How Do You Say Absaroka?
This morning on the XL Morning show we had a fun discussion about the local word Absarokee. Is it pronounced Ab-sa-rok-ee or Ab-sa-rok-a, Ab-soar-ka? Seems that people had a different opinion about it. Here's what we learned:
Listener Judy sent us:
The name Absarokee is derived from Apsáalookěi, the name given to the Crow Indian Tribe by the related Hidatsa people with Apsáa meaning "large-beaked bird" and lookěi meaning "children". Apsáalookěi thus literally means "children of the large-beaked bird". (The name "Crow" comes from the French gens du corbeaux or "people of the crows" as Apsáalookěi was translated by French fur traders in 1743.) The name was chosen by Absarokee founder Sever T. Simonson who believe it meant "our people." It is widely believed that the difference in spelling of Absarokee from the nearby Absaroka Range is a result of the poor penmanship of an early settler whose final "a" in the name was mistaken for "ee".Though pronounced "Ab-SOR-kee" in modern parlance, Eli Ricker in one of his "Indian Interviews" from 1903-1919 ends a record of an interview with Frank S. Shively, Assistant Clerk at Crow Agency with "Absarokee Ab-sar'-o-kee".
Keani on Facebook messaged us this:
The town is pronounced Ab-soar-key, the mountains are Ab-soar-ka. The reason the town is spelled different is the guy making the map didn't connect the "A" at the end so the map makers wrote it with 2 "E"s.
Thanks everyone who called and sent us messages. If you have any more info on Absarokee please post in comments below.