11 interesting stories about how the country got their names

Viking Flock Vildegarson called Iceland Land of ice from icebergs and suffering a disaster, and he named Greenland Erik the Red ( "Green Country") to open it for its wide valleys and urged his countrymen to settle there. Yet the climate of both countries strongly against their names. Before you ten more stories about the names of countries.

China: a country under heaven

11 interesting stories about how the country got their names

In the most numerous nation in the world has a lot of names. The word "China" ( "China") appeared at the Qin Dynasty (Qin) (or "Chin"), the founder of which was the Qin Shi Huangdi, the first emperor. Similarly, another name "China" (or "Cathay") gave the famous traveler Marco Polo, who called because North China and South China he called "Mango".

China has another name - "Zhongguo", formed from the words "chung" ( "center") and "th" ( "country"), which can be translated as "central country", but the Russian language over widespread translation for "Celestial ".

For centuries, Chinese people believed that their land is located in the heart of creation under heaven. And the further you move away from the center, the more barbarous becomes public. In a sense, they were right. Beyond their borders, and the Great Wall of China lived various tribes of the steppe nomads and countless hordes of Mongol and Oirat.

Zhongguo the name is also used as a shortened version of the name of the People's Republic.

Armenia: family tree

11 interesting stories about how the country got their names

Armenia, a small country bordering with Turkey, Iran and Georgia, has a long history and a strong bond with a monotheistic religion: it is considered to be the first country to adopt Christianity as a state religion in 301, the year. The name of Armenia, which is derived from the ancient Persian "Armin" is another self - Ike, after November descendant who settled in these lands in the vicinity of Mount Ararat. A more accurate translation of the title may be a country great-grandson November Ike. According to legend, Ike for some time to leave the country to help in the construction of the Tower of Babel. After his return, he learned that the country had invaded the king of Babylon, whom he killed in battle.

Later, the country's name was changed to Hayastan - Persian suffix "stan" means "land".

According to another legend, the "Armenia" - is derived from the name of Aram, who was a great-grandson great-grandson of Haik, and, according to some locals, it is the ancestor of all Armenians.

Nauru: the warm welcome, the country has beaches

11 interesting stories about how the country got their names

8 November 1798, the year the British captain named John Firn, who traveled to China via New Zealand, landed on a remote island in the Pacific Ocean. The natives impressed him: Firn wrote that "their behavior was very courteous, and they invited us to aggressively anchor on their island." So the captain called the island pleasant (Pleasant).

However, Nauru, the smallest republic in the world, it was a completely different name, derived from the local word "Anaoero". In the language of Nauru, is different from other oceanic languages, this word refers to the action of "I'm going to the beach." And with good reason - Nauru is known for its beautiful beaches.

As time went on, and began to decline Nauru economy. The country even has an agreement with Australia on the construction of the center for refugees seeking to Australia, which brings considerable income.

Argentina: the legendary mountain of silver

11 interesting stories about how the country got their names

The Spaniard Juan Diaz de Solis allegedly killed his wife in Portugal. To escape from the authorities, he returned to his native country and took part in numerous trips during the golden age of Spanish colonization. October 8, 1515, the year Diaz de Solis sailed in command of three ships in the hope of finding a western passage to the Pacific Ocean. He found the mouth of the river and named it "March Dulce," or sweet sea, and swam farther inland. There, near the modern Buenos Aires, the researchers waited a cruel end: he and his men kidnapped and eaten by cannibals, while the other ship's crew in shock watching this. His half-brother, Francisco de Torres, took command of the expedition, but he pursued the incredible bad luck - he was shipwrecked. However, the natives of this new land were quite helpful: among the gifts which they offered to foreigners were ornaments made of pure silver.

Eyewitness became legends. Another traveler, Sebastian Cabot, years later found the survivors, who told him about the wealth of the natives and the mountains of silver, and the opening of de Solis came to be called the silver river. Over the centuries, researchers have searched for a legendary treasure, but found nothing. The name stuck, and the land became known as silver ( "Argentina" - "silver").

Chile sharp discussion

11 interesting stories about how the country got their names

Chile - a word from the Mapuche language, indicating the phrase "where the land ends". Maybe Mapuche went to the west of Argentina, and so found out that the continent ends Chilean beaches overlooking the Pacific Ocean? Another version of the origin of the name - from "chili-chili", imitation birds crying.

Anyway, the Spanish conquistadors is told Incas. After his return to Europe, they called themselves "men of Chile."

Spain: history of erroneous names of

11 interesting stories about how the country got their names

The Spaniards came up with a lot of land titles that they opened, hook up to the present time. One such case is a country in South America. In 1499, the year the Spanish explorer Alonso de Ojeda and his compatriot Amerigo Vespucci saw the natives living along the coast and rivers in houses on stilts. They called the land Venezuela - "Little Venice".

