Your stories I’ll try to keep a running record of what I hear, and what you contribute. Thanks for telling stories! Whenever you see words that are gray and underlined, click there to see a video of that person telling stories about nicknames.
David and Kala and Shongaska were here over the weekend! I asked Dave about the Baker boys’ nicknames, and he gave me the short versions I pretty much already knew: Sandy was born on the beach and Bones ate all his chicken down to the bones, or something like that.
But can anyone add to that–make it a story?
Cheddy? What’s the story?
(And where’d the name “Cheddy” come from?)
Here’s another one. Red was here a couple of weeks ago, and she told this story:
When she was about 4 years old, old Harvey Eastman told her about her name, Pi-cha. Once he and some friends were fishing down at the mouth of the river, and they heard a strange noise coming from the other side of James Island. So they paddled around there and went into the cove, where they found a little baby on the shore wailing and crying! Her hair was bright red, and she was surrounded by rocks that were covered in rust. There was so much of that rust that it made the water red, and they figured the baby came up out of the water, and that’s how her hair got red. They took her back to the village and named her Pi-cha (and she kept that name until Pat Penn took it, and then she became “Red”).
After Harvey told her that story, he showed her one of those rust-rocks–he cracked it open and sure enough, it was all red inside. So Red believed that’s where her name came from.
This one’s from the August 2011 Bayak newsletter.
Bert Stevens Black received the nickname “Mops” at a young age when he fell into the water at the Butts and Patterson docks, a restaurant and boat rental in La Push. He described his hair as being long and wild, and when Arvey Ward pulled him out of the water, Arvey said Bert looked like a
mop. Ever since, Bert has gone by this nickname.
Here’s some more I gathered this weekend, visiting with Red and David and Charlie Black–
Charlie Black: I guess I knew that “Charlie” wasn’t his real name, but I’d forgotten. He’s Kenneth Earnest Black! So where’d “Charlie” come from? When he was little his grandma Rosy would rock him to sleep singing a little song that sounded like “Goo goo Cha-ly”–One of the other kids (Vicky?) thought she was calling him “Charlie” and so thought that was her brother’s name–and so it became!
Charlie can’t remember anything more about the song–nor can Red. Does anybody know what the song, or the Quileute words, might have been?
Sippy Black: Lovey Jackson would see the older guys (Oliver, Casey Jones, etc.) sitting around playing guitar, hanging out–and he’d say “Who are you, Sipriano Nuxqua Liberace Black?” DA and the other kids would all laugh–somehow the first part stuck to Sippy, who was with DA and the other little kids, and he became “Sippy.”
(This was Red’s story, but she wasn’t sure about the “Sippy” part. I bet there are other stories about where “Sippy” comes from.)
Here’s another version, from Leroy: When the boys used to run around, sometimes getting into things, Roland somehow always managed to slip away and avoid getting in trouble. They started calling him “Slippery”–that later became “Slippy,” and eventually it was “Sippy.”
Hey, where does the word “dulup” (or “dudup” or “dudu”) for penis come from? I looked up “penis” in the dictionary (hoping to learn how to spell it) and found a bunch of other words, but not that one.
Lovey used to call DA “dulup.” When little DA would come into a room of older folks, Lovey would announce “Captain Dulup of the U.S. Salvation Army reporting for duty in this world of sin!”
Then when David was born, for a while they called him “Little Dulup.”
“Henry Indian”: Bonnie thought this might’ve come from a Flip Wilson routine or something. David called him “Animal,” because he used to have a beard and he’d growl at David.
How ’bout some comments on these–tell the stories if you know ’em:
Goose (Arvy Ward)
Buck (Roger Jackson)
Snipe (Roy Black, Jr.)
Canoe (David made up a story on the spot, not intending it to be for real: Dwayne would ask, “Canoe, canoe, um, lend me $20?” 🙂
My brother was born at the house there was sand wright out side our house right across from buts cafe next door from Leo’s house
SOME NOTES FROM KWASHKWASH’S COLUMNS IN THE BAYAK NEWSLETTER–
Kwo-ód (salal) was Doug “Oly” Woodruff’s childhood nick-name. All the old people called him that.
Dikó-wa (Sixtas Ward’s childhood name, by which he was regularly known) (oct, 2012)
Such nicknames are a continuing aspect of traditional culture. The oldest man at La Push, Porky, is still known by his childhood name, which has lasted almost 90 years. The use of nicknames possibly results from the oldtime Quileute practice of not speaking a dead person’s name. We call that traditional Quileute cultural trait “Name Taboo.”
An example that people used to talk about was Dixon Payne, who owned the homestead called Tsixw-ókw on the Calawah just above the Calawah highway bridge. Dixon was born about 1855 and was given the birth name O/ol9ksh, (which also belonged to his mother’s brother). But while Dixon was still an infant in his cradle basket, his namesake uncle died and people were asked not to utter the name of the deceased. So the baby started to be called by the nickname Díkaso [“smoke colored”] because according to Sarah Hines, he had a gray hue to his skin as a newborn. I guess that Quileute nickname sounded like the Whiteman’s name Dixon. And he came to be called Dixon, a
name that stuck with him his whole life.
