Friday, 11 December 2015

Canada is Portugese: "Nothing to see here!"

I thought Canada was an Indian word but what if it's the original Newfie joke, by a Portugese explorer seeking gold?   A government webpage at Foreign Affairs and International Trade  reads:
"There are some (Portugese) historians that contend that the name itself, Canada, came from the Portuguese expression « Cá Nada », which meant « Here, nothing », and is attributed to the first Portuguese sailors who arrived in Newfoundland (Terra Nova), and were disappointed on the weather (very cold), and the lack of obvious resources. "
Wikipedia, with "The Iberian Origin",  adds a more likely version that no gold or silver was found.  The standard high school explanation is that the Huron-Iroquois word for village (Kanata) was part of Cartier's directions to the village of Stadacona where Quebec City now sits.
First map mentioning Canada, 1566.
Near the quarter point, upper right.

No comments:

Post a Comment