Tkaronto.

A Wordorigins post on the Mohawk origin of the toponym Toronto, deriving it from “tkaronto, meaning ‘trees standing in the water,’” led me to ask for an explanation of the morphology of tkaronto, i.e., how exactly it means ‘trees standing in the water.’ Since Dave Wilton didn’t know, I thought I’d see if any of my readers do.

Comments

  1. From Torontoist (http://torontoist.com/2013/05/toronto-urban-legends-naming-the-city/):

    “In fact, it’s virtually certain that the name “Toronto” is rooted in the Mohawk language and in a location about 130 kilometres north of the present city. Historical evidence tells us that the term is from the Mohawk “Tkaranto,” meaning “where there are trees standing in the water.” It originally referred to the Narrows at Orillia, where Lake Simcoe empties into Lake Couchiching and where natives had for centuries placed saplings in the water to trap fish.”

    And from there (http://www.nrcan.gc.ca/earth-sciences/geography/place-names/education-resources/9226):

    “Tkaronto means “where there are trees standing in the water”, according to several Mohawk speakers and aboriginal language expert John Steckley. Mohawks used the phrase to describe The Narrows, where Hurons and other natives drove stakes into the water to create fish weirs. In 1615, Samuel de Champlain described these structures as blocking the channels, with a few openings left for catching fish in nets. Radiocarbon dating of surviving stakes reveals that the weirs at The Narrows were in use more than 4,000 years ago.”

  2. The etymology was postulated by John Steckley. I found this article:

    “According to Dr. Steckley, the true origin of Toronto is historically convoluted and geographically somewhat remote. To find the original site that gave Toronto its name, one actually has to travel well north of the city. [...] The Mohawks simply referred to the weir as “where there are trees standing in water.” Their word for poles or trees is ront, and the ancient structure was called tkaronto. [...]
    It is a linguistic coincidence that the French word for water, eau, is pronounced identically to the Mohawk word for water, o”

    So I’m guessing “tka-ront-o”… whatever “tka” means. There’s also a movie.

  3. Their word for poles or trees is ront,

    Thanks, that’s a good start!

  4. Tkaronto. Whodathunkit? I was born in Toronto, lived there for many, many years, and had never come across this origin of the city’s name. I even know — not heard of, and not acquainted with, but know as in been there many, many times — most of the places Dave Wilton and the links he provides refer to.

    To set the record straight for those who’ve never visited: The correct pronunciation of the city’s name, if the pronunciation favored by its residents can be accorded official status, is Trawno or Trawna (ˈtrɒnoʊ).

  5. John Steckley explains the source of the etymology at the bottom of this page, accompanied by annoying music and sound effects.
    I happened to be at a library today that had some not quite adequate Mohawk materials. Now, I’m not bad at parsing words in unfamiliar languaes with a grammar and a dictionary, but Iroquoian languages are really hard, even if you manage to stay away from verbs. There’s a lot of morpheme fusion, and once you strung the morphemes together, all kinds of morphophonological changes further scramble the word, and some roots might end up reflected in only one phoneme. So, in Günther Michelson’s A Thousand Words of Mohawk, we find the following under the stem -rut- (note that u is always nasalized): karú:ta ‘tree, trunk, log’; karú:to ‘a tree in the water’; karú:to ‘wooden cabinet’; aterú:to ‘Toronto’; atirú:taks ‘Algonquians’. The latter is obviously the source of the name ‘Adirondacks’. That word means, pejoratively, ‘tree eaters’, with ate- reflexive, i.e. something like ‘for themselves’, -k- ‘eat’, and -s ‘habitual’, I think. I’m not sure about the morphology of aterú:to, nor of the others.
    The initial /tk-/ vs. /k-/ could be a dialectal difference, again I’m not sure.

  6. @Y: Günther Michelson seems to equate Toronto with aterú:to — how does that form break down?

  7. There’s a lot of morpheme fusion, and once you strung the morphemes together, all kinds of morphophonological changes further scramble the word, and some roots might end up reflected in only one phoneme.

    Sounds like Old Irish. Sometimes an OI root will disappear from the surface altogether, leaving only prefixes and suffixes.

  8. Y: Thank you very much indeed; that’s exactly the sort of analysis I was hoping (but not expecting) to get!

  9. Lars, he doesn’t. For aterú:to all he says is that ate- is the so-called reflexive prefix, and that doesn’t help me enough.
    There’s a stem awv- ( is [õ]) glossed ‘water’, ‘to swim’. Maybe it means, generally, ‘to be in water’ and is the source of the final -o?

