French for the sleeve, la manche is used as a proper noun in France to describe that body of water known to the British—more possessively— as the English Channel. Similar long and narrow waterways carry the name in French-influenced parts of North America. For instance, Newfoundland’s La Manche Provincial Park is named for the sleevelike harbor near St. John’s, a thin watery strip with high, steep sides.

Mike Tidwell