Idaho—A Nonsense Name?: Background information when reading Idaho

Summary |  Excerpt |  Reading Guide |  Reviews |  Beyond the Book |  Readalikes |  Genres & Themes |  Author Bio

Idaho

A Novel

by Emily Ruskovich

Idaho by Emily Ruskovich X
Idaho by Emily Ruskovich
  • Critics' Opinion:

    Readers' Opinion:

  • First Published:
    Jan 2017, 320 pages
    Paperback:
    Nov 2017, 336 pages

  • Rate this book


Book Reviewed by:
Lucia Silva

Buy This Book

About this Book

Idaho—A Nonsense Name?

This article relates to Idaho

Print Review

Shoshone Falls in Idaho In Idaho, Ann muses about a legend surrounding the state's name. She relates a delightful story about a delegate to Congress playing with a little girl named Ida lingering in the House chamber while others discussed proposed names for a new western territory. When the little girl runs away, the man shouts after her, "Ida! Ho! Come back to me." When the Congressmen heard him shout they thought he was suggesting a name. Thinking on his feet, the delegate made up a story about hearing Shoshoni chant the word "idaho" at dawn, and that it meant "gem of the mountains." Congress votes, the name wins by a landslide, and the new territory is slated to be named "Idaho," with Denver as its capital. The lie is soon discovered, and the embarrassed Congress renames the territory "Colorado," only to later apply the fake name to another territory.

The real origin of the name "Idaho" appears to be uncertain. Sources disagree; while the name may have been derived from an Apache word meaning "enemy," it also may have simply been invented by a quirky lobbyist. The legends persisted for years, and school textbooks claimed the erroneous Shoshoni provenance well into the 20th century. There seems to be a good deal of truth to the account that appears in Idaho, but the insertion of the little girl into the story appears to be, as far as I can tell, Ruskovich's creation—fitting for a story about recreated memories.

Picture of Shoshone Falls by Karthik C

This "beyond the book article" relates to Idaho. It originally ran in March 2017 and has been updated for the November 2017 paperback edition.

This article is available to non-members for a limited time. You can also read these articles for free. For full access, become a member today.
Membership Advantages
  • Reviews
  • "Beyond the Book" backstories
  • Free books to read and review (US only)
  • Find books by time period, setting & theme
  • Read-alike suggestions by book and author
  • Book club discussions
  • and much more!
  • Just $10 for 3 months or $35 for a year
  • More about membership!

Editor's Choice

  • Book Jacket
    Love and Other Consolation Prizes
    by Jamie Ford
    Love and Other Consolation Prizes was read and reviewed by 22 BookBrowse members for First ...
  • Book Jacket: The Judge Hunter
    The Judge Hunter
    by Christopher Buckley
    In London 1664, Balthasar de St. Michel or "Balty" has no discernable skills besides pestering his ...
  • Book Jacket: Star of the North
    Star of the North
    by D.B. John
    It's summertime. You're looking for an absorbing thriller while you flop at the beach. ...
  • Book Jacket: The Abbot's Tale
    The Abbot's Tale
    by Conn Iggulden
    The Abbot's Tale purports to be a re-discovered manuscript written by a real historical figure,...

Book Discussion
Book Jacket
Mississippi Blood by Greg Iles

New York Times bestselling author Greg Iles illuminates the brutal history of the American South.

About the book
Join the discussion!

Readers Recommend

  • Book Jacket

    Me, Myself and Them
    by Dan Mooney

    A fresh, funny and heart-wrenching story about human connection and the power of friendship.
    Reader Reviews

Win this book!
Win A Place for Us

A Place For Us

A deeply moving story of love, identity and belonging--the first novel from Sarah Jessica Parker's new imprint.

Enter

Word Play

Solve this clue:

H, W H A Problem

and be entered to win..

Books that     
entertain,
     engage

 & enlighten

Visitors can view some of BookBrowse for free. Full access is for members only.

Join Today!

Your guide toexceptional          books

BookBrowse seeks out and recommends books that we believe to be best in class. Books that will whisk you to faraway places and times, that will expand your mind and challenge you -- the kinds of books you just can't wait to tell your friends about.