Note:  Do not rely on this information. It is very old.


Chinooks, a North American people of British Columbia and Oregon; they were formerly numerous about the Lower Columbia, but are now greatly reduced, and some have removed to the Chehalis reserve, Washington; chief divisions: Skilloots and Watlalas (Upper Chinooks); Wakiakums, Cathlamets, Clatsops, Calapooyas, Clackamas, Killamooks (Lower Chinooks). Their speech is said to be allied to the Aht of Vancouver's Island, noted for its extreme harshness and now little spoken. But it has served as the basis of the so-called "Chinook Jargon," an international lingua franca, which in recent years has acquired an extraordinary development throughout Oregon and British Columbia, a region where a multiplicity of languages had hitherto been a bar to general intercourse. This "Oregon Trade Language," of which a manual has been published by Mr. Horatio Hale (London, 1890), borrows its elements from Chinook, Nootka, French and English, besides a number of words formed by onomatopoeia and composition. It has its own structure and grammatical laws, to which all loan words must conform, and it thus presents special interest to philological students, as throwing light on the evolution of all speech.