Every Country In The World Is Named After One Of These Four Things
Did you know that every country in the world draws its name from one of the following four things? It’s quite fascinating if you think about it, right? This situation really shows just how our minds work and how evolution is in play here.
Now, according to a study performed by Quartz, who looked at 195 independent states from all across the globe and which are all found in the Oxford Concise Dictionary of World Place-Names, most of them, as it turns out, can place the origin of their name in one of these four categories:
- A directional description of the country
- A feature of its land
- A tribe or ethnic group
- An important person
Now, if you think about it, this kinda makes sense, doesn’t it? Since almost every country follows these rules when they named themselves, then it means that almost all of us think kinda the same.
Anyway, here are some examples of country names found in each of the four categories:
A directional description
Norway means “northern way”
Australia means “southern”
A feature of land
Algeria is named after its capital city Algiers, which means “the islands”
Costa Rica means “the rich coast”
Barbados means “the bearded ones” after its great banyan tree
Sierra Leone is thought to have been named “Lion Mountains,” possibly because of the sounds of thunder in the hills. “Singa” is lion in Malay.
Tribes and ethnic groups
France is named after the Franks
Italy’s name comes from the Vitali tribe
Switzerland’s is from the Schwyz people
Vietnam means Viet people of the south
Papau New Guinea is thought to describe the people native to Melanesia, and “papua” allegedly means “frizzy-haired” and Guinea came from Spanish explorer Ynigo Ortiz de Reteswho thought they looked like African Guineans because they had dark skin.
An important person
The Philippines is named after Spain’s 16th Century King Philip II
Bolivia is named after the Venezuelan revolutionary Simón Bolívar
The United States of America is named after Italian explorer Amerigo Vespucci