Monday, August 22, 2011


Was at Yellowstone National Park (YNP) and Grand Teton National Park (GTNP) the past couple of weeks with limited internet access.

The park names beg the obvious question:
For Yellowstone:
The park is located at the headwaters of the Yellowstone River, from which it takes its historical name. Near the end of the 18th century, French trappers named the river "Roche Jaune," which is probably a translation of the Minnetaree name "Mi tsi a-da-zi" (Rock Yellow River).[10] Later, American trappers rendered the French name in English as "Yellow Stone." Although it is commonly believed that the river was named for the yellow rocks seen in the Grand Canyon of the Yellowstone, the Native American name source is not clear.[11]

While for Grand Teton National Park:
Grand Teton National Park is named for Grand Teton which is the tallest mountain in the Teton Range.

Following the link for Grand Teton:
Grand Teton's name was first recorded as Mount Hayden by the Washburn-Langford-Doane Expedition of 1870. But by 1931, the name Grand Teton Peak was in such common usage that it was recognized by the USGS Board on Geographic Names. Another shift in usage led the Board to shorten the name on maps to Grand Teton in 1970.[4]

The origin of the current name is controversial. The most common explanation is that "Grand Teton" means "large teat" in French, named by either French-Canadian or Iroquois members of an expedition led by Donald McKenzie of the North West Company.[5] However, other historians disagree, and claim that the mountain was named after the Teton Sioux tribe of Native Americans.[6]

After reading this the bad one-liners keep on coming:
Check out those grand tetons!
Are those grand tetons for real?
Can I take a closer look at those grand tetons of yours?

And so on.

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