Find Out The Meaning Of Your Country's Name With This Beautifully Illustrated Map

Credit Card Compare

Maps can convey more than just geography. They can be used to show anything from worldwide population distribution and GDP wealth to how seriously each country takes their vote, who has the most Nobel Prize winners, and, most importantly, every nation's preferred alcohol choice

Now, Credit Card Compare, a credit card comparison site, have designed their own map, labeling each country with the literal translation of its name. Did you know that Botswana means "Those Who Went Away"? Or that Spain is really the "Land of Many Rabbits"?

Meanwhile, the United States of America translates to "The United States of Amerigo". Amerigo refers to Amerigo Vespucci, an Italian explorer who was the first person to recognize North and South America as individual continents.  

Some country names, however, are pretty much exactly what they say on the tin. England, for example, is "Land of the Angles", Switzerland is "Land of the Swiss", and the Czech Republic is "Land of the Czechs".

Whereas others, like Japan (meaning "Land of the Rising Sun") and Argentina ("Land Beside the Silvery River"), are far more romantic. Malawi's literal name is "Land of Flames", and is believed to refer to a local practice that involved preparing land for cultivation by burning off dead grass. 

Then there are some names that are just downright bizarre, such as the island of Nauru, which apparently means "I Go to the Beach", and Kazakhstan, aka "Place Where One Stands". But as strange as those are, at least they aren't insulting, unlike, say, Papua New Guinea's literal name, which is "Frizzy-Haired Men". 

China's name ("Center Kingdom") is very Tolkien-esque and Germany's ("Land of the People") seems to be somewhat appropriate given that it is the birthplace of Karl Marx.

But a personal favorite is France, or "Land of the Franks". The name derives from a coalition of Germanic tribes called the Franks, whose existence was first documented during the later stages of the Roman Empire. The word Frank comes from an Old German word ("franca"), meaning fierce, so France literally translates to "Land of the Fierce". 

Scroll down for the rest.

While Macedonia is (presumably) named after a characteristic of its people, Norway - "Northern Way" - is a reference to an old Viking route. Credit Card Compare
Mali is simply "Hippopotamus". Credit Card Compare
It is supposedly the Greeks who thought up the name "Terra Australis Incognita", which in English means "Unknown Southern Land". Credit Card Compare
Canada is the biggest village we have ever seen. Credit Card Compare
Chile's literal name "Where the Land Ends" sounds vaguely mythical. Credit Card Compare
Comments

If you liked this story, you'll love these

This website uses cookies

This website uses cookies to improve user experience. By continuing to use our website you consent to all cookies in accordance with our cookie policy.