LINGUIST List 14.2456

Tue Sep 16 2003

Media: Des Moines Register: Origin of "Des Moines"

Editor for this issue: Karen Milligan <>


  • Karen Chung, DMRegister: Origin of "Des Moines"

    Message 1: DMRegister: Origin of "Des Moines"

    Date: Wed, 17 Sep 2003 08:16:17 +0800
    From: Karen Chung <>
    Subject: DMRegister: Origin of "Des Moines"

    The 9/14/2003 issue of the Des Moines Register online has an interesting piece on the possibly scatological origin of the city name "Des Moines":

    Is 'Des Moines' just some dirty joke? Oh, poo! Our capital's name seems to stem from rival potty mouths. By Mary Challender

    The opening paragraphs:

    A linguist specializing in the extinct Miami-Illinois language says he's come across a funny, 330-year-old story that gives "Des Moines" new meaning. And - chamber of commerce-types might want to brace themselves - it appears we've been punked. The article mentions in passing the controversy regarding the origin of "Chicago".

    The URL:

    Thanks to Laura Lawless of the French site for featuring this article in her 9/17/03 newsletter.

    Karen Steffen Chung