Talk:Palouse

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Untitled[edit]

Page currently says: "French trappers and explorers gave the region its present name, calling it Le Pelouse (roughly, "the grassland")."

But this seems to contradict the page Palus (tribe), which traces the word to the name of the Palus tribe. I suppose the tribe's name could be a French term roughly meaning "grassland", but a quick google seems to suggest not. The page http://www.palousescenicbyway.com/default.asp?PageID=51 says "Palus" means "something sticking down into the water" in Sahaptin. This page http://www.appaloosamuseum.org/cms/default.asp?contentID=521 says likewise.

So I'm removing the French origin claim and adding some See also links. Pfly 08:15, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

I think rather the claim is that the term Palouse is from Palus, rather than the other way around; see my comments on Talk:Palus (tribe), which hopefully will attract the attention of a Sahaptian linguist/historian, if there are any around here. The Dalles, the Grand Coulee, Palouse (pelouse is feminine in French, I'm pretty sure, also, i.e. la pelouse) and many other placenames in the area have French origin; what is the evidence against French origin, other than the claim made on the page obverse that Palus, as a Palus word/name, was the source of the term Palouse?Skookum1 09:55, 28 December 2006 (UTC)
Further to previous, while there may be a Sahaptian word meaning "something sticking down into the water", why did this become the name for the Palus people? And why did their name, rather than Umatilla or Cayuse or various other native names in the area, not become applied to the grassland? And what's a grassland got to do with "something sticking down into the water"?Skookum1 09:57, 28 December 2006 (UTC)

Some quick research makes me think the word originally comes from the Indian village, but I've yet to find a definitive answer. Some websites are funny in their unhelpful or confusing info on the word: http://www.historylink.org/essays/output.cfm?file_id=7989 says the word either comes from the Indian village or the French word for grassland; http://www.washingtonhistory.org/wshm/lewisandclark/lasting_legacy_pt1.htm seems to say it comes from French, but then says the Indian village; http://users.moscow.com/lchs/palouse.html provides a source for the Indian village theory and says there is no source for the French theory; http://www.palousemall.com/pages/region.asp is a mall's website, hardly scholarly, but suggests a possibility I'd wondered about- that the word comes from the Indian village and happened to sound similar to the French word for grassland, and so morphed toward the French spelling. There are other cases of placenames in one language resembling words in another and morphing like that. Cheesequake, NJ, is a funny example. Perhaps there is no definitive answer and no one knows for sure. Pfly 20:55, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

Oh, and, I would guess that the Palouse grassland region acquired the name from its main local river, the Palouse River; like the Walla Walla grasslands acquired the name from its main local river; ditto Umatilla in Oregon. Today you don't hear of the "Walla Walla District" so much, though "the Palouse" somehow survived as a regional term, perhaps because of the unusual topography. Also, even if the word Palouse derives from the name of an Indian village, I'm not sure it means "something sticking into the water". It might, but the translation may also be mere guesswork of a relatively late date. It's also possible that the Indians did not know what it meant themselves, but may have made some guesses of their own. That kind of thing is apparently quite common for Indian-origin placenames. Pfly 23:35, 30 December 2006 (UTC)

OK, look, the palouse hills are their own thing, not part of this region (while they may be part of it) and therfore need their own article. I'd make it but I have tests to study for right now. Blu Pickles 04:14, 2 March 2007 (UTC)

On 30 August 2006, wildlife professor J. Ratti's 60,000 square metre yard exploded into a 40 mile square one. I believe that in common usage, a 40 mile square area would be 1600 square miles, but even at 40 square miles, that's off by three orders of magnitude or so. I think it should have been a fortieth of a square mile, which gives about 65,000 square meters. Six hectares, the original area in the article, comes to about 14.83 acres, the commonly used unit of land area (around here). I'm changing the 40 mile square reference to 15 acres. bomfog (talk) 16:13, 8 September 2009 (UTC)

Needs a map[edit]

You're defining/describing a region; you need a map. --71.174.161.114 (talk) 18:11, 27 October 2009 (UTC)

Palouse Hills[edit]

The article states (under "geology") merely that they were formed in the ice age. That is not enough of an explanation. The ice age existed elsewhere too, but they don't have those unique peculiar hills.--dunnhaupt (talk) 21:27, 10 May 2010 (UTC)