Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day (prettygoodword) wrote in 1word1day,
Larry's Pretty Good Word of the Day

Thursday word: cheechako

cheechako (chee-CHAH-koh) - n., (Alaska and Yukon) a newcomer, tenderfoot, greenhorn.

One who still doesn't quite have the local terrain, weather, driving skills, et cet. down. This looks like a word derived from a First Nations language, and indeed it is, but not from that area -- it's Chinook Jargon, which developed as a trading pidgin in the lower Columbia River valley and spread throughout the Pacific Northwest. It died out shortly after WWII, but words from it are still in use throughout the area, especially British Columbia -- this one surviving only further up north. Like most pidgins, Chinook Jargon took vocabulary from several languages, but this one actually comes from Chinook itself, at least partly: from chee, new (from Lower Chinook čxi, new/right away) + chako, come, from Nootka (a Vancouver language) čokʷa·, come (imperative form). First recorded use as an English term is from 1897, apparently during the Yukon Gold Rush. For an example, Jack London:

The cold white silence of the Yukon Wilderness plays savage tricks on the minds of cheechako and sourdough alike.

(Bonus word: In Alaskayukon, a sourdough is a permanent resident -- one who's lived there all four seasons of the year.)

Tags: c, chinook jargon, noun

  • Tuesday word: Intrepid

    Tuesday, Oct. 12, 2021 Intrepid (adjective) in·trep·id [in-trep-id] adjective 1. resolutely fearless; dauntless: an intrepid explorer. WORDS…

  • Sunday Word: Copacetic

    Sunday Word: Copacetic copacetic [koh-p uh- set-ik, - see-tik] adjective: (informal) fine, OK, agreeable, totally satisfactory, in excellent…

  • Tuesday word: Servile

    Tuesday, Oct. 5, 2021 Servile (adjective) ser·vile [sur-vil, -vahyl] adjective 1. slavishly submissive or obsequious; fawning: servile…

  • Post a new comment


    Comments allowed for members only

    Anonymous comments are disabled in this journal

    default userpic

    Your reply will be screened

    Your IP address will be recorded