Tuesday, July 06, 2010

The Scotia That's Nova

One of my favorite places in the world is Nova Scotia, new Scotland. It hangs off Canada, partially off Maine if you check it out on a map. Wonderful place.

One of the cities is Halifax, populated by (no kidding) Haligonians. (From the Chronicle Herald, on Michael Falk’s research): “In every other Halifax around the world, residents are known as Halifaxians. That’s not so in the Nova Scotia capital, which is full of proud Haligonians. British Lt. Henry Napier, recorded the term in his diary on April 24, 1814.

“Napier said, ‘On the whole the Haligonians (as they call themselves)…’ Falk believes it was already an accepted term among the locals. He speculates that Halifaxian, which was used as late as 1785, gave way to Haligonian to rid the town of a bad reputation that it earned in the U.K. and, much closer to home, in Massachusetts.

The British town, Halifax, was synonymous with hell. The town’s image was no rosier in the United States. Pamphleteer James Otis, Jr., was a man who saw Halifax ‘as the most damaging epithet he could use.’ and Halifaxian as ‘a term of abuse.’ There was a lot of propaganda, with Halifax viewed very negatively. It started before the Revolution.

The origin of the ’g’ in Haligonian remains something of a mystery. Falk suggested it might come from "halig", the Saxon word for holy, and was perhaps a deliberate attempt to distance Halifax from its reputation as a place synonymous with the more undesirable side of salvation."


Anonymous Anonymous said...

Those who are from Cape Breton are known as ''Capers''. If you think that Halifax is nice, you should try driving around Cape Breton...You leave Baddeck and do it counter clockwise then at Cheticamp you get a motel and the next day return to Baddeck clockwise. You cannot appreciate the Cape fully without doing a b2b.

Did you read about the Italian couple who had booked a trip or a cruise to Sydney, Australia and they wound up in Sydney N.S. instead? Talk about a bummer!

Exit 318

July 09, 2010 6:35 AM  
Blogger Tom Carten said...

Yeah. They did it online, clicked the wrong "Sydney" button.

July 09, 2010 3:16 PM  

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