ALANKOMAAT (Country) Finnish
From Finnish alanko
"lowland" and maat
"lands". This is the Finnish name for the Netherlands
(for which it is also a translation).
ALBANIA (Region & Country) Late Roman, English, Spanish, Italian
Medieval Latin name for the region which was once occupied by the Illyrian tribe called Albanoi. This is the name of a country in the Balkans.
AMERICA (Region & Country) English, Italian, Romanian, Late Roman
From the name of the explorer AMERIGO
Vespucci (1451-1512). This is the name of two continents (North and South America). As well, it is commonly used to refer to the United States of America.
AMERYKA (Region & Country) Polish
Polish form of AMERICA
, used to refer to the continents and the United States of America.
ANGOLA (Country) Portuguese, English, Spanish, French, Italian, German, Dutch
Portuguese form of Ngola
, the royal title of the kings of Ndongo, an African kingdom which was conquered by the Portuguese in the 17th-century. It was a Portuguese colony until 1975, when it became an independent country.
ARGENTINA (Country) Spanish, English, Portuguese, Italian, Russian, Czech, Croatian, Serbian, Swedish, Norwegian, Danish
From Latin argentinus
meaning "silvery", a derivative of argentum
meaning "silver". This is the name of a country in South America, arising from a Latinized form of Spanish Río de la Plata
meaning "river of silver".
ARMENIA (Country) English, Spanish, Italian, Romanian, Greek, Norwegian, Ancient Roman, Ancient Greek, Ancient Persian
From Greek Αρμενια (Armenia)
, which was from Old Persian Armina
, which is itself probably of Armenia origin. This is the name of a country in the Caucasus region, called Hayastan
BELGIUM (Country) English
From Latin BELGICA
, a province in the Roman Empire. Since 1830 this is the name of a country in western Europe. Dutch and French are the main spoken languages.
BRAZIL (Country) English, Croatian, Serbian
From the name of a type of tree, called pau-brasil
in Portuguese (brazilwood
in English). It may ultimately derive from Portuguese brasa
meaning "ember". This is the name of a country in South America.
BULGARIA (Country) Late Roman, English, Spanish, Italian
From the name of the Turkic tribe of the Bulgars, possibly from a Turkic root meaning "mixed". This is the name of a country in southeastern Europe.
CANADA (Country) English, French, Italian, Dutch, Danish, Norwegian
Derived from the Iroquoian word kanata
meaning "village". This word was used by Native Americans to direct French explorer Jacques Cartier to Stadacona. Cartier used the word to refer to the region.
CATHAY (Country) English
From Old Turkic Khitai
, the name of a people who ruled northern China as the Liao dynasty from the 10th to 12th century, also called the Khitan people. This is an archaic English synonym for China
ČESKO (Country) Czech, Slovak
From the name of the Slavic tribe of the Czechs (see ČECHY
). This is the Czech name for the Czech Republic.
CHAD (Body of Water & Country) English, Spanish
From Arabic تشاد (Tshad)
, derived from a Kanuri word meaning "lake, large expanse of water". This is the name of a lake in central Africa, as well as the country that is named after it. The lake also borders Niger, Nigeria and Cameroon.
COLOMBIE (Country & Political Subdivision) French
French form of COLOMBIA
and sometimes of COLUMBIA
(for example Colombie-Britannique
for British Columbia
CONGO (River & Country) English, French, Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Danish
, of uncertain origin, the name of a kingdom in central Africa that existed from the 14th to 19th century. The Congo River (also called the Zaire
River) was named after the kingdom. Belgian and French colonies were established in the 19th century, named after the river, which eventually led to two African countries, the Democratic Republic of the Congo (formerly Zaire) and the Republic of the Congo.
CROATIA (Country) English, Late Roman
From Croatian Hrvatska
, from medieval Slavic Khorvatu
, of unknown meaning. This is the name of a country in the Balkan region of southeastern Europe.
CZECHIA (Country) English
English form of ČECHY
(via Polish Czechy
), used as an alternative name for the Czech Republic (and not as a name for Bohemia
CZECHOSLOVAKIA (Country) English
Combination of CZECHIA
. This was the name of a country that existed between 1918 and 1993, at which time it split into the Czech Republic and Slovakia.
CZECHY (Region & Country) Polish
Polish form of ČECHY
, used to refer both to the region of Bohemia
and the larger Czech Republic.
