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Skookumchuck is a Chinook Jargon term that is in common use in British Columbia English and occurs in Pacific Northwest English. Skookum means "strong" or "powerful", and "chuck" means water, so skookumchuck means "rapids" or "whitewater" (literally, "strong water"), or fresh, healthy water.[1] It can mean any rapids, but in coastal usage refers to the powerful tidal rapids at the mouths of most of the major coastal inlets.

Saltwater tidal rapids of Skookumchuck Narrows

Places named Skookumchuck include:

Tidal rapids termed skookumchucks include:


  1. ^ Phillips, Walter Shelley (1913). The Chinook Book: A Descriptive Analysis of the Chinook Jargon in Plain Words, Giving Instructions for Pronunciation, Construction, Expression and Proper Speaking of Chinook with All the Various Shaded Meanings of the Words. Seattle: R. L. Davis Printing Co. pp. 86–87.

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