dout or Kamik – put out a flame

Katie Winters was visiting me this week and at one point asked “Where can I dout my smoke?” I didn’t know the word dout and asked what it meant. It turns out it means to extinguish or put out a flame. I have never heard of this word before but I know that Labrador English has some old English words sometimes. We asked Elan Dresher who looked the word up in the Oxford English Dictionary. At first we thought it must be related to douse which has sort of the same meaning. Instead it turns out dout is is its own word and goes back at least to 1526 and comes from do + out and of course means ‘to extinguish a flame’. In my English we can say put out a cigarette.

Kamik is the verb to put out a flame in Inuktitut so Katie could have asked:

sikarega namut Kamigajattagaa

Thanks to Katie and Elan for all the info.


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