One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
A canal about 50 miles (80 km) long, across the Isthmus of Panama, that connects the Atlantic and Pacific oceans. Its construction, begun by Ferdinand de Lesseps in 1881, was abandoned in 1889 and was completed by the US, 1904–14. Control of the canal remained with the US until 1999, when it was ceded to Panama.
Panama Canal/ˈpanəˌmä kəˈnal/
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