New Vocabulary

As a Miltonian and Comparative Literature major, language is a constant source of fascination for me. Here are a few unfamiliar Alaskan words and phrases:

Bear Can: Bear-resistant food storage canister
Bear Spray: Pepper spray to defend against bear attacks
Blanket Toss: Inupiaq tradition during the spring whaling festival
Bore Tide: A tidal wave that returns to a shallow, narrow inlet from a broad bay after an extreme low tide
Carrion: The rotting flesh of a dead animal
Cheechako: Alaska newcomer
Combat Fishing: Elbow-to-elbow angling
Dipnetting: Subsistence fishing with a net (only Alaska residents allowed)
Flightseeing: Viewing Alaska scenery from a small plane
Lower 48: The continental United States
Mew: A cage for keeping hawks in
Midden: A pile of refuse outside the mouth of an octopus den
Rut: A period of sexual excitement that recurs annually in male ruminants
Salmon: An Alaskan staple… the five kinds are the most prized king (chinook), silver (coho), red (sockeye), pink (humpy),
and chum (dog)
Sourdough: Alaska old-timer
Qiviut: The soft wool that grows beneath the long outer coat
of the musk ox


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