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A barachois is a term used in Atlantic Canada and Saint Pierre and Miquelon and Mauritius Island to describe a coastal lagoon partially or totally separated from the ocean by a sand or shingle bar. Salt water may enter the barachois during high tide.
The term comes from a Basque word, “barratxoa”, meaning “little bar”. The popular derivation from the French “barre à choir” is without historical merit.
In Newfoundland English, the word has become written and pronounced as barrasway.
- Dark Harbour, Grand Manan, New Brunswick (photo).
- Barachois de Malbaie on the tip of the Gaspé Peninsula, fed by one of two Malbaie Rivers in Quebec and the Beattie, du Portage, and Murphy Rivers.
- Grand Barachois, Miquelon Island
- Grand-Barachois, in Westmorland County, New Brunswick
- Barachois Pond Provincial Park in western Newfoundland.
- Big Barasway and Little Barasway, communities on Newfoundland's Cape Shore
- Prince Edward Island National Park has several examples.
- Percival Bay, off the Northumberland Strait, is also known as the Big Barachois.
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