Thursday, July 30, 2009

Day 209: Place Names

Day 209: Place Names, originally uploaded by susanvg.

St-Louis-du-Ha!-Ha! has to be one of the more unusual names for a place. I found out a little about its possible origin here. We passed through it driving from New Brunswick back down to Montreal. It made me think of the many places we passed in Newfoundland. The history of Newfoundland is written on its map. Bonavista, where John Cabot (sailing for the English but from Italy) landed. He is purported to have exclaimed "Buona Vista" His name is found in Cabot Strait and other places. The Grand Banks brought fishermen from Portugal (Portugal Cove), the Basques regions (Port au Basques), France (many places carry French names from Baie Verte to Notre Dame Bay to Petite Forte) and England. There are terms used in Newfoundland, I have not heard elsewhere (Tickle - a very narrow strait, Bight - a harbour) - Indian Tickle, Bumble Bee Bight.

Names carry the dreams of those who settled there - Come By Chance, Heart's Content or their disappointments - Seldom, Misery Point. The wildlife of the region is reflected in Gander, Deerlake and many more. Individuals are featured in Sally's Cove, Joe Batt's Arm and many more - interestingly enough people are often remembered by first name.

You can find many more interesting place names here or here. I know where my city's name stems from - can you trace the history of the name of your home town?


  1. This gave me my "Ha-Ha" for today. Very interesting!

  2. Fun! I always like the name of Truth or Consequences, New Mexico, too. :-)