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name for a group of related native people in the Columbia River region of Washington and Oregon, from Salishan /činuk/, name of a village site. Name also extended to a type of salmon (1851) and warm spring wind. Chinook jargon was a mishmash of native (Chinook and Nootka), French, and English words; it once was lingua franca in the Pacific Northwest, and it is the earliest attested use of the word (1840).
warm, dry wind descending the eastern slopes of the Rocky Mountains, primarily in winter. Winds of the same kind occur in other parts of the world and are known generally as foehns (q.v.).