Category Archives: vocabulary words

Words for smallpox

Given that we are dealing currently with a pandemic it does bring to mind previous ones. Smallpox was one of many viruses introduced from Eurasia to the Americas during colonization. It was one of the more devastating. While numerous introduced … Continue reading

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Coosan words for lizards

There were three words given in Hanis for ‘lizard’: ika’chos (ɨgá’čǝs), yigát’sos (yɨgát’sǝs), and chommillii (čǝmmɨ´lli). It’s been rather confusing to sort them out, for not only do they appear to describe different species but at least one seems wholly … Continue reading

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Reconstructing some snake and salamander names in Siuslaw/Quuiich

The other day I mentioned Bissell and his work in 1881 on getting a word list from an unidentified Lower Umpqua speaker. He did get a lot of words no one else got, and from his peculiar way of writing … Continue reading

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Wherein I find Ki-o-tco-ní lum hilarious

A man named George Bissell interviewed a Lower Umpqua woman in 1881 to get a considerable word list of the language from her. Sadly, he did not identify her by name, but he did say he thought she was about … Continue reading

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A pattern in plant terms?

Sometimes it is hard to tell if I am looking at an actual pattern in the language, or if it is just coincidence – an illusion. I recently puzzled out that –k’ acts as a diminutive in Hanis, and maybe … Continue reading

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There’s more than one way to build a number (Milluk)

Five years ago I wrote a post about comparing the words for one thru five in Milluk, Hanis, Siuslaw, and Alsea, based on work by Eugene Buckley. (These languages have generally been supposed to be related). He saw some interesting … Continue reading

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Coalbank Slough

Looking through some archival materials uploaded by a friend, I found some notes I had not seen before taken down in the early 1930s by a man named Maloney that were included in Jacobs’ papers (a friend sent him a … Continue reading

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A Trickster fragment

When Melville Jacobs worked with Annie Peterson in 1933 and 1934, he got a long saga of five generations of tricksters (which was printed in his “Coos Myth Texts” printed by University of Washington Press in 1940). She also told … Continue reading

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Waterfalls and dams

Coyote went up the Coos River and made several small falls, everywhere he said not water enough. So he went finally to the Columbia River and made the big falls up there, he said there plenty of water. -Lottie Evanoff, … Continue reading

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Some curious “family” words

There are several words in Hanis and Milluk that can mean family, relatives. Some have other meanings beyond that – estis can also mean any crowd or group of people (in addition to ‘extended family’). Qahlalis also seems to mean extended family, … Continue reading

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