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Glossary

Waterhole Post Office and stopping place in Northern Alberta. This short glossary was developed by Merrily K. Aubrey, Coordinator, Alberta Geographical Names Program, and appeared in Place Names of Alberta: Northern Alberta (Volume IV), edited by Merrily K. Aubrey (Calgary, AB: University of Calgary Press, 1996)

Basin, Bowl - shaped head of a valley in foothills or mountains. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Bay - Water area in an indentation of the shoreline of lakes or large rivers. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Bend - Distinct curve in a water body. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Bluff - Headland, cliff, or river bank with a steep face. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Bottom - Level land of a valley floor. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Buffalo Jump - Vertical side of a coulee, hill, or river bank. Place where Prairie Indians killed herds of bison by driving them over steep cliffs. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Butte - Conspicuous isolated hill with steep sides and a flat top. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Canadian Expeditionary Force - Canadian army raised in World War I. It was composed of a number of units, and remained a voluntary force until conscription was enacted in 1917. In all, over 600,000 troops joined the CEF.

Canal - Artificial waterway. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Canyon - Deep narrow valley with precipitous walls. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Cape - Prominent elevated projection of land extending into a body of water. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Cascade - Series of stepped waterfalls. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Cave - Natural subterranean chamber open to the surface. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

CEF - See Canadian Expeditionary Force.

Channel - Narrow stretch of water, either an inlet or a connection between two bodies of water. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Chutes - Narrow and fast flowing descent of a watercourse confined within steep banks. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

City - At the request of the residents, it is an incorporated jurisdiction of more than 10,000 inhabitants.

CMG - Companion, the Most Distinguished Order of St. Michael and St. George. Established in 1818 and awarded to citizens of the Commonwealth who have rendered distinguished services in foreign affairs. (Source: F.J. Blatherwick, Canadian orders, decorations and medals, 3rd ed., Toronto, Ontario: Unitrade Press, 1985, various pages)

Coulee - Usually steep-sided valley or ravine. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

County - An incorporated administrative area with legislated boundaries which is operated by an elected council, with jurisdiction over education.

Creek - Watercourse, usually smaller than a river.(Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Crossing - A place suitable for traversing a body of water. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

DCM - See Distinguished Conduct Medal.

DFC - See Distinguished Flying Cross.

Distinguished Conduct Medal - Usually awarded when a Victoria Cross has been recommended but not given.

Distinguished Flying Cross - Awarded to Officers and Warrant Officers for and act or acts of valour, courage or devotion to duty performed whilst flying in active operations against the enemy. (Source: F.J. Blatherwick, Canadian orders, decorations and medals, 3rd ed., Toronto, Ontario: Unitrade Press, 1985, various pages)

Distinguished Service Order - Established for rewarding individual instances of meritorious or distinguished service in war. This is a purely military order and is only given to officers whose service has been marked by the special mention of his name in despatches for "distinguished services under fire", or under conditions equivalent to service in actual combat with the enemy. (Source: F.J. Blatherwick, Canadian orders, decorations and medals, 3rd ed., Toronto, Ontario: Unitrade Press, 1985, various pages)

DLS - Dominion Land Surveyor

Dome - Mass of rock or ice with rounded top, elevated above the surrounding terrain. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

DSO - See Distinguished Service Order.

Elbow - Sharp turn in a watercourse. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Falls - Perpendicular or steep descent of water. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Flat - Almost level land, usually found along a valley. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Foothills - Hilly transition zone between a mountain range and a plain. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Former locality - A place usually uninhabited or with a very small, scattered population. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Former post office - Name retained for a post office now closed. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Former railway point - Name retained for a railway point no longer in use.

Gap - Narrow opening through a ridge or mountain chain. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Glacier - Mass of permanent snow and ice flowing from an area of snow accumulation on higher ground. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Hamlet - An unincorporated area of land subdivided into lots and blocks as a townsite, usually containing eight or more occupied dewllings and at least one retail business outlet, the administration of which is handled by the municipality under which it falls -improvement district, municipal district or county.

Hill - Elevation of terrain rising prominently above the surrounding land. (Source: F.J. Blatherwick, Canadian orders, decorations and medals, 3rd ed., Toronto, Ontario: Unitrade Press, 1985, various pages)

Hotsprings - Site of a natural flow of hot or warm water issuing from the ground. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Icefield - Irregularly shaped mass of permanent snow and ice, generally forming the accumulation area of two or more glaciers. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Improvement District - An administrative area with legislated boundaries, without a large enough taxation base to enable the formation of a Municipal District or County. It is under the jurisdiction of the provincial Department of Municipal Affairs. If a stable population/taxation base becomes available, the ratepayers may petition the government to form a Municipal District or County.

