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Country Name Origins

Click on each clue for its answer.

  1. 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.

    Australia ("australis")

  2. From Pretani, "painted ones"; perhaps a reference to the use of body-paint and tattoos by early inhabitants of the islands.

    Britian

  3. From the Susu (Sousou) language meaning 'Women.'

    Guinea

  4. From a local name meaning "land of the Kirundi-speakers."

    Burundi

  5. From the native name meaning "march (i.e., borderland) of the Danes", the dominant people of the region since ancient times.

    Denmark

  6. From the Persian words for "Land of forty tribes."

    Kyrgyzstan

  7. 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.

    Argentina

  8. From Arabic for "Two seas."

    Bahrain

  9. Named after the ___wood tree, so-named because its reddish wood resembled the color of red-hot embers.

    Brazil

  10. English name given by Eric the Red in 982 to attract settlers.

    Greenland

  11. Spanish for "depths", a reference to the deep waters off the northern coast.

    Honduras

  12. From the Sanskrit word which means "at the foot of the mountains" or "abode at the foot,."

    Nepal

  13. From the city of Erech/Uruk near the river Euphrates.

    Iraq

  14. Germanic for "low lands."

    Netherlands

  15. Means "Himself alone", a reference to the Greek demigod Hercules, once worshipped at a shrine on the territory.

    Monaco

  16. Cantonese name for "Fragrant Harbor."

    Hong Kong

  17. From the Arabic "Djazaïr Al Qamar" - "Island of the moon."

    Comoros

  18. From the German "Light stone" ("light" as in "bright").

    Liechtenstein

  19. The name may be derived from al-Darra, the Arabic word for forest.

    Andorra

  20. From the Portuguese for "River of Shrimps", the name given to the Wouri River by Portuguese explorers in the 15th century.

    Cameroon

  21. From Ancient Greek for "the land below the Aegean sea."

    Egypt

  22. From the name of the Spanish sea captain Juan de ___ who sighted the islands in 1503.

    Bermuda

  23. From the biblical patriarch Jacob, later known as ___, literally meaning "struggled with God/he struggles with God."

    Israel

  24. 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.

    Burkina Faso

  25. 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 ___.

    Malawi

  26. From the Greek word for "of burnt visage."

    Ethiopia

  27. 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.

    Belize

  28. "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 ___.

    Zimbabwe

  29. A corruption of the Arabic words "Jebel Tarik" which means "Tarik's Mountain."

    Gibraltar

  30. From Taíno Indian word for "centre place."

    Cuba

  31. From the Cueva Indian language meaning "place of abundance of fish/place of many fish."

    Panama

  32. Named after a tribe whose name, may come from the word which means "castle" in Germanic languages.

    Bulgaria

  33. From the ancient Khmer kingdom of Kambuja (Kambujadesa).

    Cambodia

  34. "The saviour" in Spanish, named after Jesus.

    El Salvador

  35. From the Latin for "free", so named from the establishment of the state as a homeland for freed African-American slaves.

    Liberia

  36. From the Mayan word for "land of trees."

    Guatemala

  37. From the Arabic for "Land of the blacks."

    Sudan

  38. A transliteration from the Russian name meaning "White Russia."

    Belarus

  39. From the coastal desert whose name means "area where there is nothing" in the Nama language.

    Namibia

  40. From the Turkic: on-ogur, "(people of the) ten arrows" - in other words, "alliance of the ten tribes."

    Hungary

  41. From the Arabic root expressing the basic meaning of "right."

    Yemen

  42. From the modern German 'Österreich' which literally means "empire in the East."

    Austria

  43. From Celtic for "small" (cognate to English "little") and Germanic for "castle."

    Luxembourg

  44. An adaptation of "Gilbert", from the former European name the "Gilbert Islands."

    Kiribati

  45. After the river ___, the name of which derives from the Hebrew and Canaanite root yrd - "descend" (into the Dead Sea).

    Jordan

  46. 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.

    Canada

  47. From the Sanskrit for "Lion City."

    Singapore

  48. 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

  49. The English name comes from the Qin Dynasty, possibly in a Sanskrit form.

    China

  50. From the Latin name for the Red Sea "Mare Erythraeum."

    Eritrea

  51. From the Arabic diminutive form meaning "fortress built near water."

    Kuwait

  52. From Portuguese for "Green cape."

    Cape Verde

  53. Named by the Portuguese explorer Pedro A. Campos in 1536 after the appearance of the island's fig trees, whose long roots resemble beards.

    Barbados

  54. The name, meaning "rich coast" in Spanish, given by the Spanish explorer Gil González Dávila.

    Costa Rica

  55. In Arabic terminology it could mean "Palace Islands" as the main island, Malé, held the palace of the islands' Sultan.

    Maldives

  56. From the Bornu word tsade for "lake."

    Chad

  57. "Beyond the southern border", as referred to by ancient Chinese, or "South Yue", after the Yue peoples of ancient southeast China.

    Vietnam

  58. 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.

    Chile

  59. From the Portuguese for "Lion Mountains."

    Sierra Leone

  60. From the dynasty that takes its name from its ancestor whose name means "very happy."

    Saudi Arabia

  61. From the indigenous peoples who called the land ___, meaning "land of many waters", in reference to large number of rivers in the area.

    Guyana

  62. The Han characters used today mean "Terraced Bay" in Chinese (terraced rice fields typify the landscape), though the older characters have different meanings.

    Taiwan

  63. Derived from the Greek word for "copper", in reference to the copper mined on the island.

    Cyprus

  64. The English name of ___ comes from Chinese pronunciation of the native characters for "sun-origin."

    Japan

  65. The Phoenician settlers found hares in abundance, and mistook them for hyraxes of Africa; thus they named the land in their Canaanite dialect.

    Spain

  66. From the Latin "Dies ___" meaning "Sunday": the day of the week on which Christopher Columbus first landed on the island.

    Dominica

  67. From Spanish for "Low (Shallow) Sea."

    Bahamas