Where the terms Bigfoot and Sasquatch come from

Where the terms Bigfoot and Sasquatch come from

A Lesson by Clif

There are a few stories about the origins of the names Sasquatch and Bigfoot.


The word “Sasquatch” was a originally a Canadian term that came from Indigenous people of North America.

J.W. Burns wrote; ” The Harry Giants of British Columbia”, in 1940, in which he used his word “Sasquatch”. He came up with the name, while working as a teacher on the Chehalis reserve in the 1920s. John Burns combined a few of the native names of the Salish language, for the large hairy creatures in the woods of western Canada. 


       The Salish People are a group of Native American tribes, from the Canadian Pacific coast and northwest United States. There are many similar names to Sasquatch from the different peoples of the region:

The Chehalis in British Columbia, their name is “Saskehavis”, which means “Wildman”.

The Colville of Washington State, call them “Skanicum”, or “Stick Indian”. They also speak the Salishan language.

The Spokane; also in the northwest, U.S., call them “Sc’wen’ey’ti”, meaning, “Tall burnt hair”. They are another Salishan people.

The Salish of the coast, use the term; “Sasahevas and Sesquac”, or “Wild man” of the woods. 

And “Sasq’ets”, also translates to “wild man”. 


       John Burns could have heard some of theses names from different people in the area and came up with the name “Sasquatch”.

       Jerry Crew was the guy who discovered Bigfoot tracks back in late summer, 1958, in Bluff Creek, California. He was a logger, tractor driver in the mountain wilderness.

Jerry poured plaster in the prints to make casts.  


       In the fall of 1958, The Humboldt Times, newspaper, printed in Eureka, CA., published Crew's story about the giant footprints he had found.  This is where the term "Bigfoot" was first used. The revelation of finding evidence of an unknown primate, quickly spread to news services across the country. The story was also carried in True Magazine, in 1959, in a article by Ivan Sanderson, a British Biologist. And in Roger Patterson’s book; “Do Abominable Snow Men of America Really Exist?”, from 1966. This publication came out a year before Patterson filmed the famous Sasquatch footage, also in Bluff Creek, Northern California.



Wikipedia.org; Bigfoot.

Bigfootencounters.com; J W Burns.

Books; “Giants, Cannibals and Monsters”, by Kathy Moskowitz Strain.

“Do Abominable Snow Men of America Really Exist?”, by Roger Patterson.

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I am a retired PC tech in Maryland. I like to write non-fiction about the supernormal. I enjoy works that are poignant, ironic, philosophical and witty.