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Old November 11th, 2017, 03:43 AM   #1
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Story behind the name of your country?


Hello members of Historum.
I started this same thread in the American History Forum some weeks ago. But many from other parts of the world were posting. I asked the moderators to move it here, but they didn’t. So I’m doing it myself.
DO YOU KNOW the origin of the name of your own country? I think it could be interesting to share that kind of stories.
For example. My country’s main name is “Argentina”. Everyone knows that the word comes from the latin name of the chemical element silver, “argentum” in latin, “plata” in Spanish. But, how did it get to be the name of the country?
The country was, basically, founded by the Río de la plata in the city of Buenos Aires, in that time, under the name of “Provincias Unidas del Río de la Plata” or “Provincias Unidas del Sud”. “Argentino” or “argentina” were de gentilic (demonym) of the people living in the city of Buenos Aires (by the river). Obviously, the country was much bigger than that city. In a couple of decades, the country ended up taking as name, that same demonym. I think the names “República Argentina” and “Confederación Argentina” appeared for the first time in official documents around 1830 or 1831. As far as I know, there is no official government ruling about it, at least until 1853 when the constitution was sanctioned.
Historians remember the long poem “La Argentina” by the Spanish priest sent to this land (sort of) in the second half of 16th century. But they don’t explain (as far as I know) the connection with the adoption two and a half centuries later, of that name. I think something similar happened with República Dominicana, which also took as its name, the demonym of the capital city.
Did Ecuador take the name of a geographical accident or the equator took the name of the country?
The delta of Orinoco river looked to Europeans as the city of Venice? Is it true? Does it give name to Venezuela?
Do you think the founders of South Africa should have been more creative at giving the country a name?
What did the word “Rus” mean in the times of the Rus of Kiev?
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Old November 11th, 2017, 03:45 AM   #2
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A Devdas poster answered that: INDIA has two recognized name. "India" is of Greek origin while the native name "Bharat" is of Sanskrit in origin. Bharat (Sanskrit: Bharatam) is the name of the country used in different Indian languages, has origin in the name of legendary Emperor Bharata who is considered as the first emperor of India by Indians (similar to King Arthur of Britons). Bharat/Bharata/Bharatam would mean realm of Emperor Bharata. Bharata were also a Rigvedic tribe that has been mentioned in the Dashrajana(Battle of the Ten kings) in Rigveda.
India historically referred to a country east of the Indus river first mentioned by Herodotus. The river Indus is referred as Sindhu in Sanskrit and modern Indian languages. Sindhu gave rise to Old Persian word "Hindush", from old Persian Hindush, the word Indus originated in Greek language. The Greek name was taken into Latin then other European languages.
A LatinoEuropa poster answered: there are those who claim that PORTUGAL derives from Portogatelo, a name given by a Greek chief named Catelo, when he disembarks and establishes himself with the present port.
A Tairusiano poster Answered: The genus of tree's Paubrasilia echinata, produce a yellow flower has very red wood that we can make a dye called Brazilin that can change from yellow to red depending on the way of production but people called it the BRASIL from brasa (ember) because of red wood. When the colonist moved here, brazilwood was pretty common, it proved to be of good trade to europe and the first cost effective process generated in this colony, so they started calling it "Terra do Brasil", "land of brasilwood", with time shortened to Brasil only.
Others made coments about Germany been called by different languages speakers starting from unrelated words: Alemania, Deustchland.

A Stevev poster answered: EGYPT: Misr with heavy "s". Pharaonic Egypt called itself "Kemet" for "black land", the fertile riverside soil as compared to the white sand of the desert.
A Essan poster answered: WALES derives from an Anglo-saxon word meaning stranger (often used in a derogatory sense). The Welsh name, Cymru means "fellow countrymen".
A Kaficek poster answered: CZECH REPUBLIC (or Czechia, if you prefer) is obviously named after the ethnic group. The origin of the ethnonym Czech is not quite clear. According to legend it comes from one of three ancient Slavic brothers - Čech, Lech and Rus; who became the ancestors of the Czechs, Poles and Russians respectively. The source usually favoured by linguists is četa, which means something like a gang, or a squad of soldiers; but I think meant something more like 'army' in old Czech.

Last edited by maTiasddsm; November 11th, 2017 at 03:54 AM.
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Old November 11th, 2017, 04:12 AM   #3

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For Italia there is a problem: the origin of the name is not certain. It's certain that, in early Hellenic era, Italia was used to indicate only a Southern part of the peninsula.

Why did they call it so?

The main options are ...

1. The name of a King.
2. The Greek term Italoi which had used to indicate a local population.
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Old November 11th, 2017, 06:00 AM   #4
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We are all of love and for love.

sLOVEnia.

lol
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Old November 11th, 2017, 11:34 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by maTiasddsm View Post
Did Ecuador take the name of a geographical accident or the equator took the name of the country?
An online definition of equator traces the word in English to medieval times.

Quote:
1350-1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin aequātor, Latin: equalizer (of day and night, as when the sun crosses the equator). See equate, -tor
Equator | Define Equator at Dictionary.com

Quote:
Origins of the Naming of Ecuador

The origin of the name of Ecuador is from Spain.
When the Spaniards colonized the land they called it
"el ecuador" which translated means "the equator".
https://allaboutecuador.weebly.com/w...come-from.html

Quote:
How did Ecuador get its name?
The Spanish word for the equator is Ecuador. The equator, of course, is exactly halfway between the North Pole and the South Pole. Find it on your gift globe, and follow it around the wide waist of the world. It crosses South America, where most of the people speak Spanish.

This is where you would expect to find the country named Ecuador. And there it is, just where the equator meets the vast Pacific Ocean. The beautiful capital of Ecuador is Quito, 15 miles south of the equator. It stands almost two miles above sea leyel among the lofty peaks Of the Arider mountains.
How did ecuador get its name?
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Old November 11th, 2017, 11:41 AM   #6
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My country really doesn't really have a name. "United States" is not a name. It's a description. "America" is a name for the whole Western Hemisphere. "of America" only implies the United States is part of "America". However the language is ambiguous. For the United Kingdom, the parts are listed in the full name "United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland".
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Old November 11th, 2017, 11:53 AM   #7

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You don´t even need to know Spanish to realize that Costa Rica means Rich Coast. It´s what Columbus thought he saw (meaning gold and silver) on his fourth voyage. BTW it is the only part the continental Americas that he set foot on.
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Old November 11th, 2017, 01:12 PM   #8

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedro View Post
You don´t even need to know Spanish to realize that Costa Rica means Rich Coast. It´s what Columbus thought he saw (meaning gold and silver) on his fourth voyage. BTW it is the only part the continental Americas that he set foot on.
When an Italian hears "Costa Rica" the Italian thinks "Costa Ricca" [Italians adore double consonants] and usually we wonder how much rich is that country ...
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Old November 11th, 2017, 01:17 PM   #9

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A particular problem: a country with several languages.

I was wondering about Switzerland [Svizzera, Schweiz, Suisse]. Now, it seems that the name came from Germanic Schwyz [Suittes, Svitto], X century CE. Connected with the activity to burn the forest to obtain further fields to cultivate [swedan, svide ... to burn, to sear].
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Old November 11th, 2017, 01:20 PM   #10

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Quote:
Originally Posted by Pedro View Post
You don´t even need to know Spanish to realize that Costa Rica means Rich Coast. It´s what Columbus thought he saw (meaning gold and silver) on his fourth voyage. BTW it is the only part the continental Americas that he set foot on.
I thought it meant "Rice coast".
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