Wakashan definition

wä-kăshən, wôkə-shăn
A family of North American Indian languages spoken by the Nootka and other peoples of Washington and British Columbia.
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A family of North American Indian languages of British Columbia and Washington, including Nootka and Kwakiutl.
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Origin of wakashan

  • Alteration of Wakashian nonce-word used to describe the Nootka by Captain James Cook in his account of the Pacific Northwest Nootka wa·ka·š good (considered by Cook to be the characteristic exclamation of the Nootka) –ian

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition