Etymology is the fascinating study of the history of words. But have you ever wondered where your country's name came from? A name can provide important insight into a nation's origins. Recently, Finity.com created a global map with literal translations. To see the full map, click here.
- In the Navel of the Moon- Mexico
Mexico is the Spanish translation of this Aztec name.
2. Land of Many Rabbits- Spain
Around 300 BC when Carthaginians came, they called the country Ispania (from Sphan, "rabbit"), which means "land of the rabbits.
3. Island of Tall People- Macedonia
4. Land of Young Cattle- Italy
Originally called Vitalia, the name comes from the same root as the Latin vitulus (a one-year-old calf).
5. Land of the Rising Sun- Japan
Ancient China had a great influence on Japan. Japan relative to China is in the east, where the sun also rises.
6. Place of Pomegranates- Grenada
Explorers named the land Grenada, which is Spanish for Pomegranate.
7. White Russia- Belarus
The name white Russia has two theories. It could either be describing the white clothing that ancient slavic people generally wore or it suggests the so-called "purity" of the Belarussians, who, unlike their Moscovite neighbors, never intermarried with the Mongols.
8. Hippopotamus- Mali
Based on a legend about a hippopotamus named Mali Sadio.
9. Northern Way- Norway
This refers to an ancient viking route.
10. The Village- Canada
The name "Canada" comes from the Huron-Iroquois word "kanata," meaning "village" or "settlement."
11. Red Like an Ember- Brazil
Brazilwood or redwood resembles red hot embers.
12. Those Who Went Away- Botswana
In the 18th century after a Zulu force was led into the region, the local people were forced out onto arid land.
13. Southern Land- Australia
The Greeks named it Terra Australis Incognita, which means "unknown southern land"
14. Little Venice-Venezuela
In 1499, Italian navigator Amerigo Vespucci was on an expedition in Venezuela when he saw houses on stilts. This reminded him of Venice.
15. Bearded Ones- Barbados
"Bearded ones" can either be describing the hanging roots of the native fig tree that resemble a beard or it can be referring to the common physical trait of the indigenous population.
16. Mountainous Land- Haiti
Haiti comes from the native Taíno language which means "land of high mountains"
17. Land of the Pure- Pakistan
In 1933, Pakistani movement activist Choudhry Rahmat Ali coined the name. He used it to refer to five northern regions of British India: Punjab, Afghania, Kashmir, and Indus-Sind. Also, the prefix "Pak" means "pure" in Urdu.