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What are the meanings behind the names of the Great Lakes?
from Brooke in Palm Harbor, FL, Age 11

Most of the Great Lakes are named after groups of Native Peoples of the Great Lakes Region or after particular words in their languages. For example, in the language of the Iroquois, the word Ontara means "lake," and Ontario translates to "beautiful lake." On early maps, what is now called Lake Huron was often labeled in French as Lac des Hurons, which means "Lake of the Huron (Indians)".

Related references:
TEACH: What's in a name?

Thank you for your question!


Answered on May 17, 2001

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