I currently make my living as an electrophysicist, so am a bit embarassed at having not thought this one through, before.
Magnetically, the North pole is.... North. We get out our compass, and wait for the North-seeking needle to line up. I've always thought of this end of the needle as the north end.
In a current carrying loop, if we use the right-hand rule and point our thumb in the direction of conventional current, the fingers show the direction of the mag field lines around the wire. The direction the mag field lines point "north" when they pass through the interior of the loop. By stacking many such loops we can create a cylindrical electromagnet, for which it is easy to see which end is the "north" end. I resume permanent physical magnets follow the same naming convention: that is, mag field lines emanate from the north end and cycle around to the south.
We know that like poles of a magnet repel and opposites attract.
So, now, hanging a magnet from a string (or going back and using our trusty compass), if the north pole of the magnet points towards teh magnetic north pole of Earth, doesn't that mean that the pole near the Arctic circle is really magnetically-speaking the south pole? Or conversely, when we say "north-seeking" pole of a magnet, is that really the south pole of the magnet?
Which is it?