  10. Why would the Mohawk word for such a distant place catch on? Does it have to do with the poltical situation at the time, with the British so depended on their Iroquois alliance? It just seems odd that it’s the Mohawk rather than the Huron name that would stick. Again the antagonism between the Birtish and the Hurons would explain that.

    Or maybe those languages were just close enough anyway that the name in both languages had very similar names for that place and the source language is being inaccurately narrowed to Mohawk.

  11. I was wondering about it too—I hadn’t thought the Mohawk lived that far west, but I don’t know the geography of that area very well.
    Steckley’s explanation of the original /tk-/ becoming /t-/ in French puzzles me as well. I’d expect tkaronto to become French *Takaronto, or something like that.

    Typo correction: I meant to write ” is [õ]“.

  12. marie-lucie says:

    From Wikipedia, some relevant history:

    Toronto: HIstory – Before 1800

    When Europeans first arrived at the site of present-day Toronto, the vicinity was inhabited by the Iroquois people, who by then had displaced the Wyandot people people that had occupied the region for centuries before c. 1500. The name Toronto is likely derived from the Iroquois word tkaronto, meaning “place where trees stand in the water”. It refers to the northern end of what is now Lake Simcoe, where the Huron had planted tree saplings to corral fish. A portage route from Lake Ontario to Lake Huron running through this point, the Toronto Carrying-Place Trail, led to widespread use of the name.

    Name of Toronto

    Originally, the term “Taronto” referred to a channel of water between Lake Simcoe and Lake Couchiching, but in time the name passed southward, and was eventually applied to a new fort at the mouth of the Humber River. Fort Toronto was the first settlement in the area, and lent its name to what became the city of Toronto.

  13. John Cowan says:

    Thanks, m-l. Note that the Wyandot and the Huron are the same, and that they spoke an Iroquoian language but were politically not members of the Five Nations (as it was then) confederacy.

  14. marie-lucie says:

    Et maintenant Wikipédia.fr:

    Le nom Toronto était autrefois celui d’un lac d’assez bonnes dimensions … se trouvant à environ 120 kilomètres au nord de l’agglomération et qui se nomme aujourd’hui lac Simcoe … . Puis, … , ce fut le nom d’une petite rivière qui arrose le site actuel de la ville et qui s’appelle aujourd’hui la rivière Humber. C’est d’après le nom de cette Rivière Toronto que fut dénommée initialement la ville… . Le mot Toronto signifie « l’endroit où les racines des arbres trempent dans l’eau » dans un dialecte mohawk de l’est du Canada.

    So: Toronto was the old name of the good-sized Lake Simcoe, 120 km North of the dity, and later that of a small river running through the city site, which is now called the Humber River. The city was named after the Toronto River … The word Toronto means ‘the place were the tree roots are in the water’ in a Mohawk dialect of Eastern Canada.

    tkaruto > Toronto (where u is a nasal vowel, usually written on as in French)

    According to the Wiki page on Mohawk language, voiceless consonants (such as k) are voiced before vowels*, so tk sounds more like tg. Since the cluster tg is unusual in French or English, one would expect it to be adapted as either t or g. As adapted by French speakers, the t was probably more prominent in pronunciation, as when saying à Tgoronto, “to or at Toronto”, leading to the eventual loss of the ¨[g] in second place (although not in the original language).

    * This is why many Iroquoian place names end in ga, like Cayuga or Onondaga, which would be written with ka in the original languages.

  15. J. W. Brewer says:

    One would like to know the cognates to “tkaronto” in the various other Iroquoian languages whose speakers were floating around the relevant area at various points in the 17th century to see if there’s a non-Mohawk candidate that’s an equally-good (or better) fit. French relations with the Mohawks were mostly hostile, but it’s not impossible to pick up toponyms from enemies as well as from allies. Between Champlain’s first arrival in the area and the first documented-on-a-map use of the toponym six or seven decades later there were quite a lot of conflicts and migrations and thus which language group was “indigenous” to (or otherwise connected with) exactly which bit of territory is not necessarily the same depending upon when during the century the question is being asked with reference to.

  16. M-L,
    “When Europeans first arrived at the site of present-day Toronto, the vicinity was inhabited by the Iroquois people, who by then had displaced the Wyandot people people that had occupied the region for centuries before c. 1500. ”

    I wonder about this. I think the chronology is wrong. The Iroquois did displace (as in pretty much wipe out) the Huron/Wyandot, but that was later, during the Beaver Wars. Did they perhaps dislodge the Hurons from this one lttle section of their territory so early? But surely a war would have boken out over that and there would be some record of it.

