North West slang (1865)
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JOURNAL OF A TOUR
ON THE NORTH WEST COAST OF AMERICA
IN THE YEAR 1829
CONTAINING A DESCRIPTION OF A PART OF OREGON, CALIFORNIA AND THE NORTH
WEST COAST AND THE NUMBERS, MANNERS AND CUSTOMS OF THE NATIVE TRIBES
by Jonathan S. Green
New York: Chas. Fred Heartman
(Originally published in the Missionary Herald, November 1830)
A "miss" of a book from Jonathan Green.
Here's an author (and ADS-L poster) who has delighted us in the past with
his books on slang and jargon. He visited the North West Coast of America in
1829. Do I get a "potlatch"? Do I get a "muckamuck"? DO I GET A EVEN ONE
Don't buy this book!
VANCOUVER ISLAND AND BRITISH COLUMBIA:
THEIR HISTORY, RESOURCES, AND PROSPECTS
by Matthew MacFie
London: Longman, Green, Longman, Roberts, & Green
Not written by Jonathan Green, but what's with the publisher? Could
Longmans and the Greens get together a little?
_Hoolakans_ ascennd the streams in April in dense shoals. Their approach is
indicated by the presence of sea-gulls swooping down to devour them, and
causing the banks of the river to echo their screeching. This species are
(Pg. 164--ed.) about the size of a small herring...
(DARE has 1914 for "hooligan," with various other spellings given. There's a
long discussion here--ed.)
The _hook-bill_ and _silver_ or _spring salmon_...
The _humpback_ species...
The _haddock_ and _whiting_ exist, and the _dog-fish_...
A certain species of _sea perch_...
_Rock_, _skate_, _bass_, _anchovy_, and _flat fish_, may be added to this
_Shrimps_ and _prawns_, too, are extensively caught in the neighbourhood
(No "tuna," no "geoduck" here in 1865--ed.)
The slang in vogue in the mining regions is imported mainly from
California, and is often as expressive as it is original. "Guessing" and
"calculating" are exercises of perpetual occurrance. If one have the best of
a bargain, he is said to have got "the dead wood" on the other party (Pg.
416--ed.) in the transaction. A mean and greedy man is "on the make;" and
where a "claim" is to be disposed of, the proprietor is "on the sell." A
conceited man thinks himself "some pumpkins;" and when any statement is made,
the exact truth of which is doubted, it is said to be "rayt(illegible
copy--ed.) a tall story." When a claim disappoints the hopes of those
interested in it,l it has "fizzled out." Credit is "jaw-bone," and in one
store on the road to Cariboo, the fullsize jaw-bone of a horse is polished,
and suspended on the wall, with the words written under: "None of that
allowed here." The ground of the allusion is evidently the product resulting
from the motion of the jaw bei9ng the only security a needy purchaser has to
offer. Another expression for wanting credit is "shooting off the fat."
Deceit in business is "shananigan." A good road, ste(illegible--ed.) boat,
plough, dinner, or anything else you please, is "elegant." When one has run
off to avoid paying his debts, he has "skedaddled," or "vamoosed the ranch;"
if hard-up, he wants to "make a raise." Owing to the remoteness of British
Columbia from other centres of British population, it is called the
"jumping-off place," another phrase for the end of the world. Any
i(illegible) likely to arise from a given chain of events, is seen
"st(illegible)ing out." When two parties are playing into each other's
hands, with a sinister object in view, it is a case of "log-rolling." When
the conduct of any one renders him likely to a whipping or something worse,
he is "spotted."
Pg. 420 (MINERS' TEN COMMANDMENTS):
Neither shalt thou destroy thyself by getting "tight," nor "slewed," nor
"high," nor "corned," nor "half-seas over," nor "three sheets in the wind,"
by drinking smoothly down the "brandy sllngs," "gin cocktails," "whisky
punches," rum toddies," nor "egg nogs." Neither shalt thou suck "mint
juleps," nor "sherry cobblers," through a straw; nor gurgle from a bottle the
"raw material," nor "take it neat" from a decanter;...
The _potlatch_ (or ceremony of bestowing gifts) usually occupies a couple of
n a commercial apect, too, this system of _potlatching_ is highly
objectionable, for the goods thus trandferred from year to year are not
appropriated for the most part ot useful purposes;...
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