we already knew this! It's in the title of the Monmonier book! Neverthelessons, here's a quote:
Moves to eliminate the term "squaw" from names of geographical sites are accelerating because of protests that the term is offensive.
The U.S. Board on Geographic Names has renamed 16 valleys, creeks and other sites so far this year. Pending proposals mean 2008 should see more changes than any year in a decade, the board says.
Valerie Fast Horse, a council member with the Coeur d'Alene Tribe of Idaho, Montana and Washington, says the usual translation of "squaw" is a profane term for female genitalia. It's so offensive in her tribe, she says, that members refer to it as "the 'S' word."
"They should translate the names into English and see how fast they get changed," she says.
That's what I'm sayin'. Of course, there's always some clown who doesn't get it:
"It irritated me," says Cody McDonald, a Judith Basin County commissioner. "When these things were named a hundred years ago, they didn't mean to offend anybody. … And it's a waste of time. Everybody's still going to call it 'Squaw Coulee.' "
Which is to say, he and his buddies are still gonna call it "Squaw Coulee," even after no one knows what "Squaw Coulee" is, just like that old lady in Berlin who gets into taxicabs and orders the drivers to take her to Adolf-Hitler-Platz.
And yeah, I'm sure the good ol' boys who named the peak "Squaw Tit" didn't mean to offend anybody, either.