    Also, how close are Huron and Mohawk? Close enough for Europeans to get confused as to which was which?

    Actually now that I look at a map, Toronto is not that distant from Mohawk teritory. Somehow i thought it was further east; must have been thinking of Ottawa.

  17. Jeffry House says:

    The precise time when Iroquois occupied in Toronto seems uncertain. Ontario kids like myself learn that the Huron were finally defeated when the Jesuit village/fort at Ste. Marie among the Hurons was burned to the ground in 1649. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sainte-Marie_among_the_Hurons

    Today, the Six Nations (Iroquois) Reserve is about 80 km. east of downtown Toronto. They were ejected from the vicinity in the late 17th century by the Mississauga Indians, whose name now identifies Toronto’s nearest western suburb.

    Where I live in Eastern Toronto, most discovered artifacts are Huron.

  18. Today, the Six Nations (Iroquois) Reserve is about 80 km. east of downtown Toronto.

    80 km (50 miles) WEST of downtown Toronto.

  19. Fools rush in where angels fear to go. Obviously I am a fool. Now that that is out of the way…

    According to my source (Bonvillain, Nancy. 1973. A GRAMMAR OF AKWESASNE MOHAWK. Ottawa: National Museum of Man, Mercury collection) initial /tk/- is indeed phonotactically possible in Mohawk. Following Mindy’s morphological analysis above, wherein /ront/ is “tree” and /o/ is “water” and /tka/ is left unanalyzed, I consulted this same source (more specifically, its list of affixes, which is quite impressively long): alas, no affix with initial /tk/. BUT there exists a nominal prefix /ka/ and a “cislocative” prefix /t/, whose meaning is “locative with or without movement”. So, my VERY tentative analysis: t-ka-ront-o LOCATIVE-NOMINALIZER-TREE-WATER. Which seems close enough to the meaning “trees standing in the water”…(Unfortunately I can’t find examples in the grammar where the two prefixes, /ka/ and /t/, combine, so I’ve no idea whether the result would be /tka/ or /kat/)

    Also, in her grammar we find a form /teluto:/ glossed as “Toronto”, which I suspect is in fact a borrowing of the English form, which to Mohawk ears may not have been relatable to their own form.

    And Jim is right, it was in the first half of the seventeenth century that the League of five nations expelled the Hurons from Southern Ontario. I may have recommended it here before, but I encourage hatters wishing to get a better grasp of this period of Canadian history to watch the movie BLACK ROBE, which is set in New France in the early seventeenth century. Quite apart form being a superb movie, it is one of the most historically realistic ones I have ever seen.

  20. Oops. I corrected Jeffry House by noting that the Six Nations reserve is 80 km west of Toronto. True enough, but that’s not the whole story. I linked to the Six Nations of the Grand River reserve near Brantford (named after Joseph Brant, a fascinating figure known as Thayendanegea in his native Mohawk language), which is not the same as the Six Nations of the Iroquois, most of whom appear to live in New York state. There’s also the Tyendinaga Mohawk Territory, about 200 km (120 miles) east of Toronto in the Bay of Quinte area, and the Mohawk Nation at Akwesasne, straddling the Ontario, Quebec and New York state borders.

  21. Note that Akwesasne Mohawk has /l/ where Caughnawaga and Oka have /r/. That both Michelson’s (Canadian?) ateru:to and Akwesasne teluto: have similar non-Anglo vowel qualities suggests to me that these are not reborrowings of the English form.

  22. Jeffry House,

    “Today, the Six Nations (Iroquois) Reserve is about 80 km. east of downtown Toronto. They were ejected from the vicinity in the late 17th century by the Mississauga Indians,”

    That’s interesting. Mississauga is an Anishinaabe name, so prhaps these were Ojibwe expelling these Mohawk. They was a not-so-cold war on between the Iroqious and the Ojibwe. And this was not the first time they had beaten the invincible war machine of the Irioquois; I recall an overwhelming victotry somewhere in Wisconsin or Minnesota, where the Ojibwe were expanding and ultimately expelling the Lakota and probably the Cheyenne too.

    Etienne, that analysis sounds prety straight forward. Is that how Mohawk normally does place name prefixes?