DAEHAN (Country) Korean
From Sino-Korean 大 (dae)
meaning "big, great" and 韓 (han)
meaning "Korea". This is the official Korean name for South Korea
DENMARK (Country) English
From Danish Danmark
, derived from the ethnic name Dane
, which is possibly from Germanic den
meaning "low ground", combined with mark
meaning "borderland". This is the name of a country in northern Europe.
DEUTSCHLAND (Country) German
Derived from the German deutsch
meaning "German" (ultimately from Germanic þeudo
"people") and Land
. This is the German endonym for Germany
ÉIRE (Country & Island) Irish
Possibly means "abundant land" in Old Irish. This is the Irish name of the country and island of Ireland. According to legend the island was named for the goddess ÉRIU
, though in fact it was she who was named for the island.
ELLADA (Country) Greek
Modern Greek form of Ancient Greek ‘Ελλαδα
(Hellada), derived from ‘Ελλην (Hellen)
"Greek", which is of uncertain origin. This is the Greek endonym for Greece
ENGLAND (Country) English, German, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian
From Old English Englaland
meaning "land of the Angles", the Angles being one of the Germanic tribes that settled in the area in the post-Roman period.
ETHIOPIA (Country) English
From Greek Αιθιοπια (Aithiopia)
, derived from αιθω (aitho)
meaning "to burn" and ωψ (ops)
meaning "face", referring to the skin colour of the inhabitants. This is the name of a country in eastern Africa.
FRANCE (Country) French, English
From Latin Francia
meaning "land of the Franks". The Franks were the Germanic tribe who settled in the region in the 3rd century. They derived their tribal name from the name of a type of spear that they used.
FRANKREICH (Country) German
Derived from German Frank
, the name of a Germanic tribe, and Reich
meaning "empire, realm". This is the German name for France
GERMANY (Country) English
From Latin Germania
, first attested in the writings of Julius Caesar, used to refer to the areas east of the Rhine and north of the Danube. The origin of the term is uncertain. This is an English exonym corresponding to German Deutschland
GHANA (Country) English, French, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Polish, Czech, Slovak
From the name of the Ghana Empire, which was located in the southwestern Sahara and existed up to the 13th century. Ghana
, meaning "warrior" in Mande, was actually the title of the rulers, while the empire itself was more properly known as Awkar
. In 1957 this was adopted as the name of the newly independent country of Ghana, formerly the British colony Gold Coast, despite the fact that the country lies outside the empire's territory.
GREECE (Country) English
English form of Latin Graecia
, the name used by the Romans for the land of the Greeks, derived from Greek Γραικος (Graikos)
, which is of uncertain origin. It is possibly derived from the city of Graia in Boeotia.
GUINEA (Region, Country & Island) English, Italian, Spanish, German
From Portuguese Guiné
, which is of unknown meaning, possibly of Berber origin. This name was used by the Portuguese to refer to a portion of western Africa. It was also applied by westerners to the island of New Guinea starting in the 16th century. It is now the name or part of the name of the countries of Guinea, Guinea-Bissau, Equatorial Guinea and Papua New Guinea.
HAYASTAN (Country) Armenian
From the Armenian word հայ (hay)
meaning "Armenian" combined with the Persian suffix ستان (stan)
meaning "land of". This is the Armenian name for Armenia
HAYK (Country) Armenian (Archaic)
From the Armenian word հայ (hay)
meaning "Armenian", of uncertain ultimate origin. Some theories claim it is from the name of the Armenian hero HAYK
, though it is more likely that they simply derive from the same source. This is an archaic Armenian name for Armenia
; the modern name is Հայաստան (Hayastan)
HOLLAND (1) (Political Subdivision & Country) Dutch, English, German
From Old Dutch holt
"forest" and lant
"land". This is the name of two provinces (North and South Holland) in the Netherlands. It is sometimes used to refer to the entire country of the Netherlands
HOLLANDE (Political Subdivision & Country) French
French form of HOLLAND (1)
, referring to the provinces and sometimes the entire country.
HUNGARY (Country) English
From Latin Hungaria
, derived from Byzantine Greek Ουγγροι (Oungroi)
, from Turkic Onogur
meaning "ten tribes". This is the name of a country in eastern Europe which was settled by the Hungarians in the 9th century. Because they were identified with the Huns, the H
was added to the beginning of their Latin name. The Hungarian name for the country is Magyarország
INDO (Country) Japanese
Japanese form of INDIA
. It is usually written in the katakana writing system.
