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Naming Canada: Stories About Place Names [Paperback]

Alan Rayburn


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Book Description

Aug. 26 1994

This wonderful collection of 76 essays explores the fascinating origin and meaning of the names of some of the towns, villages, cities, islands, mountains, and rivers that make up one of the world's largest countries.

Discover how some of Canada's most unusual place names came to be; unearth the Aboriginal roots of names such as Miramichi, Klondike, Iqaluit, Toronto, and Ottawa; learn the origin of such playful and mellifluous names as Medicine Hat, Twillingate, Flin Flon, Cupids, or Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha! From Bonavista and Port au Choix in the east, to Malaspina Strait and Port Alberni in the west, this book also reveals the rich Portuguese, Spanish, and Basque contributions to Canada's toponymic heritage. Naming Canada tells us about place names that became undesirable and had to be changed for reasons of perceived political impropriety. The former Stalin Township, for example, was renamed after Rick Hansen, the renowned Man in Motion, who promoted research in spinal cord injuries. The book also discusses Canadian names that have been exported abroad, such as Quebec in England and Toronto in Australia. One new essay explores the nicknames used for Canadian places, and focuses on Hogtown as an alternative for Toronto.

This collection is the best single source, in an engaging essay format, on the origin and meaning of hundreds of Canadian place names. Alan Rayburn has had over 35 years' experience in researching Canada's toponymic roots and in writing about the authentic backgrounds behind thousands of names, from Toronto in the south to Tukyoyaktuk in the north, and from Labrador in the east to Juan de Fuca Strait in the west.


Product Details

  • Paperback: 271 pages
  • Publisher: University of Toronto Press, Scholarly Publishing Division (Aug. 26 1994)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0802069908
  • ISBN-13: 978-0802069900
  • Product Dimensions: 21.6 x 13.6 x 2.4 cm
  • Shipping Weight: 381 g
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #2,425,407 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Alan Rayburn is the former executive secretary of the Canadian Permanent Committee on Geographical Names. He has written some 150 books, papers and articles in the toponymic field.


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