Bums in the news

This is not a Labrador issue but has attracted a lot of media attention. It has to do with the capital of Nunavut and the problem that word processors and English writers will automatically stick a u after every q because in English spelling, q is always followed by u.

As Saila Michael pointed out to me, iquq is a noun that simply refers to stuff (feces/shit) hanging down around the anus (dingleberries in some varieties of English). Saila also told me that children sometimes tease each other by calling each other iquq (in English we also say “Dirty bum!”)

The addition of –aluk would intensify the noun, adding the meaning ‘large, impressive.’ Then of course it is pluralized with the plural marker –it.

iqu(q )+ alu(k) + it ‘quite dirty bums’ = iqualuit

BUT iqaluit (the name of the capital of Nunavut) is

iqalu(k) ‘fish, normally char’ + it plural = iqaluit

This issue attracts a lot of attention among southerners. Inuit have stated publicly in the past that they are more concerned about serious matters, such as housing, education, jobs, etc.


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