The hard-working, fun-loving people of Saskatchewan don’t take themselves too seriously, as these quirky place names show!
I’ve always loved the hubris of the small Saskatchewan town of Biggar. They have a sign on their main street with the claim “New York is big but this is Biggar”.
Biggar’s not the only small town in Saskatchewan with attitude along with a wacky name. The little village of Love, Saskatchewan invariably features in at least one news article every Valentine’s Day. Canada Post has even given Love its own unique “Teddy Bear” postmark (a teddy bear holding a heart, surrounded by the name Love). Thousands of pieces of mail go through the post office each year to receive the unique postmark and are then sent on to their final destination. Not bad for a town of around 115 people!
Then there are the body parts. It seems that someone in Saskatchewan’s past clearly had a thing for body parts. How else would you explain towns with names like Elbow, Eyebrow, Knee Lake and Little Bone? Of course, they all have apparently reasonable explanations. Elbow, for instance, is situated at the elbow of the South Saskatchewan River. But still, one can’t help wondering.
At first I thought the sign was pulling my LEG. But then when I stepped a few FEET closer, I realised that my EYES were not playing tricks on me 😉 I presume the settlers decided to screw with future toponymists and said “Let’s name our towns after body parts!” Picture taken in Belly Button, Saskatchewan #exploresask
Saskatchewan is full of wacky names. There are the hamlets of Mozart (and yes, it is named after that Mozart), Reward and Sanctuary, the villages of Primate, Forget and Spy Hill (how can you possibly be boring when you live in a town called Spy Hill!) and the city of Moose Jaw. And let’s not forget Xena. Not the warrior princess but apparently, according to at least one expert, probably a made-up name to fit the sequence of the Alphabet line. I prefer the warrior princess theory myself.
Of course, the village that raises the most snickers is invariably Climax. Its tagline is the Sunset Capital of Saskatchewan. It makes me think of the town in Pennsylvania named Intercourse. Again, there’s a perfectly reasonable explanation…
There’s also Wolverine, Grandmother’s Bay, Old Wives Lake and the ever-so-thought-provoking Adanac (Canada spelt backwards). But I’ll leave you with the most Canadian, and “Eyebrow” raising town of Big Beaver. Yes. Seriously.