    Paul,
    “(named after Joseph Brant, a fascinating figure known as Thayendanegea in his native Mohawk language),”

    i have always wondered why there was a convention of translating NA names into English eg. “Sitting Bull” instead of just rendering the name as closley as possibly, eg. “Tatanka Iyotanka” – and just kind of assumed it had to do with the long, long names that a consonant-poor language is going to generate, too long for Englsih speakers to keep straight. And then it become customary. Since then Englsih speakers have buckled down and learned to deal with “Tokugawa Ieyasu” and hopeless, run-on Russian names but not gone back to correct the earlier laziness.

  23. John Cowan says:

    My guess is that names-that-meant-something were an exotic idea in the 17C, and Europeans weren’t quite sure if they were names or descriptions.

  24. J. W. Brewer says:

    The (mixed) Six Nations reserve in Ontario is another example of how the relationship between particular ethnolinguistic groups (however “aboriginal” or “indigenous” you might want to think of them as) and particular geographical territory shifts over history. It was founded, as I understand it, as sort of an Indian equivalent of the land given by the Crown to the Tories-cum-UEL’s – i.e., as a new home for members of various of the Six Nations (who had generally sided with the British during the Revolution) who did not wish to be subject to U.S. rule post-1783 and accordingly emigrated to Canada. Because they were emigres and/or lacked sufficient critical mass for each of the Six Nations to get its own Canadian territory, they got jumbled together (which you would think would have had linguistic consequences?). The extent to which the currently extant separate reservations of the individual Six Nations in upstate New York fall within each tribe’s historical territory as of such-and-such year in the past may vary a bit, but it’s a lot closer (with a big asterisk for the Tuscarora, who relocated up to New York from the Carolinas well within “historical” times, and I believe after 1700).

    As to Jim’s point, I’m not sure when the practice of calquing rather than transliterating given names became common/ubiquitous, but it was not so at the outset of English settlement in North America, as witness the individuals standardly known in English-language sources as Powhatan, Pocahontas, Massasoit, Squanto, etc.

  25. always wondered why there was a convention of translating NA names into English eg. “Sitting Bull” instead of just rendering the name as closley as possibly, eg. “Tatanka Iyotanka” – and just kind of assumed it had to do with the long, long names that a consonant-poor language is going to generate, too long for Englsih speakers to keep straight. And then it become customary. Since then Englsih speakers have buckled down and learned to deal with “Tokugawa Ieyasu” and hopeless, run-on Russian names but not gone back to correct the earlier laziness.
    There are other possible explanations, e.g. that the names could have been traditionally translated *between* different NA languages before being translated into European languages; or that the names were *meant* to be understand within the context of objects and forces of Nature, i.e. that for the bearer of Sitting Bill name, it was more important for the meaning of his name to be understood, than for the sound of his name to be conveyed.

    Likewise, for the Russian names anchored within the context of Christianity, it wasn’t uncommon to be translated – in the end, to be symbolically understood rather than phonetically mimicked – this Pyotr would become Pierre etc.

    As to the Wyandots, or Hurons, they were pushed South-West to the lands just West of Lake Erie, then started loosing their Ohio lands to European encroachment in the early XIX c. And after President Andrew Jackson signed Indian Removal Act in 1830, the expulsion of the Wyandots accelerated. The formal takeover of their Upper Sandusky land has been signed on March 17 1842 by Col. John Johnston, and by the mid-1840s their last survivors were huddled West of the Mississippi. The “Wyandot’s Farewell Song”, published in The Democratic Pioneer, Upper Sandusky, on October 24, 1845, read in part:

    Sandusky, Tymochtee and Broken Sword streams.
    Never more shall I see you except in my dreams.
    Adieu to the marshes, where the cranberries grow;
    O’er the great Mississippi, alas! I must go

    (One of my “cancer mega-families” has moved to Wyandot County OH in 1851, and many descendants still live there, which first gave us an inkling of possible relatedness – and it took a serious history study before I was able to connect all the dots, which is how I happened to learn the fate of the Wyandots)

  26. J.W.B.,

    Good point. It didn’t get going until serious Englsih engagement with the Iroquois. Wampanoag and Virginia Algonkian names were not translated.

    “as a new home for members of various of the Six Nations (who had generally sided with the British during the Revolution)”

    From the Iroquois perspective the American Revolution was simply a civil war mong their Englsii allies, and it destroyed their power.

    Mockba,
    “As to the Wyandots, or Hurons, they were pushed South-West to the lands just West of Lake Erie, then started loosing their Ohio lands to European encroachment in the early XIX c. And after President Andrew Jackson signed Indian Removal Act in 1830, the expulsion of the Wyandots accelerated.”

