Where Do Country Names Come From?

by | Apr 30, 2019 | Videos | 1 comment

Have you ever wondered where the names of countries come from? This video explores the origin of country names around the world. You can also watch and share this video on Facebook and YouTube.

Some of them are obvious and named after geographic features. Like for example…

Ecuador means “The Equator” named after the fact the equator runs through the country just north of Quito.

Ecuador - The Equator

Chile means “Where The Land Ends” because the land literally ends there. The country occupies 70% of South America's western coastline.

Chile - Where The Land Ends

Australia appropriately derives from the words “The Southern Land” which needs no explanation.

Australia - Southern Land

Then you've got countries that are named after nature or wildlife.

Like “Spain” which means “Land of Many Rabbits” – hopefully not named after the people of Spain's reproductive habits.

Spain - Land of Many Rabbits

Cameroon which means “River of Prawns” – which is one seafood buffet that I can get behind.

Cameroon - River of Prawns

They may not be the most creative names, but they got the job done.

You've also got countries that are named after the people who originally occupied them.

Like “Poland” which means “People of the Fields” – although you could've named most countries in Europe that back then.

Poland - People of the Fields

Estonia means “Waterside Dwellers” which makes sense given that most Estonians live on islands or peninsulas.

Estonia - Waterside Dwellers

“Serbia” – means “Land of the Men” which sounds like a terrible place to swipe right on Tinder.

Serbia - Land of The Men

Macedonia means “Land of Tall People” which is where Nicole Alexander would've gone to gold dig back in the day.

Macedonia - Land of Tall People

The infographic map belw by Credit Card Compare explores some more country name origins around the world. For a full list of country name origins including sources, checkout this Google spreadsheet.

Literal Translation of Country Names Map

The world has changed since countries were originally named. Can you imagine if we renamed every country in the world today?

If your country was named today, what would it be called? Drop a comment below or on the Facebook video!

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Where do country names come from?Origin of country namesCountry Names

1 Comment

  1. Name Garik

    Ukraine it is not a “Land on the edge”. It is russian propaganda & distortion of historical facts for the sake of imperial chauvinism. Ukraine – it is like a “Area”, “Land”, “Home land”, “Native land”, “Country”.


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