What if the Dutch HAD conquered the world?

12Jan13

canederland

Towns in Canada are typically named in one of three ways:

  • Angliciziation/Francization or translation of the native name for the area (Whitehorse, Yellowknife, Saskatoon, Kamloops, Ottawa, Toronto, Ontario, Medicine Hat)
  • appropriating parts of the Old Country (Calgary, Edmonton, Halifax)
  • invoking saints, royalty or heroic explorers (Victoria, Alberta, Prince Edward Island, Regina, St. John’s, Hudson’s Bay)

These formulas are easily modified for use with Dutch spelling and geography!

Yellowknife → Gelemes (translation)
Whitehorse → Wittepaard (translation)
Vancouver → Nieuw Couverdeyn (guess where Vancouver’s ancestors were from?)
Victoria → Wilheminastad (Queen)
Calgary → Jirsum (itsy bitsy town in Friesland)
Edmonton → Usquert (itsy bitsy town in Friesland)
Saskatoon → Saaskatoen (Dutchification of a native word)
Regina → Koninginnestad (Queen)
Winnipeg → Beverstad (couldn’t resist making an exception to the rule)
Thunder Bay → Den Donder (translation)
Toronto → Torrantoo (translation)
Ottawa → Ottaua (translation)
Montreal → Koningsberg (translation from French)
Quebec City → Kebbekstad (translation from French)
Iqaluit → Ikaloeit (Dutchification of an Inuit word)
St John’s → Sint Janstad (saint)
Fredericton → Willemstad (royalty – also a town in Curacao in the Netherlands Antilles)
Halifax → Nieuw Enkhuizen (itsy bitsy town in North Holland)
Charlottetown → Sofiaburg (royalty)

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One Response to “What if the Dutch HAD conquered the world?”

  1. Actually in French, the name of Québec City is simply “Québec”, which is not a French word but a misheard Indigenous one, from the Alqonquinian (including present-day Algonquins) language group, meaning “narrow passage”. Ottawa was misheard differently in French and English – Outaouais/Ottawa.

    But this is great fun and I knew Vancouver was of Dutch descent. So was the very colourful BC Premier Vander Zalm – funny, as Salmon could have been from BC or the old country…


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