Saturday, May 31, 1997

How were countries originally named?

Where did the name america, england, italy, france etc etc come from? Who named them? Anyone know?

Answer on How were countries originally named?

- America: (actually, the Americas, north ans south) is named after the explorer Amerigo Vespucci who had a leading role in exploring it.

- England: was named after the Angles, the largest of the Germanic tribes who settled in England in the 5th and 6th centuries, and who are believed to have originated in the peninsula of Angeln, in what is now Denmark and northern Germany.

- France: from Latin Francia, which literally means “land of the Franks” or “Frankland”. There are various theories as to the origin of the name of the Franks. One is that in an ancient Germanic language, Frank means free as opposed to slave.

- Italy: The origin of the term "Italy" (It: Italia), from Latin Italia is uncertain. According to one of the more common explanations, the term was borrowed through Greek, from Oscan Viteliu, meaning "land of young cattle" (cf. Lat vitulus "calf", Umb vitlo "calf") and named for the god of cattle, Mars.[3] The bull was a symbol of the southern Italian tribes and is often depicted goring the Roman wolf as a defiant symbol of free Italy during the Samnite Wars.