    That’s about the earliest they could have gone there. When the Iroquois decidied to exterminate the Hurons, they were quite thorough, and Ohio was firmly under Iroquois control and had been since the 1600s. The Iroquois had pushed the Osage and other Dheghiha speakers on down the river into Missouri. So Ohio was anything but a refuge for Hurons.

    “i.e. that for the bearer of Sitting Bill name, it was more important for the meaning of his name to be understood, than for the sound of his name to be conveyed.”

    Certainly true. In his particular case and others like it, his name reflected a personal religious experience and was very individual.

  27. That’s about the earliest they could have gone there. When the Iroquois decidied to exterminate the Hurons, they were quite thorough, and Ohio was firmly under Iroquois control and had been since the 1600s

    Not really, parts of the Wyandots took refuge in Michigan immediately after the devastating Iroquois attack of 1649, and gradually expanded from there (other elements of the defeated Wyandots fled East towards Quebec City). The Iroquois did displace the native inhabitants of Ohio River valley but must have left the North-Western corner of Ohio adjacent to Michigan more or less in peace – and in any case the Iroquois ceded lands North of Ohio River in 1701 (John Nanfan’s Treaty aka Deed from the Five Nations to the King, of their Beaver Hunting Ground). Later in XVIIIth c., Wyandot’s dominance over Sandusky River valley is well attested, and in 1782 Gen. Irvine lead a military expedition against them from Fort Pitt.

  28. marie-lucie says:

    Sitting Bull, etc

    The custom of translating indigenous names into English (or French) still persists, with people from some linguistic backgrounds having last names such as “Born-with-One-Tooth” (now inherited). At least those names make sense in translation, while the original name, being meaningless to non-native speakers (and sometimes unpronounceable by them), would run the risk of being mangled or shortened into further meaninglessness.

    I remember hearing on the radio an interview with a woman originally from India) who was expressing her frustration that English names did not mean anything, unlike Indian names which often were words for flowers, gems, good qualities, and other pleasant things.

    Pyotr , Pierre

    In medieval Europe the de facto official, international language was Latin, since all important documents were written or translated into it. New converts to Christianity as well as newborn infants were baptized using a Latin formula in which the new Christian’s name was Latinized if it was not already derived from Latin, so depending on the country or region, a person officially named “Petrus” was called by the local equivalent, such as Pyotr, Peter, Pietro, Pedro, Pierre, etc. When people moved from one country to another (such as artists moving from court to court), they were known by the local equivalent of their Latin name (and signed accordingly). Famous people known internationally such as kings, queens, popes, many saints, and sundry others ended up being known by several different names depending on the country and language. Consider the alleged discoverer of America: Cristoforo Colombo, Cristobal Colon, Christophe Colomb, Christopher Columbus, and other variants. Spain normally continues the custom of nativizing foreign names, so that for instance the queen of England is known as la reina Isabel, her husband as Felipe and the heir to the throne as Carlos.

  29. marie-lucie says:

    Y: That both Michelson’s (Canadian?) ateru:to and Akwesasne teluto: have similar non-Anglo vowel qualities suggests to me that these are not reborrowings of the English form.

    Also, both words are missing the [k] of Tkaruto. Either these languages /dialects had a different prefix, or they (not the French) had already lost the [k] of the cluster (cluster-simplification being a frequent occurrence in the history of languages).

  30. J. W. Brewer says:

    In the U.S. there is as far as I can tell considerable diversity of surname practice among persons of American Indian ancestry, with calqued surnames, transliterated surnames, and “regular”-sounding surnames (i.e., coming from the set one might expect to be borne by American blacks or American WASPs) all extant. I expect different tribes and/or different regions may lean more toward one approach or the other, but e.g. the three presidents of the Navajo Nation prior to the current incumbent (who according to wikipedia were surnamed, in chronological order, Bluehouse, Begaye, and Shirley) appear at a superficial glance to perhaps include one example each of all three approaches.

    Many people named Pyotr in medieval Europe had probably been baptized by a priest using a Slavonic form of words, not a Latin one. Whether a typical medieval Frenchman named Pierre actually conceived of “Petrus” as being in some metaphysical sense his “official” name (rather than simply the Latinate form appropriately used in Latinate discourse contexts, just as the vernacular form would be appropriately used in other contexts) is not clear to me.

