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View Full Version : Dutch Harbor/Unalaska speech patterns and regional slang words



Morwen Edhelwen
12-25-2011, 10:47 AM
Does anyone know anything about slang terms specific to Northern Alaska or can anyone tell me anything about the way Northern Alaskans (Unalaska/Dutch Harbor) speak? Hope the question title is clear! Googling for Northern Alaska slang or Northern Alaska dialect/ accent doesn't really turn up anything related to what I'm looking for, so am hoping someone here can help.

Bushrat
12-25-2011, 07:39 PM
Google is your friend: http://www.unalaska.info/contact

As I've suggested before. Email your questions to the locals.

blacbird
12-27-2011, 10:38 AM
I live in Alaska. First, Unalaska and Dutch Harbor are NOT in northern Alaska. Check your atlas if you don't believe this.

Second, Dutch Harbor is the hub of travel to southwest Alaska, the peninsula and Aleutians. People here generally refer to traveling there as going "to Dutch".

Beyond that, as far as I know, the slang isn't much different from the slang anywhere in Alaska. For example, "going outside" doesn't mean you're leaving the house; it means you're traveling outside the state.

Other pertinent information, perhaps: The weather in Dutch/Unalaska isn't terribly cold, by Alaska standards. But it does tend to be really crappy. Lots of wind, fog, rain in summer, sleet in winter, temperatures near freezing, generally gloomy and unpleasant for outsiders. There are active volcanoes nearby. The area is a long way from the nearest major city (Anchorage), and travel there and back can be chancy; you can get stuck there with no way to get out for days, maybe even weeks, due to weather conditions. People who live there are very self-reliant.

As for slang, I suggest reading a couple of the mystery novels of Stan Jones, published by Soho Press: White Sky, Black Ice and Shaman Pass.

caw

Morwen Edhelwen
12-27-2011, 10:56 AM
thanks.

Morwen Edhelwen
12-27-2011, 12:11 PM
Isn't Dutch Harbor/Unalaska in the Aleutians, though? Or am I wrong about that?

blacbird
12-28-2011, 09:47 AM
Isn't Dutch Harbor/Unalaska in the Aleutians, though? Or am I wrong about that?

Yes. What makes you think this is northern Alaska? These places are farther south than Anchorage. Only the southernmost portion of the Alaska panhandle is farther south.

As an aside, another piece of Alaskan slang, universal everywhere, is that there are no such things as "snowmobiles". Up here, they are "snowmachines".

caw