more French conundrums

Alan H. Hartley ahartley at D.UMN.EDU
Wed Feb 23 00:36:23 UTC 2005

hzenk at PDX.EDU wrote:

> bois diable [appearing as French equivalent of CW:]  kooo stik
> "stik" is of course usual Chinuk Wawa for 'wood' as well as 'tree, bush'.  But
> "kooo" is a real head-scratcher, especially since Lionnet uses continental
> values for vowels elsewhere.  Maybe a scribal error.  Anyway, what the heck
> could "bois diable" have possibly meant to a mid-19th c. Frenchman (French
> French, not a Canadian recall)?  Any ideas?

Mathews Dict. of Americanisms has "bois de diable. = vine maple... 1823
D. Douglas Journal (1914) 108 This Acer forms part of the underwood in
the pine forests... It is called by the voyageurs Bois de Diable from
the obstruction it gives them in passing through the woods." And "vine
maple..a small tree, Acer circinatum, of the Pacific Northwest, the
stems of which are often prostrate."


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