That example is relevant to our earlier discussion of the Dixon Payne place on the Calawah and is also an early example of how the traditional Quileute “name taboo” custom resulted in the use of nicknames, which continues to the present day.
Another example of name taboo was “Rosie” Black, who at birth was named after her auntie, Ethel Payne. A few years later, when her aunt Ethel died, the family asked that the little girl be called something different. So everyone started calling her Rosie.
I remember that during my first summer at La Push, Jiggy whispered to me very silently, saying, “I can’t say this out loud, but Walter Payne died.”
Name taboo is no longer rigorously practiced by all Quileutes, but some
still respect it. That’s what caused the relatives to give Fred “Sonny” Woodruff a burial name, so people could refer to him during the funeral without saying his name.
An old tribal custom still in use.
(Kwashkwash, July 2012)
James Swan, the early Indian Agent at Neah Bay, wrote in his diary that James Island was named after F.W. James of Port Townsend, who was sent to La Push to take charge of the mail aboard the wreck of the Southerner, and that he was the first white man to climb the island. Big deal! But that’s where the name James Island comes from (Kwashkwash, August 2010)
After the period of non-native settlement started in the 1870s, the area at the mouth of the Dickey was first settled by Frank T. Balch, who homesteaded at the west edge of the Quillayute Prairie and established a store and post office which he called Boston, the word for Whiteman or American in Chinook Jargon.
Ironically, that was an unfortunate choice of name, since Quileute doesn’t have any R-sounds or N-sounds and changes N to D and leaves out R when pronouncing non-Quileute words. So the Quileutes pronounced Boston as “bastad,” which made it sound like they were saying “bastard.”
K.O. (Kong Olaf) Ericson bought the place in 1894 and renamed it Mora, after the place he had grown up in Sweden. Remember that Ericson was the one who, with Dan Pullen, burned the village down in 1888.
When we were up there for Elders’ Week, I got to visit with some folks and get some nicknames info–it sure was fun–lots of laughs and memories!
Here’s a report from Roger Jackson:
1. Buck. Elder Perry Pullen gave me this name. He saw me drag deer home several times at the north end of LaPush in the late 1940s and early ’50s, so he called me “Buck.”
2. Skippy. When I was small my folks gave me a full service suit–sailor suit, hat and all. Elder Joe Pullen saw me wearing this outfit and called me “Skippy.”
3. Spider. I had a 1950 black Ford with covers on the back wheels. I painted those covers with a spider web on each one. Al Hudson saw the painted webs with a spider on them, so he called me “Spider.”
4. Roger Dodger. We used to have a lot of CB’s in the community when they first came out, and a lot of people had handle names. This was my CB handle.
Arlene, my wife’s, handle was “Turtle.”
My granddaughter was born when it was snowing, so I called her “Snowy.”
My youngest son, James–when he was small he liked to kick-box. When Elder Oliver Jackson saw him doing this he called him “Chief Kick a Hole in the Sky.”
My son Roger, Jr.–when he was just a small boy he had big Quileute cheeks–so my baseball friends called him “Cheeks.”
OTHER LOCAL NAMES–
The late Duane Jones was called “Canoe.”
The late Perry Pullen was called “PP.”
The late Christian Penn Jr. was called “Jiggs.”
His brother was called “Ribbs.”
(Note from Jeff: If anyone knows the stories behind these names, please tell them!)
Here’s some more I gathered at Elders’ Week–and I got some of these on video, which I’d like to post here if I can figure out how!
Roy Black used to be called “Snipe” because he was so quick and was a good Snipe dancer!
CHEDDY–I talked to Cheddy Baker about her name. It comes from the Quileute language! You know how some words have different endings for masculine and feminine–like a-thila-cha and a-thila-chid? That “chid” ending is the femine (“What are you doing?” when you ask a girl or woman). So they called her “Chiddy” for “girl,” and it became “Cheddy.”
QUEENIE–Queenie Black said she was the baby, and her dad called her his little queen.
ART–This is not the nickname Allen Black first told me about–I had to ask him about it! He said that back in the day, some of ’em were fishing down by the old Surf in LaPush and decided to go up to Forks. Someone said “Hey Art, let’s go up to Allen’s”–when he meant to say “Hey Allen, let’s go up to Art’s”! (Art’s was one of the old taverens in Forks, across from the Hang-up, eh?) So they all laughed and started calling Allen “Art.”
Allen’s other nickname was “OTTO.” It came from his grandpa Oly Obi in Queets. When Allen was little Oly would bounce him on his knee and sing to him “Ah-toe ah-to ah-toe” and then he started calling him “Otto.” So that’s where that came from.
SKY HERM–Phil Ward remembers playing basketball with his Uncle Arvey; he had quite a hook shot. His mom called him BILL. Then there was that other name they called him because his skin was so dark.
MISS POKE–Charlotte Jackson, when she was little, was “always pokin’ up the stairs real slow, slow-poke,” so DA gave her that name.
During Quileute Days I visited with Russell Woodruff, who had fun remembering some nicknames.
Among other things, he noted that Arvey Ward gave nicknames to lots of kids, back in the day.
