Your Chinook Wawa Word of the Day: Chuck

CHUCK

[chuhk] or [tsuk] — noun.

Meaning: water; liquid; river; stream

Origin: Nuu-chah-nulth chauk, chahak; Chinook, tltsuk; Clatsop, tl'chukw, fresh water

Used to refer to any fluid or body of water, such as "cooley chuck" (river), “tenaschuck” (lake; pond), "sagalie chuck" (holy water; magical potion; hot spring), and "cultus chuck" (alkali water; poison).

Perhaps the most widely used variant was "skookumchuck" (whitewater rapids), a compound word literally meaning "strong water" that is found in many place names throughout Cascadia.

There was also "saltchuck", which referred to salt water or the ocean as a whole. The word was also used as part of a number of  related marine descriptors, such as "solleks chuck" (a rough sea), “chuck chako” (incoming tide), “chuck kilapi” (outgoing tide), "saghilli chuck" (high tide) and "keekwillie chuck" (low tide).