I've Been Doing Shoshone Dirty for 37 Years

While I wish I could be counted among those born and raised in The Gem State, I didn’t get to call Idaho home until 1987. I was born in Wisconsin and spent a few years in Florida before moving to the Northwest. I spent my childhood moving all over the northwest, including Oregon, Washington State, and Colorado, before I finally settled in Idaho during my early teens. I’ve lived in Idaho the majority of my life, and I love this land, but I’ve been doing my good neighbors in Shoshone, Idaho dirty this entire time.

Google Street View
Google Street View

I’ll get to my point, but quickly, some brief history:

Shoshone, Idaho, named after the Shoshone Native American tribe, holds a significant place in history largely due to its strategic location and the rich cultural influences of its namesake tribe. The town of Shoshone was established as a central railway station in the Magic Valley, which significantly contributed to its growth and development during the late 19th century.

The name 'Shoshone' comes from the Native American tribe that traditionally inhabited the Great Basin region, extending into what is now Idaho. This tribe played a crucial role in the history of the American West, including their participation in the Lewis and Clark Expedition.

Google Street View
Google Street View

How Do You Pronounce Shoshone?

The pronunciation of 'Shoshone' in the context of the town differs from the pronunciation of the tribe's name. Locally, the town's name is pronounced 'show-shown,' with a silent 'e' at the end, which is a departure from the pronunciation used for the tribe​.
This unique pronunciation possibly evolved to accommodate local dialects or preferences, distinguishing the town from the tribe itself, while still honoring its original namesake. Over time, this local pronunciation has been embedded into the identity of the town, capturing its unique heritage and the influence of the Shoshone tribe in the region.

I’ve Been Saying ‘Shoshone’ Incorrectly For 37 Years

I'm not sure if it's just a quirk or what, but I've always pronounced 'Shoshone' as SHUH-SHOWN since day one, and I'm pretty sure that's how most folks around Twin Falls say it too. Honestly, I can't recall hearing anyone refer to the falls as SHOW-SHOWN Falls; it's almost universally SHUH-SHOWN from what I've noticed.

However, I'm not claiming this is the correct pronunciation. In fact, when I brought this up on the morning show, everyone who responded via calls or texts on the KEZJ App agreed that the proper way to pronounce it, at least when talking about the town, is SHOW-SHOWN.

Sandra sums it up nicely in her text on the KEZJ App.

Sam is from Shoshone and backs this up.

My Sincere Apologies To The Good People of Shoshone

Consider me corrected. You’d think after 37 years of life in Southern Idaho, I would know how to pronounce all the neighboring Twin Falls towns correctly. If you happen to be talking to me and I refer to Shoshone as SHUH-SHOWN, feel free to slap me and set me straight.

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