[sahy-wosh, -wawsh]Pacific Northwest, Northwest Canada, and Alaska.


(sometimes initial capital letter) Disparaging and Offensive. a contemptuous term used to refer to a North American Indian.

verb (used without object)

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]


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. 2019

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

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

  • If he was bound to travel, said Siwash, his advice would be to travel back.

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

British Dictionary definitions for siwash



another name for Cowichan sweater


(intr) (in the Pacific Northwest) to camp out with only natural shelter

Word Origin for siwash

see Siwash



a North American Indian


of, characteristic of, or relating to Indians
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