Thursday, April 15, 2010

Who named our bodies (of water)?

The Atlantic Ocean. The Mediterranean Sea. The big bodies of water are named like that: First the word the, then the assigned name, then the category.

The Mississippi River. Same deal with rivers.

But when we get to lakes, everything changes. Lake Huron. Lake Como. Lake Wallenpaupack. (What? You never heard of Lake Wallenpaupack? Accent on the the third syllable.) With lakes, we have the category first, then the name. No the.

Moving down to ponds, we have another change. Caleb Pond. Walden Pond. Back to reversing the name and the category, but again, no the.

Where I live, the creeks have names. Middle Creek. Cooper's Creek. Oops—that's in Australia. No matter. Creeks same as ponds.

So.....how do you suppose this naming system came about? I have no idea.

I was pondering this in the car today. I have a rather long commute to work. Sometimes I need to think about something other than deadlines, plumbing problems in the house, and my ever-lengthening To Do list.

10 comments:

Dona said...

Wow. I've never, ever pondered this.

Good for you. I'm glad someone's on top of things.

mm said...

Trouble sleeping?

I have heard of Lake Wallenpaupak, btw. It played a big role in an episode of the office (season 2, I believe).

mm said...

Trouble sleeping?

I have heard of Lake Wallenpaupak, btw. It played a big role in an episode of the office (season 2, I believe).

The Cookbook Junkie said...

Of course I've heard of Lake Wallenpaupack but we spent more time at Chapman Lake and what about Harveys Lake? (ha! there goes the naming scheme).

Susan said...

LOL Dona. MM, you're clearly getting old and repeating yourself. Actually, I am having trouble sleeping.....but I wrote that post at work before 9:00 p.m.

Cookbook Junkie, you've ruined my whole theory! Now I'll have to ponder something else.

Bridgett said...

I know other weird lakes: Lake of the Ozarks. Lake of the Woods. Of the. They don't even get their own names.

But Kentucky Lake breaks your pattern, as does Rend Lake. But Lake Carlyle and Lake St. Louis keep to it (local lakey places).

What about the River Jordan? The River Styx?

Now I'm going to think about this all day.

Susan said...

I'm sorry, Bridgett.

mm said...

I thought it hung up on me the first time, so I sent it again.

You name your creeks? Here in Ontario, we don't. I have one running through my back yard, and we call it "the creek". When I lived in BC and had a creek in the back yard, we called it "the crick". I guess we were rednecks when we lived out west.

Indigo Bunting said...

This is a delightful read. And let us all obsess together.

Bridgett said...

OK, from the trip home today from my in-laws:

River Aux Vases Creek

I quit.