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Northwest Word Skookum

The adjective skookum comes from Chinook jargon and is commonly used in Alaska and the Pacific Northwest to describe something strong, good, muscular, or powerful, as in a skookum Malamute or a skookum drink.  This is part of a complete episode.

Billy Tape Measure

Mary says her Illinois-born husband and father-in-law refer to a measuring tape as a billy. The word billy is used in a slangy sense to refer long lengths of metal, such a billy knife, and a Billy Box is a kind of toolbox, but the use of billy to...

Truth and Beauty

Malamute, kayak, and parka are just some of the words that have found their way into English from the language of indigenous people in northern climes. • In the 1970s, some scientists argued that two quarks should be called truth and beauty. • The...

Words in English from Native Languages

Craig, a whale biologist in Alaska, wonders how many words have been adopted into English from such languages as Inuit, Yupik, Tlingit and Inupiaq. Indigenous languages in the far North have contributed mukluk, malamute, kayak, and parka. The word...

Animal Sounds Game

Our Quizmaster John Chaneski has quiz based on animal sounds. What sort of wild party would a sheep throw? What five-masted ship do golden retrievers sail on? Tip: For this game, animal sounds are just as important as advanced vocabularies. This is...