IRAK (Country) German, French, Spanish, Dutch, Swedish, Danish, Norwegian, Finnish, Hungarian, Polish, Russian, Bulgarian, Croatian, Serbian, Slovak
Form of IRAQ
IRAN (Country) Persian, Arabic, English, French, German, Italian, Croatian, Serbian
Derived from Middle Persian Eran
, related to Old Iranian Arya
meaning "Iranian, Aryan". This is the name of a country in western Asia, formerly called Persia
in the West.
IRAQ (Country) Arabic, English, Italian, Catalan
From Arabic العراق (al-'Iraq)
, probably derived from the name of the ancient Sumerian/Akkadian city of URUK
. This is the name of a country in the Middle East.
ITALY (Country) English
Anglicized form of Italia
, originally applied by the Greeks to the south of the Italian Peninsula. It may have been borrowed from Oscan Víteliú
possibly meaning "land of bulls". According to Roman mythology, the region was named for ITALUS
, though in fact it was he who was named for the region.
JORDAN (River & Country) English, Danish, Norwegian, Croatian, Serbian, German, Swedish, Finnish, Polish, Biblical
River which flows between the countries of Jordan and Israel. The river's name in Hebrew is יַרְדֵן (Yarden)
, and it is derived from יָרַד (yarad)
meaning "descend" or "flow down". The river has lent its name to the country to the east (in German, Swedish, Finnish and Polish this is only the name of the river, with the name of the country taking a different form).
JOSEON (Region & Country) Korean
This was the name of two kingdoms in the history of Korea. The first was conquered by the Han Empire in the 2nd century BC. The second ruled Korea from the 14th century until the 19th century. The name of these kingdoms was written using the Sino-Korean characters 朝 (jo)
meaning "dynasty" and 鮮 (seon)
meaning "new", though the actual origin is assumed to be Korean. This name is now used in North Korea to refer to the country of North Korea
KONGO (Region, River & Country) Central African, Kongo, German, Dutch, Swedish, Finnish, Polish, Russian, Croatian, Serbian
Form of CONGO
KOREA (Country) English, German, Dutch, Finnish, Czech
From medieval Latin Corea
, itself derived from GORYEO
, the name of a kingdom which ruled most of the Korean Peninsula from the 10th to 14th centuries. This is the name of two countries, North and South Korea. Hanguk
are the Korean names for the countries.
MAGHRIB (Region & Country) Arabic
From Arabic المغرب (al-Maghrib)
meaning "the place of the sunset, the west". This is the Arabic name of Morocco
as well as the entire region of western North Africa (known as the Maghreb
in English). In Arabic the name is usually written with the definite article: المغرب (al-Maghrib)
MAGYARORSZÁG (Country) Hungarian
Hungarian name for the country of HUNGARY
, derived from magyar
meaning "Hungarian" and ország
meaning "country". Magyar
itself is derived from a combination of two Uralic roots both meaning "man".
MEXICO (Country & Settlement) English, French
From Spanish México
, itself derived from Nahuatl Mehxico
. There are many theories regarding the ultimate origin, including Nahuatl metztli
meaning "moon" combined with xictli
meaning "navel". This is the name of a country in North America, as well as its capital city (the country is named after the city). In French Mexico
is the name of the capital city, while the country is called Mexique
MEXIQUE (Country) French
French form of MEXICO
(referring only to the country, not the capital city).
MONGOLIA (Country, Political Subdivision & Region) English, Spanish, Italian
From Mongolian монгол (mongol)
, the name for the Mongolian people, possibly from монг (mong)
meaning "brave". This the name of a region in eastern Asia, now divided between the country of Mongolia (historically called Outer Mongolia) and the Chinese region of Inner Mongolia.
MOROCCO (Country) English
The name of a country in North Africa, named after the city MARRAKESH
. In Arabic the country is named al-Maghrib
NEPAL (Country) Nepali, Indian, Hindi, English, German, Dutch, Italian, Spanish, Portuguese, Polish, Sanskrit
From Sanskrit नेपाल (Nepal)
, of unknown meaning. This is the name of a landlocked country in south Asia.
NETHERLANDS (Country) English
From English nether
meaning "lower" and land
, referring to the low-lying position of the country. This is the name of a country in northwestern Europe. It is sometimes called Holland
in English, though this is properly one of its subregions. In English it is usually referred to using the definite article, the
NIEMCY (Country) Polish
From Slavic němici
meaning "mute, not able to speak", extended to mean "foreigner, German". This is the Polish name of Germany
NIGER (River & Country) English, French, Italian, German, Dutch, Swedish, Croatian, Serbian, Late Roman
Meaning unknown, possibly of Berber origin, though influenced by Latin niger
"black". This is the name of a river in western Africa (and a country which is named after it).