If you are ever responsible for naming something, please think twice before doing it. Don’t just go for a boring name — there must be 1000 places in Canada called “Long Lake” or “Hillview.” Places in the NWT, in particular around Wrigley, have some of the best names!
Wrigley River (It ain’t straight!)
Moose Pasture Creek
Fish Trap Creek
River Between Two Mountains (This is my favourite!)
English Chief River
Bear Mountain Creek (Isn’t there a coffee company named after that? Or a soap company?)
White Sand Creek
Mud Lake (Gee, don’t you just want to go swimming there!)
Greasy Lake (I wonder if there is oil seeping there…)
Twin Fish Lake
Of course, there are some geographic features named after people:
Camsell Bend, Mount Camsell and Camsell Range (Whoever this Camsell guy was, he got a lot of things after himself!)
Mount Kindle (named after the inventor of the ebook reader of course!)
Ebbutt Hills (I assume this was named after someone, or someone’s butt)
I keep hoping I’ll find a river named after me, but not yet… Or even a creek. Really, just a trickle. Or a pond. I’m not fussy!
There are also quite a few named in the local First Nations language. I wonder if these words are descriptive, or named after people?
Shegonla Hills (Or is this Fringlish? “Where’d she go? She gon la.”)
Nodaday Creek (Not a day goes by I don’t miss my honey!!)
I wonder if some of those mean “place where mosquitoes hatch” or “river with slimy rocks on the banks” or “lake where the fish don’t bite.” If you have ideas, leave them in the comments! :)
I’m sure in the early days of Canada, the geographical surveyors got completely blasé about naming things, judging by some of these:
Table Mountain (There are two Table Mountains around here, and isn’t there one near Banff too?)
So, if you are ever given the opportunity to name something, go for a good descriptive name*! Or, get a Native elder to name it for you, just make sure you find out the meaning (or you might end up with a name meaning “dumbest place on Earth” or “the Great Spirit wiggles its nose at you”).
*The above does NOT apply to naming children. Don’t name your kid Redface, Screamer, Head-Full-of-Hair, Chubby, Wrinkly, Baldy, Buttonnose…