Coulees

48reinvention

Paris v. New York

It has just now occurred to me that the term “coulee” is French.

Coulee (or coulée) is applied rather loosely to different landforms, all of which refer to a kind of valley or drainage zone.

The word coulee comes from the Canadian French coulée, from French word couler meaning “to flow.”

The term is often used interchangeably in the Great Plains for any number of water features, from ponds to creeks.

In southern Louisiana the word coulée (also spelled coolie) originally meant a gully or ravine usually dry or intermittent but becoming sizable during rainy weather. As stream channels were dredged or canalized, the term was increasingly applied to perennial streams, generally smaller than bayous. The term is also used for small ditches or canals in the swamp.[1]

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1 Comment

February 6, 2012 · 12:13 am

One response to “Coulees

  1. Pingback: Red Rock Coulee Sundown

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