Online Etymology Dictionary, s.v. Teton
member of a western Sioux people, 1806, from Dakota titonwan, lit. "dwellers on the prairie," from thi + huwa. Not related to the Grand Teton mountain range.
The Teton in Grand Teton is usually thought to be derived from French téton
= woman's breast. Cf. Greek μαστός
), which means both a woman's breast and a round hill or knoll (the latter meaning e.g. in Xenophon's Anabasis
). See also Frank Moore Cross, Canaanite Myth and Hebrew Epic: Essays in the History of the Religion of Israel
(Cambridge: Harvard University Press, 1973; rpt. 1997), pp. 55-56, n. 44:
For parallels to the development of the meaning "mound," "peak," "mountain" from terms originally meaning "breast," see Albright, "The Names Shaddai and Abram," p. 184, and E.P. Dhorme, "L'Emploi métaphorique des noms de parties du corps en hébreu et en akkadien," RB, 31 (1922), 230f. (to which may be added the American Grand Teton range).
The full reference to Albright's article is W.F. Albright, "The Names Shaddai and Abram," Journal of Biblical Literature
54 (1935) 173–210.Albert Bierstadt, The Grand Tetons, Wyoming