VANCOUVER (NEWS 1130) – Have you ever wondered why someone from Halifax is called a Haligonian?
This Canada Day we are looking at unusual place names and the terms for people who live there.
Admittedly, they can be confusing, so we tracked down a down a professional geographer and mapmaker for a crash course on Canadian demonyms.
Vancouverites, Abbotsfordians and whatever you call people from Burnaby could be excused for not knowing what to call a person from Chemainus. But UBC cartographer Jon Corbett may know the answer.
“A Chemainusite? It sounds like a disease!”
It does sound a little dirty (and it is incorrect). Chemainiac is the accepted term. How about a resident of Moose Jaw?
“A Jawer? A Moose Jawite? I have no idea,” says Corbett, searching for Moose Javian.
“Maybe if they were from Java,” he scoffs, before striking out on what to call a person from Smithers.
“A Smitheronian, you mean!”
Take no offence, Smithereens — you are among thousands of Canadians often saddled with incorrect monikers, including Maskoutans (from Saint-Hyacinthe, Quebec), Townies (from Ville Mont-Royal, Quebec), Sioux Lookouters (from guess where), Saskatonians (or is that Sakatoonians?), Aviarmiut (in Arviat, Nunavut) and Kamloopsians (obviously).
Just be thankful you don’t live with the Banana Benders, Cockroaches, Top Enders, Taswegians and Sandgropers of Australia, where they’ve elevated the demonym to a slightly snarky art form.