What are the most hilarious country names? Do you know where the word “Nigeria” comes from? Or why Luxembourg is called in such a way? If you desire to know more information about funny country names, read the article below.
Country names are often very funny and have an attention-grabbing history. We almost never think of why a state is names in such a way. And it is for good reason. The history of a particular name of the state is always hilarious, instructive or just entertaining.
We offer you a list of countries with the most remarkable and funny names.
Argentina. This country's name comes from the Latin word “argentums” - silver. The first Spanish conquistadors discovered the Rio de la Plata River, which was full of silver.
Cyprus is also named after the metal. The country's name comes from the Latin word “cuprum” – copper. There are many copper mines in the country. However, in addition to this version of the county`s origin, there is another one. According to it, Cyprus is named in honor of the cypress tree.
Barbados received its name from the Spanish explorer Pedro Campos. One day, he was very impressed with fig trees located on the island. The scientist called it Los Barbados, which can be translated from Spanish as “bearded”.
In 1984, Thomas Sankara, the leader of the African republic of Upper Volta, renamed his country to Burkina Faso in order to raise the national spirit. The name of this country can be literally translated as “the land of honest men”.
Vatican was named after the street where fortunetellers and soothsayers worked actively in Roman times. Subsequently, the hill at the foot of which this street was founded received the name Mons Vaticanus.
Amerigo Vespucci, after whom America was named, came up with the name of Venezuela. One day he saw a house of a local resident and his neighbors. It was constructed on the water. The Florentine explorer immediately thought of his native Venice and named this land Venezuola. It can be translated from Italian as “Little Venice”.
The state of Djibouti is located in East Africa. It was named after “gabouti”. It can be translated from afro language as “a mat made from palm fibers”.
Israel owes its name to Genesis where patriarch Jacob after a battle with the angel of God receives the name Israel. The translation means “one who was fighting with God”.
There is a theory that the word “Spain” can be translated from the Phoenician language as “a shore full of rabbits.” The fact is that many rabbits lived in this area in Roman times.
Kazakhstan literally means “the land of free people.” This name originally referred to nomadic tribes. Soon the word “Kazakh” started to mean not social but political connotation. This happened immediately after the tribes joined and formed the state.
The word Liberia is translated from Latin as “free”. This West African country was founded in 1822 by the US government. This was done in order to populate it by freed American slaves of African origin.
Luxembourg can be translated from German as “small castle”. Before becoming the state, Luxembourg was an equipped fort where Siegfried, count of Ardennes, laid the castle in 964.
The name of the country Namibia comes from the name of Namib Desert. In turn, in the Nama language it means “the place where there is nothing.”
Nigeria is named after the Ni Gir River that runs through this country.
Papua-New Guinea received the first part of its name from the appearance Aboriginal living on its territory. In 1526, Menezes from Portugal saw the shape of local residents’ hair. He immediately called them papuva. It can be translated from Malay as “curly hair”. In 1545, Ortiz de Retes arrived on the island and named it “New Guinea.”
The name of the country Romania comes from the word “român”, “romanus” (“Roman”). In historical documents it is mentioned as Wallachia (Romanian Land, Ţeara Rumânească), as these lands were ruled by the Roman Empire.
Salvador can be translated from Spanish as “savior.” The name of the country was given by the Spanish conquistador Pedro de Alvarado in honor of Jesus Christ.
The word “Finland” comes from the German word “Fennland” – wanderers.
The word “France” is translated from Latin as “the land of the Franks.” In the Middle Ages the word “franc” was widely used in everyday speech after the fall of the Roman Empire. After the coronation of Hugh Capet, it became customary in the kingdom of Francia, which later became France.
There are many other hilarious country names which will surely grab your attention. Soon we are going to spread this list!