Vancouver

Today is the opening of the 2010 Winter Olympic Games in Vancouver, British Columbia, and to honour the occasion I’m digging into the name Vancouver. The we know that city of Vancouver was named after George Vancouver, the British explorer who discovered and charted it, as well as most of the North American northwest coast, […]

Westward Ho!

Westward Ho! is a village on the sea in Devon, England. Like Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha! the exclamation point is, in fact, part of the town’s name. Westward Ho! was named after the novel Westward Ho! by Charles Kingsley. The village was developed starting about ten years after the 1855 publication of the novel. Since it’s a […]

Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!

St-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!, Québec has one of the oddest names that I’ve seen. Not because it sounds like something else, but because it’s just so fun to say and because it’s the only town in the world with two exclamation points in its name!! So, how does a town come to be called Saint-Louis-du-Ha! Ha!? According […]

Hell's Gate

Hell’s Gate is a narrowing in the Fraser River, in British Columbia. The Fraser is a very large river, and by the time it reaches Hell’s Gate, a few hundred kilometers from its mouth, there is a lot of water flowing through the river, 200 million gallons per minute at high water. With all of […]

Punkin Center

Having a little déja vu? Nope. Today I’m talking about Punkin Center, Colorado, not Pumpkin Center, OK, or in any of the other 14 states where there’s a Pumpkin Center. The name of Punkin Center, CO, did in fact come from the word Pumpkin, but Mildred Stevens said Punkin, so that’s what the town’s called. […]

Pumpkin Center

So, I don’t actually have a story to about why Pumpkin Center is called Pumpkin Center, but I do have some interesting, random, Pumpkin Center facts. I was looking for information on Pumpkin Center, MO, (where Kay Barnes’ mother was born), to continue the Missouri theme, and found that since the highway was put in […]

Medicine Hat

Finding out the origins of the name Moose Jaw yesterday I started to wonder about the other prairie city with a funny name, Medicine Hat, Alberta so I looked it up. The name Medicine Hat is an English translation of the Blackfoot word “Saamis.” A saamis is the headdress worn by medicine men, and therefore […]