Sound Off

What does the name "Pontchartrain," as in Lake Pontchartrain near New Orleans, mean?

The lake, which has been the center of many of the discussions regarding flooding after Hurricane Katrina, was named in 1699 by French explorer Pierre La Moyne. He named it for Comte de Pontchartrain, the French minister of the Marine at the time.

The original American Indian word for the lake was Okwata, which means "wide water."


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