A sophist etymology of “Isle of Dogs”

Like the wharf, it comes from the Canaries. Not.

  1. Islas Canarias < Canariae Insulae. Pliny, Natural History:

    We also learn from the same source that the people who inhabit the adjoining forests, which are full of all kinds of elephants, wild beasts, and serpents, have the name of Canarii; from the circumstance that they partake of their food in common with the canine race, and share with it the entrails of wild beasts.

  2. Canary Wharf < Islas Canarias. Survey of London:

    a scheme for the West Wood Wharf was settled in 1936. A two-storey warehouse was built in 1937 to serve a berth with a new ‘false’ quay, all let to Fruit Lines Limited, a subsidiary of Fred Dessen & Company (whose principals were Fred Olsen & Company, of Oslo), for their Canary Islands and Mediterranean fruit trade. The warehouse was designed by Asa Binns and built by John Mowlem & Company. The whole project cost £86,694. Following a request from Fred Dessen & Company, the site was named Canary Wharf.

  3. Canary Wharf ∈ Isle of Dogs
  4. And so by coincidence or not, Isle of Dogs < Canariae Insulae. Unfortunately London’s Dogville has been called that way since at least the 16th century, when there is no known connection of the then unplace with the Canaries nor any reason for there to be one.

More bogus etymology here.

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Last updated 04/07/2018

This post pre-dates my organ-grinding days, and may be imported from elsewhere.

Canary Islands (2): The Canary Islands also known as the Canaries, are an archipelago and autonomous community of Spain located on the Atlantic Ocean, 100 kilometres west of Morocco at the closest.

Canary Wharf (1): Canary Wharf is a major business district in London, within the London Borough of Tower Hamlets.

Etymology (55):

Isle of Dogs (1): The Isle of Dogs is an area in the East End of London that is bounded on three sides by one of the largest meanders in the River Thames.

London (133):

Pliny the Elder (3): Pliny the Elder was a Roman author, naturalist and natural philosopher, a naval and army commander of the early Roman Empire, and friend of the emperor Vespasian. Spending most of his spare time studying, writing, and investigating natural and geographic phenomena in the field, Pliny wrote the encyclopedic Naturalis Historia, which became an editorial model for encyclopedias.

Spain (1881):

Street performance (274):

West India Docks (1): The West India Docks are a series of three docks on the Isle of Dogs in London, England the first of which opened in 1802.


    1. A Nun
      September 20th 2012 12:57

      Maybe Pliny is better taken as prophecy. Mount Atlas is the Shard, the Ethiopian nation of Perorsi is Hackney, the Hesperides inhabit a brothel behind Park Lane at the westernmost end of the world.

    2. Trebots
      September 20th 2012 13:15

      I will not cease from Mental Fight,/Nor shall my Sword sleep in my hand:/Till we have built the old Maghreb,/In Englands green & pleasant Land

    3. A Nun
      September 21st 2012 18:55

      Robert Graves says Herakles’ 11th is about dragons guarding gold. The Thames is your hydra, and there’s still some treasure on the north bank.

    4. Trebots
      September 22nd 2012 09:25

      So Olli Rehn = Heracles? Hmmmm

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