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Alberta's Acronyms

Acronyms are words formed from one or more first letters of other words. Place names in Alberta have been influenced by a variety of factors, including settlement patterns, the natural landscape and just plain imagination!

Use of acronyms has been generally out of favour since the late 1960's, giving way to the principles of local usage, descriptive names and historical significance. There are, however, at least 56 acronyms in Alberta. Here are just a few....

Anzac, south of Fort McMurray, was established in 1917 as a point on the Alberta and Great Waterway Railway line. The name is a combination of the first letters of World War One's Australian and New Zealand Army Corps.

Cadomin, southeast of Hinton, owed its beginning to Frederick L. Hammond, who discovered the big coal seam there in 1912. The name is an acronym for Canadian Dominion Mine, the developing company, and was coined by Mr. Hammond, the Cadomin Coal Company's first president.

Hemaruka emerged when the CNR requested a name for the station 60km east of Hanna in 1925. The general manager, A.E. Warren, suggested this acronym, a combination of the first two letters of each of his daughters' names: Helen, Marjorie, Ruth and Kathleen.

Marwayne, near Lloydminster, is a combination of the first syllable in the pioneer Marfleet family name and the first syllable of their town of origin, Wainfleet, Lincolnshire, England.

Ukalta, by Smoky Lake, was the name of the post office here from 1934 through 1964. The area was settled by people from the Ukraine who created the name from a combination of their former homeland and their new province.

Usona, 20 km southwest of Wetaskiwin, took its name from a place in California. The name is the initial letters of the United States of North America.


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