  31. Many people named Pyotr in medieval Europe had probably been baptized by a priest using a Slavonic form of words, not a Latin one

    Russian official Orthodox onomasticon (именослов) specifically forbade use of Catholic names for christenings. The babies’ names had to conform to the Church list of Saints; for examples, baby Svetlana would have be officially christened Photinia (both derived from Slavonic and Greek words for “light”, respectively – talk about translations!).

    Other Latin – but officially recognized – names were traditionally reserved for the Russian Orthodox clergy in their official capacities. For examples, no babies could have been christened Valentin, even though a whole slew of Orthodox-recognized Saints bore this name. It was given strictly to the clergymen.

  32. marie-lucie says:

    Whether the church language was Latin (in the West) or Slavonic (in the East) or some other language (Greek ?), the relevant church recorded names in its own language. I don’t think that the average person thought of the Latin or Slavonic name as their “official” name unless they were really conversant in the relevant and language and therefore not “the average person”! In the West, people who wrote for a learned audience used a Latin or Latinized version of their name, such as Petrus or Franciscus or whatever, but if they wrote in another language (like Italians writing in Occitan) they normally signed their work using the version of their name that was current in the other language (or dialect as it might be). This is why we have the same person known as Cristoforo Colombo, Cristobal Colon, Christophe Colomb, Christopher Columbus and still others. IThere is no reason to think that that particular person felt conflicted about which version was his “real” name.

  33. Marie-Lucie: according to Bonvillain /tk/ is a possible cluster (word initially and elsewhere) in present-day Mohawk, which makes it unlikely that an earlier /tkaronto/ was reduced to /teluto:/. However, I would like to amend my earlier suggestion: I now think /teluto:/ re-entered Mohawk from French, not from English. I’ve two reasons for thinking this:

    1-/teluto:/ is stressed on the final syllable, which is VERY unusual for a Mohawk word (normally Mohawk words are stressed on the penultimate syllable). Tellingly, some such unusual words are loanwords: cf. /aplam/, with stress on the final syllable, from French “Abraham” (which is also unusual in having both /p/ and /m/, two segments which native Mohawk words lack). A borrowing from French would thus yield a form with final stress. And…

    2-Comparing the French realization of “toronto” and /teluto:/ the biggest phonological obstacle to a French origin (keeping in mind that the Mohawk /u/ is nasalized) struck me as being the initial syllable: /to/ versus /te/. Well, as it turns out, Mohawk has /telo/ as its word for “bull”, from French “taureau”. So it seems French /o/ in an unstressed open syllable does surface as /e/ in loans in Mohawk. And French /r/ becomes /l/ in Mohawk in /aplam/ as well as /teluto:/. So *every* segment, as well as stress, is accounted for.

    I may be a fool when it comes to offering an etymology of /tka/-, but here I think I’ve a bullet-proof case.

  34. marie-lucie says:

    Tràs bien, Etienne!

  35. The Wyandots/Hurons have certainly survived. In 1785 they nearly wiped out my family in a retailiation against the Irvine expedition. But we’ve made up, I suppose: one of my favorite professors was a Canadian Huron, Dr. Kenneth Gros-Louis, later Chancellor of Indiana University.

  36. I take it this is the Crawford expedition? Irvine didn’t actually take part, though he did a lot of organizing for it.

  37. That would be it, I think. For my family’s adventures see Alexander Scott Withers’ Chronicles of Border warfare.

  38. The calque/transliteration question was never quite as settled as is made out up-thread. Pontiac and Tecumseh beg to differ. Sequoyah was primarily known that way though he had a German father, so a pretty solid claim to a western name. Cochise lived till 1875. On the other side are Dragging Canoe and Little Turtle.

    I’d also point out that while several different people above refer to Lake Simcoe as being 120 km north of Toronto, Georgina maps at 79 km, and it’s not the southernmost point of the lake.

  39. marie-lucie says:

    ryan: The calque/transliteration question

    I think you mean “translation” (from the original language to the “target” language). “Transliteration” is what you do when you replace each letter of a word written in a given alphabet (such as the Russian one) by another latter (or digraph) of a different alphabet (such as the “Latin” one).

    The difference between “calque” and “translation” is that a translation expresses the same meaning in one language as with another, even though the structure used might be different in the two languages, while a calque is a word-for-word translation which may result in awkwardness or even nonsense in the target language. English phrases such as “attorney general”, with the adjective following the noun, are not spontaneous creations in English but calques of French structures. Names like “Sitting Bull” or “Born with a tooth” are translations of indigenous names, not calques.

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