I recently relocated to Canary Wharf. Though the move is only for a brief fortnight, I thought it warranted regurgitating PPFF #49 (sent over a year ago) on the origin of the place name, ‘Canary Wharf’, with a small addendum to the original.
In 1936, Fruit Lines Ltd, had No. 32 berth of the West Wood Quay of the Import Dock named Canary Wharf, after which the area is named. The company traded various fruits from the Mediterranean and Canary Islands. ‘Canary Islands’ is the English name for the Spanish-ruled islands ‘Islas Canarias’ in Spanish. The name ‘Islas Canarias’ is derived from ‘Canariae Insulae’ in Latin, meaning ‘Island of the Dogs’. There are many theories why the islands are called this but the one I like best is that King Juba II of Mauritania (1st centruy BC) named the island Canaria because a large number of fierce dogs made a lasting and distinct impression on the King. But then, as with all place-names, this is contested by other theories; one such theory is that it was derived from Canario, the name given to the first settlers of the island from the Berber tribe of southern Morocco (This, I don’t particularly like, because it takes us away from what appears to be a consistent canine theme, which would also render my next point a little ineffective/impotent).
I’m not sure if it was by design or sheer coincidence but isn’t it cool the dock that used to trade with the original ‘islands of dogs’ is on the Isle of Dogs?
Have a friggatriskaidekaphilic Friday