What does Coeur d’Alene mean? Literally, “heart of an awl” or hard-hearted, in colloquial French of some past century. Why was the name used? This name was given to the Coeur d’Alene Tribe of Kootenai Indians because of the shrewd methods they employed in the fur trading days. As a point of interest… Coeur d’Alene or ‘CDA’, as the locals abbreviate, at one point was called Fort Sherman (after the then unpopular in the South… William Tecumseh Sherman). Conde Nast Traveler has named Lake Coeur d’Alene as the only 5 Star Inland Water Resort in the USA! WOW pretty heady billing for this little bit of paradise. Some awfully nice folks live there now, though.