Learn how countries
got their names

Argentina to Zimbabwe


How many do you know?

Countries are typically named for (or derive names from) ethnic groups, famous individuals, geographical locations, and geological features.

Argentina  Silver
Australia  Southern land
Austria  Land of the east
Bahamas  Shallow sea
Bermuda  Captain Bermudez
Bolivia  Simon Bolivar
Botswana  Tswana ethnic people
Brazil  Brazilwood tree
Bulgaria  Land of the Bulgars
Canada  Village (in Iroquian)
China  China emperor Qin
Columbia  Christopher Columbus
Congo  Kongo kingdom
Costa Rica  Rich coast
Cook Islands  Captain James Cook
Cyprus  Copper
Ecuador  Equator
Eritrea  Red sea
Guatamala  Land of many trees
Guinea  Women
Guyana  Land of many waters
Haiti  Land of mountains
Hungary  Ten arrows
Japan  Land of the rising sun
Kenya  White mountain
Kyrgyzstan  Land of forty tribes
Liberia  Free
Liechtenstein  Light (brilliant) stone
Luxembourg  Little castle
Madagascar  Earth's end
Mexico  Mexica (an Aztec group)
Micronesia  Small islands
Nepal  Cattle herders
Netherlands  Lowlands
Holland  Wooded land
Norway  Northern way
Philippines  King Phillip II of Spain
Polynesia  Many islands
Romania  Realm of the Romans
Sierra Leone  Lion mountains
Singapore  Lion city
Sri Lanka  Beautiful land
Sudan  Land of the blacks
Thailand  Land of the free
Venezuela  Little Venice
Zimbabwe  Stone houses

Know these tips and insights

Know about names
How to pronounce country names
What country names mean
Renamed travel destinations
English vs. foreign spellings

Learn basic phrases
for travelers
Australian slang


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