Your Chinook Wawa Word of the Day: Alki


ALKI

[AHL-kee] (historical) or [al-KAI] (modern) — adverb.

Meaning: Eventually; someday; in the future; times to come; presently; directly; later; in a little while; after a while; shortly; will; shall;

Origin: Chinook alkekh > From a Chinookan particle álqi ‘will be’, ‘later on’

The word “alki”, appeared as the slogan on the seal of Washington Territory, and is the current state motto of Washington, and is usually translated as meaning “by and by”, “soon”, “hold on”, and other connections to the future, or even as a way of saying “not so fast”. In ordinary use it is somewhat equivalent to the Mexican Spanish mañana, meaning sometime in the near future, or an indeterminate time away, perhaps never. It can be used as a verb auxiliary indicating the indefinite future tense, ‘shall’ or ‘will’, as seen in “mamook alki” (to delay; to defer), “wawa alki mamook” (postpone), or the expression “alki nika klatawa” (I will go presently), with the days of the week, and the number of weeks, months and years are also used to designate tenses.

The phrase “laly alki” can be used to mean “in a while” or “sometime soon” or another point in the immediate near future, as seen in “alki nesika klatawa kopa nika boat” (soon we will go in my boat) or “alki nika klatawa” (I will go soon) or “tenas alki” (in a little while).

The phrase “Iskum dolla, alki pay” (to borrow; to take out a loan) literally means get money, pay later, an apt expression if there ever was one. If you are struggling to learn something, you could confidently reassure someone by saying “nika kumtuks alki” ( I will understand eventually), while an appropriate closing to a letter would be “alki weght” (soon again).

The Statue of Liberty, or Lady Liberty, is a replica of the Statue of Liberty, installed at Alki Beach Park, in Seattle, Washington. It was installed in 1952 by the Boy Scouts of America and underwent a significant restoration in 2007 after repeated…

The Statue of Liberty, or Lady Liberty, is a replica of the Statue of Liberty, installed at Alki Beach Park, in Seattle, Washington. It was installed in 1952 by the Boy Scouts of America and underwent a significant restoration in 2007 after repeated vandalism had damaged the sculpture.

This word is now firmly connected to Alki Point, the beach on the west Seattle peninsula where the city officially began in late 1851. Historical accounts say that entrepreneur Charles Terry wanted to name the tiny settlement New York, and that someone, either a well-wisher or doubter, added Alki to the name, with the connotation of “maybe someday”.

Some time during the twentieth century the pronunciation of the second syllable changed from “kee” to “kai”, likely during the prohibition era (1920 to 1933) due to the word’s similarity in sound to the slang term for an alcoholic (‘alkie’ or ‘alky’).


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