As a lifelong student of the French language, I've always appreciated the French names of places in the United States. Some are better known than others, albeit with Americanized pronunciations. One of my favorites is Picketwire. From the French "Purgatoire," Purgatory.
Some other favorites (not including cities and towns named for famous Frenchmen or places in France):
Detroit. (Where the river narrows.)
Des Moines. (Of the monks)
Baton Rouge. (Red stick)
Havre de Grace. (Harbor of Grace)
Mount Desert Island and its sidecar, Isle au Haut. (Island of the deserted mountains; high island.)
And, so verrry French: The Grand Tetons.
Go ahead, take a look at the beauties in this photo and try to convince me that the mountain range was NOT named for the French phrase for large mammaries. Some claim that that interpretation of the origin of the name is "controversial." Too much tittering about it, I guess. I'm not fooled.
What are your favorite French place names in the U.S.?
P.S. By the way. Hey, Wyoming, you wonderful state: how about a little more blog-love? Je vous adore, and not just because I'm envious of the grands tétons.
Images via Wikipedia and Clustrmaps.
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