No one will say "Happy Efisga Day" next July 1.
But as we look ahead to Canada's 150th year, we are reminded that we are Canadians because — as the story goes — Jacques Cartier coined the term in 1534 from a lost-in-translation conversation during his first meeting with the Iroquois.
We could have been Cabotians, Tuponians or Hochelaganders.
Here are some of the other names that were considered when this country was just a fledgling dominion.
- Albionora — Albion of the north
- Borealia — from "borealis," the Latin word for "northern"
- Cabotia — in honour of Italian explorer John Cabot, who explored the eastern coast of Canada for England
- Efisga — an acronym for "English, French, Irish, Scottish, German, Aboriginal"
- Hochelaga — a variation of an Iroquois term, either for "beaver path" or for "big rapids" — the name of an Indigenous village Cartier visited on what is now the island of Montreal
- Mesopelagia — "land between the seas"
- Transatlantia or Transatlantica
- Tuponia or Tupona — a combination, called an acrostic, derived from "the United Provinces of North America"
- Ursalia — "place of bears"
- Vesperia — from Roman mythology, meaning "land of the evening star"
- Victorialand — in honour of Queen Victoria
Sources: Government of Canada; thecanadianencyclopedia.ca; Naming Canada: Stories about Canadian Place Names by Alan Rayburn