Why haven't countries like Ethiopia and Sudan changed their names?

Jun 2013
728
canada
Ethiopia means land of burnt faces in Greek, and Sudan means land of the blacks. Both terms in particular I find to be nauseatingly silly, as black people didn't come from one particular land, and neither did, "people with burnt faces". I can understand people weren't pc back then, but you can't ignore the negative connotations of these terms. When i think of "land of burnt faces" I think of the biblical sons of ham lol.

Why not change these names? Why let descriptions of foreigners define who you are? Look at Mali, Ghana, Zimbabwe, all named after great African states and Empires.

Or South Africa, a geographically neutral, non-offensive name for a country, it doesn't praise or offend anyone.

I can think of several for both: Axum, Nubia, Ta-seti, D'mt,etc.
 

Zeno

Ad Honoris
Jan 2010
13,691
♪♬ ♫♪♩
The Ethiopians believe the name doesn't stem from Greek "burnt faces", but from the name of the founder of Axum, "Ittyop 'is", supposedly a son of Cush, who was a son of Ham. Furthermore the European name for Ethiopia until WWII was Abyssinia, which is derived - via Arabic - from Habesha, today the native name for the inhabitants of Ethiopia, although it originally only applied to the Amhara and Tigray-Tigrinya people.

So the problem is rather that you choose to believe the European etymology over the Ethiopian in this case! ;)
How annoying this ignorance about pre-colonial Africa, isn't it? :D
 
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May 2013
1,097
SOMEWHERE
Well for sudan if it was name kush or nubia,it well remind the arabized nubians(black arabs) in sudan who they really are.They could kept the name arab for while,you know has a short/medium term compromise but push for there original identity first more so with outside help.

If the name sudan remains then so be it but it is arab in origin so maybe a name change could help bring back the nubian part more so in the black arabs.



They really could be called arab nubian or nubian arab,but nubian would be the big part in thier identity and bring back more of thier nubian culture.

Of course large parts of thier culture is still nubian or nubian influence anyway and hopefully over time the arab part of arab nubian or nubian arab will go away,but if not at least they will be more nubian then arab.

It will be real big step in the right direction has far has i am concern,and hopefully some peace in the sudan down the road instead of trying to arabize all of sudan.

Of course i am talking about the northern part,the south broke away a few years ago and if they kept it up some other parts will break away because it looks like that will happen.

So instead of them be called arabs like today overtime they called really be called arab nubian or nubian arab with the bigger part is nubian in culture and maybe identity ,maybe one the day the the arab part goes away but if not at least i will be happy enough that they will see themselves more has nubian one day.That's a compromise i could live with to large degree.

It will be better then just saying they arab or arab first,but this change in name and degree in culture will take time and may still never happen has awhole but for some it may happen.
I read that some are slowly waking up but still it will take time since it took time to get in this mess in the first place.
 
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Jun 2013
865
Universe
Sudan wasn't its original name and I think Ethiopia use to be called something else. I could be wrong.
 

Salah

Forum Staff
Oct 2009
23,284
Maryland
If really stop and think about their origins and inspirations, most countries have ridiculous names.

'America' is derived from an Italian geographer most people have never heard of; 'England' and 'Russia' are named after tribes that are hardly ancestral to the bulk of their populations; 'Wales' is almost an ethnic slur.
 
May 2013
1,097
SOMEWHERE
Ethiopia


Names

Quote-
The Greek name Αἰθιοπία (from Αἰθίοψ, Aithiops, 'an Ethiopian') appears twice in the Iliad and three times in the Odyssey. The Greek historian Herodotus specifically uses it for all the lands south of Egypt, including Sudan and modern Ethiopia. Pliny the Elder says the country's name comes from a son of Hephaestus (aka Vulcan) named Aethiops. Similarly, in the 15th century Ge'ez Book of Aksum, the name is ascribed to a legendary individual called Ityopp'is, an extrabiblical son of Cush, son of Ham, said to have founded the city of Axum. In addition to this Cushite figure, two of the earliest Semitic kings are also said to have borne the name Ityopp'is according to traditional Ethiopian king lists. At least as early as c. 850, European scholars considered the name to be derived from the Greek words aitho "I burn" + ops "face".



The name Ethiopia also occurs in many translations of the Old Testament, but the Hebrew texts have Kush, which refers principally to Nubia. In the New Testament, however, the Greek term Aithiops, 'an Ethiopian', does occur, referring to a servant of Candace or Kentakes, possibly an inhabitant of Meroe which was later conquered and destroyed by the Kingdom of Axum. The earliest attested use of the name Ityopya in the region itself is as a name for the Kingdom of Aksum in the 4th century, in stone inscriptions of King Ezana, who first Christianized the entire apparatus of the kingdom.

In English, and generally outside of Ethiopia, the country was also once historically known as Abyssinia, derived from Habesh, an early Arabic form of the Ethiosemitic name "Ḥabaśāt" (unvocalized "ḤBŚT"). The modern form Habesha is the native name for the country's inhabitants (while the country has been called "Ityopp'ya"). In a few languages, Ethiopia is still referred to by names cognate with "Abyssinia", e.g., modern Arabic Al-Ḥabashah.
 

mansamusa

Ad Honorem
Mar 2012
3,308
All ancient references to Ethiopia, in ancient Greek or biblical texts refers to so called Nubia and more broadly to Africa beyond Egypt. The modern day Ethiopians adopted the name some time after they converted to Christianity, ironically because of the romance they associate with a name frequently mentioned in the bible.
 
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Scaeva

Ad Honorem
Oct 2012
5,630
If really stop and think about their origins and inspirations, most countries have ridiculous names.

'America' is derived from an Italian geographer most people have never heard of; 'England' and 'Russia' are named after tribes that are hardly ancestral to the bulk of their populations; 'Wales' is almost an ethnic slur.

Like England, Russia is another county named for a people who do not make up the majority of its inhabitants. It is derived from Rus, an Old Norse term that meant "men who row." It was a name originally applied to Varangians who raided, settled, and traded along the banks of rivers in Eastern Europe. Russia is named after Swedish Vikings.
 

Zeno

Ad Honoris
Jan 2010
13,691
♪♬ ♫♪♩
Like England, Russia is another county named for a people who do not make up the majority of its inhabitants. It is derived from Rus, an Old Norse term that meant "men who row." It was a name originally applied to Varangians who raided, settled, and traded along the banks of rivers in Eastern Europe. Russia is named after Swedish Vikings.
I thought instead of from Old Norse,the name Rus comes from an Uralic language word(specificly Finnish or Estonian) "Ruotsi", indeed meaning rowers or oarsmen.