Les Trois Tetons – a French Lesson

We spent 3 days in the Jackson Hole, Wyoming area getting the lay of the land. Jackson is a quaint and happening mountain town. Teton Village is a beautiful ski resort, herds of wildlife are plentiful and the National Park is grand and inspiring. The timing of our visit was a little early in the season but, it didn’t stop us.

But, more importantly,  it made me so proud of my French Canadian heritage.

You see, French Canadian fur trappers are responsible for naming the three peaks now known as the South Teton, Middle Teton, and Grand Teton. They called the mountains Les Trois Tetons meaning  The Three Breasts.  The Grand Teton—the gem and largest mountain peak of the range at 13,770 feet —literally means the big tit.

It’s not boobs, boobies, tatas, titties, teats, hooters, knockers or whatever other pet name you have for them.  It’s simply breast and tit.  

The Canadian French speaking fur traders, a male dominated profession, were likely lonely and missing the company of women. I can picture them sitting around an open fire, chomping on bison jerky and when they set their eyes on these beautiful peaks they sighed – Regarde ces trois beaux tetons…  [Look at those three beautiful breasts…] And history was made!

For sure this would have been something my French Canadian Grandfather would have said.

With other mountain peak names such as Eagles Rest, Rolling Thunder, Buck, Traverse, Moran, Thor and Owen, to name a few, I think Les Trois Tetons  is very apropos. It certainly has a certain je ne sais quoi about it.

That’s French you know!

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