A Country by Any Other Name

Today we take international travel for granted. Many of us think nothing of having breakfast in London and a late dinner in Hong Kong. But it hasn’t always been this way. It used to take days, weeks and even months to travel to far off places. And so the name you chose for your country really needed to describe it’s land and people.

The etymology or origin of words which are used to name countries is very fascinating as it says a lot about the people who founded and live in a place. Recently an Australian credit card comparison site put together maps of what each country’s name literally means. We found it very insightful and so are sharing it with you.

A quick look around the globe shows that many names describe a country’s people and their values. For instance Canada literally means The Village which is fitting as it’s open immigration policies make it a global village.  China means Center Kingdom or other translations call it the Middle Kingdom as to the ancient  Chinese their land was at the center of the known world.

Around the world there are some strange names, as an example Mexico means In the Land of the Navel of the Moon. There are  literal names such as Thailand meaning Land of the Tai People and then there are the romantic names such as Bhutan which means Land of the Thunder Dragon. Some names are descriptive like Australia which means Southern Land and some are very poetic like New Zealand which means Land of the Long White Cloud.

But perhaps our favorite is Sri Lanka or Blessed Island.


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