The English Channel or La Manche

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What is the English Channel and what is La Manche?.

They are the same thing, a stretch of water between France and England.


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The difference in wording is that one is in the English language, and the other in the French language.

‘la manche’ means ‘the sleeve’, and is said to refer to the ‘sleeve shape’ of the Channel.

English Channel - la manchee

Dutch sea maps from the 16th century used the term ‘Engelse Kanaal’.

In the 18th century the term English Channel began to be used. You can see the similarity.


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In the 2nd century it was called ‘Oceanus Britannicus’, (which translates to ‘British Ocean’) by Ptolemy.


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