"Skookum boards"

David D Robertson ddr11 at COLUMBIA.EDU
Thu Oct 30 05:39:30 UTC 2008

Oho, in light of the message I've just posted today (October 29, 2008),
here's something relevant.  I'd forgotten that I'd posted this 5 years ago!
 By the way, the earliest instance of "skookum paper" that I've found yet is
from 1931 in Google Books.  --  Dave R.

On Sat, 26 Jul 2003 18:57:17 -0400, David D. Robertson <ddr11 at COLUMBIA.EDU>

>Here's one that was new to me.  At the Sheldon Jackson Museum in
>Sitka, Alaska, hangs the famous plaque that once adorned the front of
>Saginaw Jake's house ("...I am the grand tyhee / of this entire illahee").
>Staff there, as well as local historians, refer to this as a "skookum
>board".  This is very similar to another Alaskan term, "skookum
>papers", of which there are several remaining examples:  Sort of
>letters of introduction for Native leaders written usually by American
>dignitaries, consequently by military commanders, in the early days of
>US rule.  I don't find this term on the Internet by using Google, or in
>print yet, but its use in Alaskan English is confirmed.  Now to get it into
>the OED.

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