Another Aha! Moment That Leaves You Feeling Incredibly Dim-Witted
Father insisted we all have at least one year of Latin in school. "It will help you with your vocabulary" he would say. So dutifully, each of us attended Latin. I took Latin in 8th grade. I barely remember amo, amas, amat; I love, you love, he/she/it loves. I was a good student of Latin, but I was incredibly relieved when the year was over so I could start attending classes in German.
Now that I am older, I am amazed at the number of times that I hear a phrase that makes me stop and think about the background for the phrase. You know the ones: "he's not worth his weight in salt" or "a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush" or "the grass is always greener on the other side." Easy to throw those statements around, but how often do you actually stop and think about the background for those catch phrases? They roll off the tongue so easily. Right?
Several weeks ago, I was mesmerized by another hour-long session of a TV program about the mystery of Oak Island. If you are not familiar with it, 2 brothers who frequented the area when they were children, have been engaged with us on trying to find a supposed hidden treasure on the Island. Each week, another mystery, another find, another catastrophe or near miss leaves us wanting to know more. Like a modern-day soap opera, I am fully engaged as the story develops. (BTW - I don't watch soap operas. I have my pride.)
Where is this mystery island? Nova Scotia, of course! Starting to follow me here?
Yes. At the ripe old age of 64, my light bulb went on. Nova Scotia... Nova Scotia... New Scotland? New Scotand! Sheesh..... where has my brain been? So with that, I whipped out my trusty Mac and found out that yes, Nova Scotia is Latin for New Scotland. Father was right. My Latin classes would pay off. This is when I tell you this is one of the main reasons why I studied law, but never practiced. I'm smart... I know it. But I'm not very fast. I could not imagine my poor clients in the courtroom suffering over my objection to something presented to a jury. I would know that I needed to object, but I would beg for a few minutes to mull over my rationale for the objection. So you can see why sometimes my lightbulb is always on, but sometimes not brightly lit. But I am now off topic. Back to Nova Scotia we must go!
Nova Scotia is a maritime province off of Canada. It is part of what is referred to as Atlantic Canada.
I started reviewing the Wiki information, but ended up looking through the Canadian Encyclopedia. If you work through the history of this island, it is packed with struggles from across the Atlantic, from the colonization of America and much more. The history of Nova Scotia is rich. The first inhabitants were the native Mi'kmaq. There is much to say about this native group, so I recommend some additional research about them. However, I did learn that the Mi'kmaq can be traced back some 10,000 years and are part of the Wabanaki Confederacy of Native Americans. According to the Canadian Encyclopedia, they had much better relations with the French settlers to the island, than the English.
Norse explorers have been suspected to be some of the first visitors to Nova Scotia (and if you watch that TV show, you will hear Romans as well as Knights Templar mentioned - very engaging show. I get sucked right in every hour). John Cabot is reported to have landed in 1497 (remember your grade school lessons on the world explorers). French explorers, Pierre Du Gua de Monts and Samuel de Champlain established Port Royal in 1605 and agricultural settlements followed. But it wasn't until 1621 that King James I of England named the island Nova Scotia under a grant to Sir William Alexander for Scottish colonies. First attempts to colonize were not successful, but Europeans continued to come to the island. The history of Nova Scotia is fascinating and is intertwined with European as well as U.S. history. It is well worth the time to read more about this New Scotland. Try the Canadian Encyclopeida here.
Did I follow suit with my father's belief of studying Latin for my own children? Nope. They took Japanese.
(Free images from Pixaby)
Photo of Blomidon, Nova Scotia.