[sahy-wosh, -wawsh]Pacific Northwest, Northwest Canada, and Alaska.
  1. (sometimes initial capital letter) Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a North American Indian.
verb (used without object)
  1. to camp out without a tent or supplies.

Origin of siwash

1830–40; < Chinook Jargon < North American French sauvage Indian, French: wild, savage


[sahy-wosh, -wawsh]
  1. a conventional designation for any small, provincial college or for such colleges collectively (often preceded by old): students from old Siwash.

Origin of Siwash

after a fictional college of the same name in At Good Old Siwash (1911) and other books by U.S. author George Helgeson Fitch (1877–1915) Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for siwash

Historical Examples of siwash

  • Oh, I was an Indian in my time—a reg'ler measly hop-pickin' Siwash at that.

    The Spenders

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • Know you, why, you knock-kneed old Siwash, I could pick out your hide in a tanyard!

    Ruggles of Red Gap

    Harry Leon Wilson

  • "Yes, I thought that was a college hat you had on," said Siwash.

  • "I ain't a-findin' any fault with them farmer colleges," Siwash said.

  • By the Duke of—the Duke of—is them three links of saursage, Siwash?

British Dictionary definitions for siwash


  1. another name for Cowichan sweater
  1. (intr) (in the Pacific Northwest) to camp out with only natural shelter

Word Origin for siwash

see Siwash


  1. a North American Indian
  1. of, characteristic of, or relating to Indians
  2. worthless, stingy, or badhe's siwash

Word Origin for Siwash

C19: from Chinook Jargon, from French sauvage savage
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012