What Does "Canada" Mean?

The word "Canada" is derived from the Iroquois word for "village." An expedition up the St. Lawrence River led by Jacques Cartier picked up the name from Iroquois who were pointing out the way to Stadacona, a St. Lawrence Iroquoian village located near modern-day Quebec City. Cartier marked the St. Lawrence River as the "rivière du Canada" on maps, and the name eventually became applied to all the areas north of the St. Lawrence River.

More facts about Canada:

  • Many areas in Canada have names that are variations on aboriginal terms. For instance, Ontario is derived from the Huron term for "beautiful water or lake," Quebec comes from a Mi'kmaq term for "narrows," and Saskatchewan comes from the Cree word for "swift flowing river."

  • There used to be two Canadas: Upper Canada and Lower Canada. The two were united as a British colony called the Province of Canada in 1841, and the name Canada was legally adopted for the country on July 1, 1867.

  • One suggested alternative for the country's name was "Tuponia," which stood for "The United Provinces of North America." Other suggested names were Colonia, Cabotia and Mesopelagia.

Follow wiseGEEK:

More Info:

Discuss this Article

Post your comments

Post Anonymously


forgot password?



Free Widgets for your Site/Blog

The average U.S. home has 100 types of bugs and spiders living in it; houses with large gardens tend to have more.  more...
June 24 ,  1997 :  The US Air Force insisted that the alien bodies that people saw near Roswell were dummies.  more...