Tuesday, June 2, 2009

A Place Called What?


I'll start off by saying if you are from Newfoundland and have stumbled upon this with the other 2 or 3 known readers--you won't be interested...


I have been living on this strange and wonderful island for nearly 3 years. It is the 15th largest island in the world at 42,000 sq. mi. (compared to Great Britain at 9th spot, 81,000 sq. mi.). It was discovered by John Cabot in 1497 and ownership (after it was taken from the indigenous Beothuk people) was bandied about by the British and French. It ceased being a British Colony in 1949 when it became Canada's 10th province.


The place names are an eclectic mishmash of words reflecting their history. People here are predominately of Irish/Scottish/English heritage. Newfoundland locations such as: Piccadilly, Brighton, Trinity, Torbay and Victoria reflect this. As noted earlier, the French also had a presence as reflected in the names Baie Verte, Channel-Port aux Basques, Grand Bruit and L'Anse aux Meadows.


However, there are other places named after the local wildlife. Hare Bay, Stag Harbour, Salmon Cove and Badger are a reflection of this. Other places, though, have names which are not so easy to decipher: Fogo, Tilting, Witless Bay, Heart's Content and Paradise.


And then...the bizarre: places such as Cow Head, Come By Chance, Nicky's Nose Cove, and the ever popular Dildo are in fact real locations. Hmm...If I were ever to move to the United States I think that only Truth or Consequences would be suitable for me!

5 comments:

Anton Gully said...

I think I should retire to Witless Bay.

Catherine J Gardner said...

Strange, I don't think of myself as living on an island. Despite the fact, I actually live by the Irish Sea.

Alan W. Davidson said...

Hmm...that would probably be either Blackpool or Liverpool? Funny, I grew up on Vancouver Island (quite a bit smaller than this one) and never thought that I lived on an island either. Mayber I'm reminded because of the helicopters flying over on the way to the oil rigs. I'll probably get over it in time.

Anton Gully said...

Hey, I live by the Irish Sea too. See that, Catherine? I'm waving at you!

Alan W. Davidson said...

I, too, should end up in Witless Bay...I should look into that as houses here are about the cheapest any where in Canada.