Useless Information: The Grand Tetons
I was thinking about breasts today--because why should today be any different--and I wondered once again about the Grand Tetons in Wyoming. I don't remember how old I was, but I know I was shocked, shocked I say, when I learned that "grand tetons" actually means big breasts in French.
Oh, I could readily understand how they might name a group of mountains after giant boobs in France. Hell, those sick twists probably have all kinds of obscene names for their hills, valleys and other geographic protuberances. And I don't even want to think what they might have named The Devil's Postpile, given the opportunity.
But here in the USA, that puritanical, clenched-sphinctered land we call home? Frankly, I'm surprised the name caught on to begin with, and even more surprised that it's been allowed to stand for all these centuries. And if you want to get right down to it, I don't see where the Grand Tetons even look like breasts at all. And trust me, I see breasts in inanimate objects from the minute I open my eyes: balloons, Mickey Mouse ears, raspberry muffins...
But the Grand Tetons? Even as mountains go they're particularly hard, pointy and jagged. Perhaps I'd understand better if they had been named after the invention of silicone, which of course they weren't. So how did the Grand Tetons get their name? Well, that brings us to tonight's history lesson, which turns out to be both quite short and yet somehow wholly uninteresting.
The mountain range was first named by French fur traders in the 1500's, unless you want to be a stickler and include those pesky native peoples who had already inhabited what was clearly meant to be our land for thousands of years. There are three main peaks in the Teton range, and the French called them "les Trois Tetons," which means the three breasts. Sure it's a stretch, but what else would you expect from a bunch of horny and probably wine-besotted French fur traders? (The Shoshone, by the way, had already named them "Teewinot," meaning many pinnacles, but really, where's the pizazz in that?)
Three of the more prominent peaks in the range are Grand Teton, Middle Teton and South Teton. Middle Teton of course translates as Middle Breast. Now there's a phrase you don't hear every day. "Honey, use your napkin. It seems you've dropped a bit of creamed spinach on your middle breast."
Listen, I'm not completely devoid of creativity and imagination. Not yet, anyway. I just don't happen to see something as soft and supple as a woman's breasts when I look at the craggy peaks of the Teton Range. Now if you were talking about the Shuangru Peak in China (below), well that's a completely different story. That I get.
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