creek in Canada


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.

  • jpyvr

    Senior Member
    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.


    Senior Member
    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


    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.
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