Tunemah Peak P500 SPS

Sun, Jul 26, 2009
Etymology Story Photos / Slideshow Maps: 1 2 3 4 Profile

Tunemah Peak (11,894 ft.)

Named by Frank Dusy in 1878

Also Pass, Lake, Trail

"The sheepherders frequenting that part of the country employed Chinese cooks. Owing to the roughness of the path they gave vent to their disgust by numerous Chinese imprecations. Gradually the most prominent settled itself on to the trail and it became known as 'Tunemah!' The other features were named when the Tehipite and Mount Goddard quadrangles were surveyed in the 1900s. Chinese linguist colleagues in Hong Kong have identified 'Tunemah' as probably reflecting Cantonese diu2 nei5 aa3 maa1 (the numbers indicate tones), meaning 'Fuck your mother!'"
- Erwin Gudde, California Place Names

"There was once a 'Tunemah Pass' (on the Tehipite 30' maps, 1905-47), and a 'Tunemah Trail' -- long abandoned. It was the latter that gave birth to the dreadful name, as a herd of sheep beloging to Frank Dusy and Bill Coolidge was forced down a precipitous trail into Simpson Meadow, in 1878.

'Two Chinese herders -- appalled by the awful chasm confronting them -- worked to a point of exhaustion by their desperate efforts to force the massed and balking sheep onward -- cursed the sheep, the dogs, the trail and all other related factors, in the most forcible epithets known to the celestial vocabulary. Above the bleating of the sheep and the barking of the frantic dogs, from the enveloping clouds of dust, there repeatedly and wrathfully resounded, "Teu-na-mah-ne! muck-a-hai! Yeu-nicky-shee-fut! Teu-na-mah-ne! Teu-na-mah-ne!" -- a thousand times. ... Peck and Nye (Dusy's head packers) agreed to call the sheep plunge "Teu-na-mah-ne."' (Winchell, 159.)

And what does it mean? It means something as horrible as 'You sleep with your grandmother.' It might even mean something worse than that. Consult your local authority."
- Peter Browning, Place Names of the Sierra Nevada


References to can also be found in these files:

  • More of Bob's Trip Reports

    For more information see these SummitPost pages: Tunemah Peak

    This page last updated: Sat Apr 7 17:02:15 2007
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