Male settlers of America had a bit of a fixation on women’s bodies.
They're big. They're beautiful. They look nothing like breasts.
The Grand Teton, as you probably know, is legendarily translated from French as “Large Breast.” But that’s only the best known of many place names suggestive of longing, desire, and lust.
Search the U.S. Board on Geographic Names website – as I did, slightly embarrassed for an entire afternoon in a coffee shop – and you’ll find dozens more examples of luridly named geographic features. There are so many, in fact, that I eventually narrowed this list down to just features named after breasts. Let’s not even talk about valleys.
In the book From Squaw Tit to Whorehouse Meadow: How Maps Name, Claim, and Inflame, Mark Monmonier wrote: “The male anatomy is commemorated far less frequently than the female form because phallic landforms are comparatively rare in nature and most of the namers were men.”
Well, yes. And men, as I’m surprised no one reading over my shoulder in the coffee shop pointed out, never change.
1. Grand Teton, Wyoming
Really the most famous of all of them. Have you seen the Grand Teton? Have you seen a large breast? It’s tough to make the connection between the two these days, but back then, men were apparently more lonely, much more more starved for images of women. Either that or breasts have evolved significantly since then.
2. Milk Shakes, Washington
“Named by lonely male settlers who felt formations resembled breasts.”
3. Boobs Canyon, Utah
No, it’s not the place where Aron Ralston was stuck.
4. Virgins Breasts (Islands), Maine
“The name applies to two islands collectively; one to the northwest that is unnamed officially, and another to the southeast named officially, Nipple.”
5. Breast Mountain, Alaska
Pride of Bethel County.
6. Mammary Peak, Alaska
Named in 1964 by members of the Juneau Icefield Research Project, hence the use of “mammary.” No poets, those eggheads.
7. Tittie Butte, Oregon
Tittie? Really? How old were these guys, 13?
8. Two Teats, California
Located in the Sierra near Mammoth Mountain, the nearest farm is 50 miles away, so there’s no agricultural influence. Those dudes were just horny.
9. Mollies Nipple, Arizona
Arizona, you think you’re so clever. There are at least 11 Molly’s Nipples in Utah alone.
Photo by Darlene Cutshall/Shutterstock