Spanish tradition to name the ground of erroneous conclusions from observations of thousands of years. The ancient Phoenician mariners, precursors of modern explorers, about 3,000 years ago, found the land to the west of the Mediterranean Sea. In these lands were a lot of animals, which they took for hyraxes (mice, shrews), so they called that place "And shapan-im" - "Island hyraxes". When the Romans came here, to manage a large part of the European continent, they named the land of Spain. And animals, which the Phoenicians discovered on the "Island of hyraxes" / Spain, were not even rodents - they were rabbits. Thus, the name of the Spanish empire sailors who gave a new and region names are based on the false myths and misinterpretations, itself derived from the misinterpretation of what he saw.

Moldova: man's best friend

11 interesting stories about how the country got their names

The Roman prince Dragos hunting tour, or wild bull, for many days. His associates, including several dogs chased the animal until exhausted. Frustrated that his production goes, Dragos cheered when his beloved dog Mold continued hunting. Mold continue on the next round, while the man and his best friend are not herded wild animal near the river bank.

But he killed not only the tour as a result of a fierce battle, but Mold. Dragos was so upset by the death of his faithful friend, he called the surrounding land in her honor.

Some sources talk only about the hunt for the tour, others mention the story about the dog as a legend. Nevertheless, the legend of the hunt has become symbolic for the country, even a round image on its flag.

Canada: small villages, and more than anything

11 interesting stories about how the country got their names

When the French explorer Jacques Cartier sailed past the St. Lawrence River, its local guide said that it was a way to "rope" - village. But none of the local tribe was not called Rope, so they called the village, scattered over a vast snowy wilderness. Cartier, probably misheard and called the land of Canada.

In another story, the protagonists speak Spanish. The story tells of how travelers looking fabulous wealth in America. When they found nothing, they named this place "aca nada" or "ca nada", that is, "Nothing." And when years later here came the French, the natives shouted them "aca nada!", To make it clear that nothing of value for the colonialists have not. The French thought that the name of the country, eventually came to be called it Canada. The combination of these two stories describes Canada as a country where there is nothing but villages and snowy desert between them.

Pakistan: a country-reduction

11 interesting stories about how the country got their names

"Pakistan" in Urdu means "pure land" ( "pack" - pure, "camp", as we already know - the earth).

Modern Pakistan was established August 14, 1947, the year after separation from India. Nevertheless, the name "Pakistan" in a decade before the proposed Muslim nationalist Chaudhry Rahmat Ali, who advocated the creation of the sub-continent of sovereign Islamic state.

In an appeal to the British government, Ali 28 January 1933, the year published his pamphlet "Now or never" that the 30 million Muslims yearned for independence. All of them were from the Punjab, Afghanistan, Kashmir, Sindh and Baluchistan. The combination of these titles gives the abbreviation "PAKSTAN".

Czechoslovakia: hyphen war

11 interesting stories about how the country got their names

After the fall of communism ridiculous dispute in Eastern Europe. Mode of the Czechoslovak Socialist Republic, where for 30 years ruled communism fell after the Velvet Revolution, a bloodless coup. Local politicians do name the new invention for a democratic republic.

The first idea was to simply drop the word "socialist". The new country would be known as the Czechoslovak Republic, moreover it was one of her previous titles. However, this idea did not like the Slovak politicians, because they thought it was the name of the reduced value of the Slovaks. They wanted to add a hyphen in the name as a sign of ties between the two nations.

The new proposal called the Czechoslovak country a republic did not satisfy the Czechs, who hated him. The name did not like even Winston Churchill, who said: "A hyphen should be considered as a defect and avoid it if possible." Citizens of different nationalities choose to use different names. Czechs called to the Czechoslovak federal republic (without the hyphen) and the Slovaks - the Czechoslovak federal republic (with a hyphen). A month later, the name was changed to the Czech and Slovak Federal Republic, but it turned out to be unsatisfactory.

Hyphen war ended only January 1, 1993-th year: politics simply gave up and decided that in the interests of both peoples is better to divide the country.

In the end, everybody was happy. Similarly, the country peacefully to a democratic regime change as a result of the Velvet Revolution, the peaceful split became known as the Velvet Divorce, in which the Czech Republic and Slovakia were created.

Forgotten Welshman, who gave America its name

11 interesting stories about how the country got their names

Different civilizations, including the European, reached America centuries before Columbus, who landed on contemporary Haiti, being sure that he is somewhere near India. One man who took part in his expedition, the aforementioned Amerigo Vespucci, who was well aware that this new continent, amazed with his stories about the "new world" of the two Germans, reprint the old treatise on geography. The Germans have included the discovery of Vespucci in the preface to the treatise:

"There are a quarter of the world, which was opened by Amerigo Vespucci, and that for this reason we can call America, or the Earth to America."

However, there is a second theory of the origin of the name of American, which belongs to Richard America financed an expedition which reached Newfoundland in 1496, the year. One proof of this theory is, for example, the fact that zvozdnopolosaty US flag is similar to the coat of arms of American families.