creek in Canada

Discussion in 'English Only' started by veracity, Feb 21, 2010.

  1. veracity

    veracity Senior Member


    Vancouver 2010: The place of alpine skiing is called Whistler Creekside. On the map of Canada I have found a number of places called "something Creek".
    Certainly I know the word creek as a small river or brook.
    However I checked it in my dictionary and it has other meanings too, not to my big surprise.

    I am just ruminating over that.

    Its other meanings are - gulsh, canyon, gorge, notch.

    What do Canadian imagine when hearing Cache Creek or Scotch Creek, Fox Creek? Do they think of a brook or instead a canyon? (or both at the same time)

    Sorry for this strange question.

  2. jpyvr Senior Member

    Fortaleza, Ceará, Brazil
    English - Canadian
    Hi - It's not a strange question at all. Since I lived for many years in Vancouver, I'm well familiar with all the geographical names that you mention in your post.

    As far as I can tell, creek in Canadian English means a small river or a brook. In the specific names Whistler Creekside and Cache Creek, I can confirm that in those instances it does mean a small river, as I have seen the river in question. Perhaps it carries the other meaning in Scotch Creek and Fox Creek, but I would generally guess that it most often carries the meaning small river or brook.

    Hope that helps.
  3. veracity

    veracity Senior Member

    jpyvr thank you.
  4. sdgraham

    sdgraham Senior Member

    Oregon, USA
    USA English
    To me, equating "creek" with "canyon" is utter nonsense.

    I live on a stream called McKay Creek that flows through agricultural fields.

    Note that the online dictionary here makes no such excursion from the norm for creek
  5. entangledbank

    entangledbank Senior Member

    English - South-East England
    By the way, in Britain it means something different: a creek is a small estuary or inlet of the sea. But in North America and Australia it can be any small stream, not necessarily close to the sea. I would guess that where it seems to mean "canyon, gorge" it's because there is a creek (stream) in the canyon/gorge.
  6. veracity

    veracity Senior Member

    Thank you entangledbank.
    You must be right, here is the proof.
    A gorge made (at least in part) by a creek.

    There must be some misunderstanding in my dic, the oldest and biggest dictionary in Hungary.

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