CHINOOK, a tribe of North American Indians, dwelling at the mouth of the Columbia river, Washington. They were fishermen and traders, and used huge canoes of hollowed cedar trunks. The tribe is practically extinct, but the name survives in the trade language known as "Chinook jargon." This has been analysed as composed of two-fifths Chinook, two-fifths other Indian tongues, and the rest English and Canadian French; but the proportion of English has tended to increase. The Chinookan linguistic family includes a number of separate tribes.
The name CHINOOK is also applied to a wind which blows from W. or N. over the slopes of the Rocky Mountains, where it descends as a dry wind warm in winter and cool in summer (cf. FOøΩhn). It is due to a cyclone passing northward, and continues from a few hours to several days. It moderates the climate of the eastern Rockies, the snow melting quickly on account of its warmth and vanishing on account of its dryness, so that it is said to "lick up" the snow from the slopes.
See Gill, Dictionary of Chinook Jargon (Portland, Ore., 1891); Boas, "Chinook Texts," in Smithsonian Report, Bureau of Ethnology (Washington, 1894); J.C. Pilling, "Bibliography of Chinookan Languages," Smithsonian Report, Bureau of Ethnology (Washington, 1893); Horatio Hale, Manual of Oregon Trade Language (London, 1890); G.C. Shaw, The Chinook Jargon (Seattle, 1909); Handbook of American Indians (Washington, 1907).
Note - this article incorporates content from Encyclopaedia Britannica, Eleventh Edition, (1910-1911)