Here are some more words, perhaps unique, in their use, to Alaska:
Damp – used to describe a town or village which outlaws the selling of alcohol, but not the possession of it.
Dry – used to describe a town or village that outlaws alcohol completely.
Native – when capitalized, the word refers to Alaska’s indigenous people. The term American Indian isn’t used much in Alaska. Alaska Native is the preferred term.
Oosik (pronounced ooh-sik) – is the penile bone of the male walrus. Anyway, you might wanna know the word. Why? Beats me. Just in the interest of increasing your brain cells, I guess. Some people proudly display them as a wall hanging. A strange custom indeed!
Village – a small, Alaska Native settlement in the bush (outlying, fly in area).
PFD – Could be a personal floatation device, but more likely the person saying it means our Permanent Fund Dividend. Our oil riches which started flowing in the late 70’s, and are still flowing, created a state savings account called the Permanent Fund. From this fund, one half of the interest created is paid annually (in October) to every man, woman and child living in the the state.(after a years residency requirement is fulfilled). There is about 25 billion dollars invested and that provides around $1,000.00 for each and every (even babies!) Alaskan every fall. Let’s see…if I’d saved all of mine, I’d have over $29,000.00 now. Oh, that’s depressing, so I’ll hurry on to something else!
Ulu (pronounced ooh-loo) – a traditional Eskimo woman’s knife, used for scraping hides, and chopping. It has a fan shaped blade, topped with a wooden handle. We sell a lot of them in the summer to tourists. Most of us, not having any need to skin and cut up a whale, they will make quite fine utensils in the kitchen for chopping vegetables. Make sure you put them into your checked baggage at the airport, however, or you might be delayed.