Indian Reserve - Tract of land set apart for the use and benefit of a particular Indian band. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Island - Land area surrounded by water or marsh. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Lake, Lac - Inland body of standing water. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Locality - A place with scattered population or fewer than eight occupied dwellings. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Marsh - Area of low-lying land, often flooded and usually characterized by growth of grass and reeds. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Meadow

  • (i) Low-lying flat, seasonally wet grassy area. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)
  • (ii) Alpine or sub-alpine treeless area characterized by seasonal grasses and wild flowers. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

MP, Member of Parliament - Representative of a constituency elected to the federal House of Commons.

MLA, Member of the Legislative Assembly - Representative of a constituency elected to the provincial parliament.

Metis Settlement - An administrative area with legislated boundaries, established under the Metis Settlements Act of 1990.

MC, Military Cross - Awarded to officers of the rank of Captain or lower including Warrant Officers, for gallant and distinguished services in action. (Source: F.J. Blatherwick, Canadian orders, decorations and medals, 3rd ed., Toronto, Ontario: Unitrade Press, 1985, various pages)

MM, Military Medal - Awarded to Warrant Officers, NCOs [Non-Commissioned Officers] for individual or asssociated acts of bravery and devotion under fire on the recommendation of a Commander-in-Chief in the Field. (Source: F.J. Blatherwick, Canadian orders, decorations and medals, 3rd ed., Toronto, Ontario: Unitrade Press, 1985, various pages)

Municipal District - An incorporated administrative area with legislated boundaries which is operated by an elected council, but with no jurisdiction over education.

Mount, Mountain - Mass of land prominently elevated above the surrounding terrain, bounded by steep slopes and rising to an summit and/or peaks. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Muskeg - Waterlogged swamp with deep accumulation of organic material. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Narrows - Constricted section of a water body.

National Park - Legally defined land area, under federal jurisdiction for camping, outdoor recreation and preservation of wildlife. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Pass - Low opening in a mountain range or hills, offering a route from one side to the other. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Peak - Summit of a mountain or hill, or the mountain or hill itself. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Point, Pointe - Land area jutting into a water feature; also used for a convex change in direction of a shoreline. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Post office - A Canada Post designation, listed where the post office name differs from the name of the place where it is located. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Prairie - Area of flat or gently rolling grassland; larger that a meadow and often extensive. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Provincial Park - Lands designated by Order in Council, for conservation of flora and fauna, or for preservation of areas and objects of geological, cultural, ecological or other specific interest, and to facilitate their use and enjoyment for outdoor recreation. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Railway point - A named point or intersection of tracks, as designated by a railway company. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Range - Group or chain of mountains or hills. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Rapids - Fast-flowing section of a watercourse, usually with turbulent water or exposed rocks. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Reservoir - Inland body of standing water, often man-made. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Ridge - Elongated stretch of elevated ground. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

River - Flowing watercourse. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Rock - Rocky hill, mountain, or cliff; or a large boulder. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Sapper - A military engineer of the rank of private.

Settlement - A legally designated land subdivision, usually with a scattered population. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Slide - Scar and/or material from landslide or debris flow. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Slough - Shallow water-filled or marshy depression with no external drainage. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Spring - Site of a natural flow of water issuing from the ground. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

Station - An older term referring to a stop on a railway line, usually attended by an agent.

Summer village - At the request of the residents, it is an incorporated jurisdiction of not less than 50 separate dwellings, with seasonal occupancy.

Survey crew - See appendix on Surveying for information on survey crews.

Surveyor - Someone, usually an engineer, hired to oversee the accurate recording of the topography of the land. In the early days of Alberta's history, much of the work was accomplished by the Dominion Land Surveyors. The work is now done by the Alberta Lands Surveyors. See the appendix on Surveying.

Town - At the request of the residents, it is an incorporated jurisdiction of more than 1000 inhabitants.

Valley - Long, relatively narrow depression, commonly containing a river or other water feature. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)

VC, Victoria Cross - Awarded for most conspicuous bravery or some daring or pre-eminent act of valour or self-sacrifice or extreme devotion to duty in the presence of the enemy. (Source: F.J. Blatherwick, Canadian orders, decorations and medals, 3rd ed., Toronto, Ontario: Unitrade Press, 1985, various pages)

Village - At the request of the inhabitants, it is an incorporated jurisdiction containing not less than 75 separate buildings with continuous occupation.

Wall - Steep rock face. (Source: Gazetteer of Canada, Alberta, 3rd ed., Ottawa, Ontario: Energy Mines and Resources Canada, 1988, pp. ix-xi, xv-xviii.)


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