Originally from Latin terra ___ incognita - "unknown southern land." Early European explorers, sensing that the landmass far exceeded in size what they had already mapped, gave the area a generic descriptive name.
From Pretani, "painted ones"; perhaps a reference to the use of body-paint and tattoos by early inhabitants of the islands.
From the Susu (Sousou) language meaning 'Women.'
From a local name meaning "land of the Kirundi-speakers."
From the native name meaning "march (i.e., borderland) of the Danes", the dominant people of the region since ancient times.
From the Persian words for "Land of forty tribes."
From the Latin for "silver." Early Spanish and Portuguese traders used the region's Rio de la Plata or "Silver River" to transport silver and other treasures from Peru to the Atlantic.
From Arabic for "Two seas."
Named after the ___wood tree, so-named because its reddish wood resembled the color of red-hot embers.
English name given by Eric the Red in 982 to attract settlers.
Spanish for "depths", a reference to the deep waters off the northern coast.
From the Sanskrit word which means "at the foot of the mountains" or "abode at the foot,."
From the city of Erech/Uruk near the river Euphrates.
Germanic for "low lands."
Means "Himself alone", a reference to the Greek demigod Hercules, once worshipped at a shrine on the territory.
Cantonese name for "Fragrant Harbor."
From the Arabic "Djazaïr Al Qamar" - "Island of the moon."
From the German "Light stone" ("light" as in "bright").
The name may be derived from al-Darra, the Arabic word for forest.
From the Portuguese for "River of Shrimps", the name given to the Wouri River by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century.
From Ancient Greek for "the land below the Aegean sea."
From the name of the Spanish sea captain Juan de ___ who sighted the islands in 1503.
From the biblical patriarch Jacob, later known as ___, literally meaning "struggled with God/he struggles with God."
From local languages, meaning "land of upright people", "land of honest men" or "land of the incorruptible." President Thomas Sankara, who took power in a coup in 1983, changed the name from "Upper Volta" in 1984.
Possibly based on a native word meaning "flaming water" or "tongues of fire," believed to have derived from the sun's dazzling reflections on Lake ___.
From the Greek word for "of burnt visage."
Said to derive from the Spanish pronunciation of "Wallace", the name of the pirate who set up the first settlement here in 1638. Another possibility relates the name to the Maya word for "muddy water", applied to the ___ River.
"Great House of Stone" or "Big House of Stone" in Shona, referring to the stone-built capital city of the ancient trading empire of Great ___.
A corruption of the Arabic words "Jebel Tarik" which means "Tarik's Mountain."
From Taíno Indian word for "centre place."
From the Cueva Indian language meaning "place of abundance of fish/place of many fish."
Named after a tribe whose name, may come from the word which means "castle" in Germanic languages.
From the ancient Khmer kingdom of Kambuja (Kambujadesa).
"The saviour" in Spanish, named after Jesus.
From the Latin for "free", so named from the establishment of the state as a homeland for freed African-American slaves.
From the Mayan word for "land of trees."
From the Arabic for "Land of the blacks."
A transliteration from the Russian name meaning "White Russia."
From the coastal desert whose name means "area where there is nothing" in the Nama language.
From the Turkic: on-ogur, "(people of the) ten arrows" - in other words, "alliance of the ten tribes."
From the Arabic root expressing the basic meaning of "right."
From the modern German 'Österreich' which literally means "empire in the East."
From Celtic for "small" (cognate to English "little") and Germanic for "castle."
An adaptation of "Gilbert", from the former European name the "Gilbert Islands."
After the river ___, the name of which derives from the Hebrew and Canaanite root yrd - "descend" (into the Dead Sea).
From the word meaning "village" or "settlement" in the Saint-Lawrence Iroquoian language spoken by the inhabitants of Stadacona and the neighbouring region in the 16th century.
From the Sanskrit for "Lion City."
Christopher Columbus, on discovering a seemingly endless number of islands in the nort-east Caribbean in 1493, named them after Saint Ursula and the 11,000 virgins.
British Virgin Islands
The English name comes from the Qin Dynasty, possibly in a Sanskrit form.
From the Latin name for the Red Sea "Mare Erythraeum."
From the Arabic diminutive form meaning "fortress built near water."
From Portuguese for "Green cape."
Named by the Portuguese explorer Pedro A. Campos in 1536 after the appearance of the island's fig trees, whose long roots resemble beards.
The name, meaning "rich coast" in Spanish, given by the Spanish explorer Gil González Dávila.
In Arabic terminology it could mean "Palace Islands" as the main island, Malé, held the palace of the islands' Sultan.
From the Bornu word tsade for "lake."
"Beyond the southern border", as referred to by ancient Chinese, or "South Yue", after the Yue peoples of ancient southeast China.
Possibilities include that it comes from a native Mapudungun term meaning "the depths", a reference to the fact that the Andes mountain chain looms over the narrow coastal flatland.
From the Portuguese for "Lion Mountains."
From the dynasty that takes its name from its ancestor whose name means "very happy."
From the indigenous peoples who called the land ___, meaning "land of many waters", in reference to large number of rivers in the area.
The Han characters used today mean "Terraced Bay" in Chinese (terraced rice fields typify the landscape), though the older characters have different meanings.
Derived from the Greek word for "copper", in reference to the copper mined on the island.
The English name of ___ comes from Chinese pronunciation of the native characters for "sun-origin."
The Phoenician settlers found hares in abundance, and mistook them for hyraxes of Africa; thus they named the land in their Canaanite dialect.
From the Latin "Dies ___" meaning "Sunday": the day of the week on which Christopher Columbus first landed on the island.
From Spanish for "Low (Shallow) Sea."