Les Grand Tetons and other place names

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Some sources suggest the Tetons were named to honor their anatomical resemblance (female, of course), while less imaginative scholars link the name to the Sioux. Early explorers to the region and French-Canadian trappers were male and were destined to see a series of breasts on the horizon rather than a bent elbow, a skyward foot, or soldiers standing at attention. I have spotted a few oddities over the years; no doubt there is one near your home. Pennsylvania is the proud home to both Intercourse and Bird-in-Hand. One AAA map positioned the names so close together that for a while I rerouted my travels toward Bird-in-Hand Intercourse so as to catch a glimpse of hand-held avian copulation.

The Tetons are, arguably, aptly named. There are, however, no less than one hundred other place names in the US that refer to female anatomy, mostly breasts. In my opinion, the Tetons are some seriously perky tits.

I found a fascinating excerpt from a paper entitled “From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow” that summarizes unusual, sexual, derogatory place names and their history. See for yourself; early explorers, hunters, and trappers were a lonely bunch and author Mark Monmonier had lots of free time to search crude and erotic terms in the USGS’ GNIS (Geographic Names Information System) database.

Mammary-based toponyms
Figure 4.1. State-level counts show a concentration of mammary-based toponyms in the West. (From “Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow”, Mark Monmonier)

Bloody Dick Peak caught my eye, regrettably, on the Montana map the other day. An early trapper by the name of Jackson was the first to settle this area, surrounded by mountains on all sides. Whence comes the name Jackson’s Hole?20110924-021758.jpg20110924-021815.jpg20110924-022022.jpg

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2 thoughts on “Les Grand Tetons and other place names

    • Thanks. Lael and I are riding paved roads through Wyoming towards Denver so that she can catch her flight in a few days. I am finalizing plans, but will probably return to the Gread Divide route and will pass through Breckenridge. Thanks for checking in. -nicholas

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