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See also: Skookum


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First attested in 1825–35. Borrowed from Chinook Jargon, from Lower Chehalis.[1]


  • IPA(key): /ˈskuːkəm/
  • Hyphenation: skoo‧kum


skookum (comparative more skookum, superlative most skookum)

  1. (chiefly British Columbia, Yukon, Northwestern US) Excellent, impressive.
  2. (chiefly British Columbia, Yukon, Northwestern US) Big, strong, durable, reliable, trustworthy, doughty.
    • 1991 October 16, Robert Smits, “Folk Wisdom”, in[1] (Usenet), message-ID <>:
      The electrics were fine (amazing considering Joseph Lucas, the Prince of Darkness made 'em), although they were positive ground - admittedly not a serious problem unless you wanted to add electrical accessories - and mostly we didn't in those days unless you had a Hardly Dangerous "garbage wagon". (This was probably cuz the Harley was the only bike with a skookum enough electrical system for the load.)
    • 1999 November 30, Skeptic, “PROVE GOD EXISTS”, in alt.atheism[2] (Usenet), message-ID <5pW04.12151$>:
      There was a young, bold freight trainman here who tried using one of his steel-toed boots as a wheel chock. Not quite skookum enough, though. He lost a big part of his foot.
    • 2008 November 14, Brad, “winglet weight”, in rec.aviation.soaring[3] (Usenet), message-ID <>:
      I am also configuring for the 18m tip extension, so whatever I do to the winglet attach will need to be skookum enough for the extension.


skookum (plural skookums)

  1. (chiefly among Northwest Coast Aboriginal people) An evil spirit or woodland monster or giant.
  2. A type of doll based on the mythical woodland monster.


  1. ^ skookum”, in Unabridged,, LLC, 1995–present.