Oosik in the news

Benjamin Barrett gogaku at IX.NETCOM.COM
Thu Nov 15 09:15:59 UTC 2012

Thank you for asking and for the e-mail quote!

I look forward to any further response. In the meantime, I looked a bit for "usiq" and "uusiq," with only limited luck,

One citation is at http://www.fredmiranda.com/forum/z/613578/3, and says:

Walrus usiq are very expensive and much sought after all over the world. you see them all over the place in Anchorage

Here in this arts& crafts showcase are two usiq's. They are on the lower two shelves on the right side.. that lazy S.

those are walrus usiq. (oosick), it is IVORY, it is a "bone" from the Penis of a walrus !!!

The other citation I found is a vulgar lyric from the movie "On the Ice" (http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1663660/). The lyrics can be found at http://tosubtitles.com/on-the-ice-2011-english-english/34590 and the relevant part says "... she can ride my usiq..."

There's a vulgarism that you really need to be in the know to get!

Benjamin Barrett
Seattle, WA

On Nov 14, 2012, at 9:04 PM, Sissy SoFunk <sissy.sofunk at GMAIL.COM> wrote:

> I asked a friend of mine who works in the Eskimo Museum in Churchill,
> Manitoba about it, and he replied:
> "i'll have a look tomorrow at a couple of dictionaries at work.  The walrus
> cock bone carvings are seen more in Alaska and the Chuckchi than the
> Canadian Arctic, so my first guess is that oosik is a yupik term as opposed
> to an inuktitut one - but i'll double check.  That spelling looks to be
> pretty anglicized and if you have an Inuktitut or Yupik or esqu-aleut
> dictionary handy you'll probably have more luck looking for a spelling like
> usiq or uusiq.  I've only encountered walrus penis bone carvings at the
> museum, never polar bear ones, and am currently doing some research on
> traditional uses of the polar bear by Inuit and I don't recall seeing
> anything about carving or scrimshaw done any of the polar bear bones - bear
> bone is especially hard, it was mostly prized by Inuit for its use in knife
> edging and arrow and harpoon head pointing, as well as for tipping the
> points of the kakivak - not so much in art, fetish or amulet making."
> I'll keep you updated when he gets back to me.
> On Wed, Nov 14, 2012 at 6:52 PM, Benjamin Barrett <gogaku at ix.netcom.com>wro=
> te:
>> In the Seattle Times today by Erika Bolstad, (
>> http://seattletimes.com/html/nationworld/2019676814_polarbears14.html):
>> -----
>> Since polar bears were listed in 2008 as threatened, Americans haven't
>> been able to import polar bear trophies =97 generally a tanned skin and c=
> laws
>> along with the skull and the penis bone, known scientifically as a
>> "baculum" and in the indigenous languages of the Arctic as an "oosik."
>> -----
>> The earliest citation I find on Google Books is 1966 (http://ow.ly/fiGTc)=
> .
>> I haven't been thorough, but the citations I saw indicated that "oosik" i=
> s
>> a walrus penis bone. Also, I don't see which languages that "languages of
>> the Arctic" refer to.

The American Dialect Society - http://www.americandialect.org

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