Jared Kennedy | 05.01.2014

Wednesday's Word is Champoeg - ʃæmˈpuːiː -- sham-poo-ee

ʃ: 'sh' in 'shy'  æ​: short 'a' in 'bad'  m: 'm' in 'my'  ˈ: primary stress follows  p: 'p' in 'pie'  : long 'oo' in 'food'  : long 'e in 'seed'

Although there is a popular myth that the word has French origins because final 'g' is silent, the word is from the extinct Kalapuyan language that was once spoken in three dialects in the Willamette Valley. It's the abbreviation of another word that refers to an edible root. In the traditional Kalapuyan language, the final 'g' was pronounced.

Champoeg was one of Oregon's original settlements, and it was instrumental in the creation of the Oregon Territories. The town was destroyed by a flood in 1861, however, and it was never rebuilt. Today a heritage site stands in its place.


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