargon page that zaelic gives and head out to the conference to get the latest word, though.
The Wawa stores around here U Penn made me do a bit of a doubletake for some time when I first got here because to me wawa is the Chinook Jargon word "to speak, language, talk" and I didn't expect to see it so far from home.
A person I went to school with, Janna Underinner, is now working with one of the Oregon Coast reservations (it may be the Grand Ronde reservation) to make Chinook wawa their language (I'm a little fuzzy about the exact situation), so your short story would be good, but my impression is that Chinook Jargon is based on Nuuchanuulth which is Wakashan, not Salishan.
I'm not surprised that a newspaper partly in Chinook Jargon was published in British Columbia a century ago, but I'm astonished it lasted for over thirty years; the University of Saskatchewan Library has acquired a run of it and is mounting an exhibition, and the corresponding web page has some great images.
The whale, named Tilikum or "friend" in the Native American language Chinook Jargon, is among the killer whales, dolphins and seals whose shows have made SeaWorld so popular.
The word Cheechako, from Chinook Jargon, originated in the United States (Alaska) and Canada