This fascinating map reveals the origins of country names from around the world. Some are very obvious such as “The People From Rome” for Romania, and “Land of Columbus” for Colombia. Others though are very surprising and quite strange like Spains “The Land of Many Rabbits,” and Nauru’s “I Go To The Beach”. And some just seem downright racist like “The Land of Burnt Faces” for Ethiopia and “Country of the Blacks” for Sudan. Click on each photo for a larger resolution version.
Many European country names are very straightforward and not surprising at all like “Ice Land,” “Land of the Franks,” “Northern Way.” Some of them are just plain boring like “Land” for Finland.
The name Canada comes from the Native word “Kanata” which meant village. When the early settlers arrived they asked what this great land is. The Natives just replied “Kanata”, “our village.” The origin of the word America is still debated, but many believe it’s named after the Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci, the first person to realize that North America was a separate landmass and not on Asia’s east coast.
New Zealand’s “Land of the Long White Cloud” sounds really magical and mystical. which is actually the Māori translation of Aotearoa. Australia is not surprising, seeing as Australis means south in Latin, hence Aurora Australis.
The Spanish, who settled many parts of Central and South America, names a lot of the countries. Guyana comes from the Amerindian language which means “Land of Many Waters”, and Venezuela has the honor of being named after Venic in Italy.
And last but not least is Asia. Most of them are simple “Land of the..” and the obvious Philippines named after Prince Philip, but there are a few interesting ones like Kazakhstan (Place Where One Stands) and Korea (High and Beautiful).
You can buy a poster of this map here.