couer d'alene

10:09 Sep 18, 2000
French to English translations [Non-PRO]
French term or phrase: couer d'alene
name of our street and school
name of town in idaho

Summary of answers provided
naHeart of awl (I was more or less right...!)
Louise Atfield
na"Awl's heart"
Louise Atfield
naAlene's Heart
Yolanda Broad



15 mins
Alene's Heart

Alène is hte name of an Indian tribe. Coeur = heart

Here is what the Encyclopedia Britannica has:

Coeur d'Alene Indian Reservation borders the southern half of the lake. Coeur d'Alene city lies at the north end of the lake and
marks the western end of an area important for its forests and mineral deposits. The origin of the name, given by the French to an Indian tribe of that area, is uncertain

Yolanda Broad
United States
Local time: 10:24
Native speaker of: English
PRO pts in pair: 1551

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Louise Atfield

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2 hrs
"Awl's heart"

This is the litteral translation of "coeur d'alène". It doesn't seem to make any sense, but I am sure there is a historical reason for this name.

I couldn't find anything much except for this, which might be a start for you.

"Coeur d'Alene - Origin of Name.
Among the items of correspondence in this folder are six letters from J. Neilson Barry, and a newspaper article by Francis Cope, "Coeur d'Alene: What does City's Name Mean Anyway?"

Maybe your local library has a copy of this newspaper article? That would make a nice research project for you.

Good luck!

Louise Atfield
PRO pts in pair: 300

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6 hrs
Heart of awl (I was more or less right...!)

I think that the name of the tribe came after the French settlers came to Idaho... Therefore, the natives are not the ones who gave their name to the area. I did a little more research and here's what I found. I think it will answer your question. At least partly...


The earliest inhabitants of the Coeur d'Alene area were the Salish-speaking Schee-Chu-Umsh Indians,
and they lived amid North Idaho's lakes and mountains for thousands of years before any white settlers arrived. When the whites came, they christened the natives the Coeur d'Alenes, meaning "heart of awl." The exact reason why is unknown, although it may have been a tribute to the tribe's savvy trading
practices. "

You may wish to look at this site. This is only part of it and there is more about the history of this area. Very interesting!

Louise Atfield
PRO pts in pair: 300
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