It’s pretty common knowledge that the word “Canada” likely comes from the Huron-Iroquois word “kanata,” which really means “village” or “settlement,” but do you know how your home province got its name? Generally speaking, the names of our provinces are pretty evenly split between English words, or names with roots that come from first nations languages, like Cree or Ojibway.
For instance… Quebec means “Narrow Passage,” from the Algonquin word used to describe the narrowing of the St. Lawrence River near what is now Quebec City.
Ontario comes from “Kanadario,” which means “sparkling” water in Iroquois. The earliest record of the word ‘Ontario’ is from 1641, when it described land northeast of the Great Lakes.
Nova Scotia is Latin for New Scotland. The province was named for King James VI of Scotland in 1621. Sir William Alexander, who was given the land by the king, did the honourable thing and named his land after his monarch. Prior to that, the First Nations knew Nova Scotia as “Mi’kma’ki“. The French knew it as Acadia.
Explore more fun facts with this helpful map courtesy of Expedia!