Manitoba, Saskatchewan, Yukon, and Nunavat are some of the most colorful names in North America, with origins in the languages of the Native peoples of Canada. They, along with the names of certain cities (Saskatoon, Athabasca) are easy for those in the U.S. to make fun of and for years served as comedy shorthand to indicate a place of birth for a backwoods, slack-jawed yokel (not true). But you shouldn’t. They are fascinating names in their own right, resulting from a cultural mix very different from the U.S. The creator of the map above, for example, created a whole imaginary province around the mix of French, English, and Native names, setting it amongst the never-never land of lakes and mountains in what I take to be the current Northwest Territories.
Examine the map in full view and you’ll see such town names as “Blackadder” and “Blithering Owl.”
All Native names mean something, of course. Nunavat, for example, is “Our land” in the Inuktitut language, and its coat of arms is one of the best ever, featuring a reindeer and a narwhal, a stone bowl of fire, and a Native stone monument, the whole crowned by an igloo with a crown. Even the script below also belongs to the native people.
And speaking of arms and flags, Canada has gone through a few before deciding on its current red maple leaf, at the bottom right of the picture below.
This proposed flag of Canada is also attractive.
If you’re looking for a new Canadian province, or even just a city or town name, see below.