Listen to Russell.
And down by Joint Point after the canoes arrived on their way to Quinault, Tom Baker shared the story of how he came to be called “Sandy.”
It’s spring, 2014, and Louise and I are here to stay for a while. I hope to talk to everyone about nicknames and stories in the next few weeks!
I talked with Nola at the Senior Center the other day, and she told me how she got the name “Nola”–that’s not her real name, you know! Click here to hear her stories.
Arnie Black has had many nicknames over the years, including “5-0” when he was a tribal policeman! Click here to hear him reminisce.
Bev Jackson Loudon shared some memories with me over at Roger’s house the other day. Here she is!
Here’s Doug Pullen sharing some memories, with Sharon helping out.
“Old Man” John Penn had a bunch of nieces and nephews already when he was born–so they called him “Old Man.” He says he’s finally growing into his nickname!
They called RaeLynn “Lips” because she stuck her lower lip out so far when she pouted. (My grandmother used to tell me she was going to walk to Memphis on my lip, when I did that!)
Here’s Naomi Jacobson remembering her nicknames.
I caught up with Eileen Penn in the Elders Center rec room, and she chatted while working out. After I stopped recording, she told me that back home in Lummi she has a nickname: “Sunshine.” This is often true, that nicknames can apply in some places and not in others.
Tony Foster remembers how he came to be called “John John” (an old nickname Narse tipped me off to). Here he recalls that his mom, Marvella, was sometimes called “Bell.” Paige has that nickname now, but she didn’t know it came from her grandma.
Lela Mae Morganroth recalls that she had several friends with “Mae” as a middle name! She was home in her comfy chair where she does her basket work; she showed me some tiny basket earrings she just made, with Ba-yak on them. She also had different nicknames in different places over the years. And she tells us where “Oh Lela” came from!
Pokie and I had a good long talk at her house. Somebody told me that “Pocahontas” had something to do with her name, and she confirmed it. After a while, Skin came in from clam digging down at Kalaloch, so Pokie was going to make some chowder!
Here she shares some memories of Lillian. Here she talks about Putsy and Bay. Here she explains that Jan named Bay “Pokie” after her auntie’s nickname, and talks about Pepsi Duke. Here she explains Fat and Skin (Gary D. Jackson and Gary D. Jackson!)
Today I had a chance to talk with Sue Payne. She has a special connection to Quileute nicknames, because she used to work at the Post Office, and they had a sheet on the wall for translating from “real names”–which were usually on the incoming mail–and the nicknames by which she knew everybody!
Here’s how Sue put it:
“I worked as a clerk in the LaPush post office during the ’70s. My boss was Rosie Crippen, who was from Forks.
On the wall behind the old brass mail boxes was a large pieced-together array of LaPush customers. One list contained the heads of household names, and everyone else who received mail in that particular box.
Another list contained the linkage of all known nicknames to real names.
Until I went to work there, I had no idea of many people’s real names. It was quite an adjustment–almost like being bi-lingual!”
See my interview with Sue here.
She also told me about some other family names. Porky’s sister Ione George Bowechop was called “Ikey,” and his sister Viola George McGhee was called “Lammi,” and his sister Betty was called “Callie.” They were his sisters because his mother, who was married to Wilson Payne, later married Hal George.
I also learned that in Queets there was a Little Bill Penn (known by kids as “Daddy Yum” or “Uncle Yum,” and that’s why Big Bill Penn was called “Big Bill”!
(After we talked nicknames, we talked lots about plants and birds and the complex Payne family tree! Boy, a lot of people in LaPush are related through the Paynes.)
I also enjoyed a visit with Leroy Black this morning. The house was all cleaned up (“until the next tornado,” Leroy joked) and we sat in the front room a while talking about nicknames and the tribal school (Leroy’s on the school board now) and lots of other things. I was surprised to learn where Sippy got his name!
I finally caught up with Miss Ann down at the gym getting ready for drum group, and asked her about her dad Jiggs and her Uncle Ribs. She kindly told these stories as she was washing dishes!
On Easter afternoon I was walking the beach and ran into Bonita and her grandson Damon. She shared some memories of nicknames in her family; listen to them here!
TJ (Tommy Jackson) has been recuperating well (and putting back on that weight he lost!). He has had a variety of nicknames over the years (including TJ Swan), and we did some fun reminiscing. Selena and Casey (Soddie and Wart) chimed in at times.
Bertha Wallerstadt shared some memories about Nola, Baby J, Sunny Boy, Putyam, and others. She also talked about Sweety Pie: her sister Donna Jaime and Jesse Jaime.
Richard sheriff was called jr barns and Steve R was called little bear but in Quileute language then my brothers Gene was called Gene O and Gene Gene the late Johnny Jackson was called Johnny J the late Gene Baker CB name was king Kong cuz he climes telephone poles to work on the lines and someone seen him on one and my mom jenette jackson CB name was Blue moon cuz we had a blue van that she drove around in then there was moose one of the Penn boys I think the oldest one then we had little Duane Jones was called fat Jones when we played basketball and Frank Baker was called Johnny by his brothers is my middle name.