BC: British Columbia; Before Christ

the use of BCE was popularized in academic and scientific publications

British ColumbiaWhat possessed me going through the two-letter postal codes for United States states, Canadian provinces and territories of both? It started with a game I used to play with my daughter, usually in the car.

I’d say there were four states beginning with A and she’d name them. None with B, but three with C, one with D, etc.

Re: British Columbia, I started wondering about something. How does the province in Canada furthest from the country and explorer for which it’s named become so dubbed?

Here’s an explanation: “The Colony… was founded by Richard Clement Moody [et al.]… in response to the Fraser Canyon Gold Rush… He was hand-picked by the Colonial Office in London to transform British Columbia into the British Empire’s ‘bulwark in the farthest west,’ and ‘to found a second England on the shores of the Pacific…’

“Today… the question of Aboriginal Title, long ignored, has become a legal and political question of frequent debate as a result of recent court actions. Notably, the Tsilhqot’in Nation has established Aboriginal title to a portion of their territory, as a result of a 2014 Supreme Court of Canada decision.”

The traditional English abbreviation was B.C., the traditional French C.-B. for Colombie-Britannique. Capital: Victoria; largest city: Vancouver.


Dionysius invented the Anno Domini system in the sixth century, “which is used to number the years of both the Gregorian calendar and the Julian calendar.

“Common Era or Current Era (CE) and BCE (Before the Common Era or Before the Current Era)… are alternatives to the Dionysian AD and BC system respectively… Since the two notation systems are numerically equivalent, “2019 CE” corresponds to “AD 2019” and “400 BCE” corresponds to “400 BC”.

The expression has been traced back to 1615, when it first appeared in a book by Johannes Kepler… The term “Common Era” can be found in English as early as 1708, and became more widely used in the mid-19th century by Jewish religious scholars.

“In the later 20th century, the use of CE and BCE was popularized in academic and scientific publications as a culturally neutral term. It is also used by some authors and publishers who wish to emphasize sensitivity to non-Christians, by not explicitly referencing Jesus as “Christ” and Dominus (“Lord”) through use of the abbreviation “AD”.

There’s a daughter story here, too. Someone in her class a few years back suggested that AD meant After Death, presumably of Jesus, but someone (OK, I) had told her some time earlier that it meant “in the year of our Lord”, or Anni Domini. However, the teacher agreed with the other student until he subsequently checked.

For ABC Wednesday

Author: Roger

I'm a librarian. i hear music, even when it's not being played. I used to work at a comic book store, and it still informs my life. I won once on JEOPARDY! - ditto.

4 thoughts on “BC: British Columbia; Before Christ”

  1. Our local Tla’Amin Nation now has a signed treaty and is self governing. It is exciting times across Canada for first nations. – Margy

  2. Yes a tough one but an interesting series. I guess I’m old school BC and AD roll off my tongue more easily.

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