Labrador/ˈlabrədɔː/

If you look up Labrador in the dictionary there are generally two definitions, the Canadian province (Newfoundland and Labrador) and a breed of dog. The dog is named after the place, by the way. But last week I found a third ‘definition’, if you will.

I have always wondered why a pretty bay in Devon would be named after a breed of dog, so last week we stopped at the Labrador Bay car park to find out* and I learned that the origins of the name are believed to come from the French, l’abri d’or or shelter of gold. Well, that makes a lot of sense in those parts; smuggling did a roaring trade on the South West coast in the 18th century and you only have to go into Shaldon and there’s the Smugglers Tunnel. Mystery solved, or maybe not. What if (and I couldn’t find any evidence either way), the name is more to do with the Newfoundland cod trade and fisheries, a big employer at the time? Rather coincidental, don’t you think? But today, on European Day of Languages, I am going to believe that the name was influenced by our closer neighbours and the French language. #europeandayoflanguages

* We walked the coastal path to Maidencombe, but be warned, it’s VERY hilly and not for the faint-hearted or exercise-shy!

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