Photo: Credit Card Compare

This Map Shows the Literal Meaning of Every Country’s Name

by Tim Wenger Mar 20, 2018

A map created by Credit Card Compare shows the historical meanings of each country’s name, as far back as their earliest literary translation. As it turns out, a number of factors may go into a country’s name — often to humorous results.

The surrounding geography and wildlife are common reasons for names, with Andorra (shrub-covered land) and Spain (land of many rabbits) being among the most straightforward. In some cases, the name is an overarching term used to describe the residents (such as Estonia, which is derived from “Waterside Dwellers”). Some go even more in depth in elaborating upon the people who live there. Macedonia means “Land of the Tall People” while Saudi Arabia translates to “Land of Good Fortune.”

These maps could serve as a base for quizzical conversations or some fun facts to pass the time on your travels. “Where are you headed?” an enquiring friend or family member may ask. “To The Village,” you reply, leaving confusion on their faces as they wonder why you’ve loaded a full pack simply to head into town. Little do they realize you’re actually en route to Canada.

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