Pronounce It “callaradda,” Son

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The funny thing is that Colorado is still trying to justify the Indian origin of “Idaho,” long after the Idahoans have abandoned that tack. A booklet sold in Denver stores called “Nature’s Names for Colorado Communities,” written by Richard M. Pearl and published by a Colorado Springs outfit, includes the following explanation for Idaho Springs:

The derivation of Idaho is controversial. One version says that it means “gem of the mountains” or rocks, but another says that Ee-da-how is Indian for “the sun is coming down the mountains.” Still another expert suggests that the Indian name may be Idahi, which is what the Kiowa-Apache called the Comanche. At any rate, the springs have been a tourist attraction since 1868.

Oh, well. For my own part, I’m sorry the Pikes Peak crowd didn’t insist on Jefferson. Colorado is a symbol of the West, and Thomas Jefferson was the man whose sponsorship of the Lewis and Clark expedition did more than anything except the gold rushes to make the original eastern states aware of what lay on the road to the other ocean.

But at any rate, Colorado ended up with a name that has an authentic etymology, which is somewhat more than can be said of Idaho.