Do you know where country names come from? Most countries in the world are named after one of four things: an important person with some influence over the country or its history, a directional description of the country, a feature of the country’s land, or a tribe or ethnic group.
For example, Kazahkstan is derived from “Khazakh,” which comes from the ancient Turkic word “qaz” and means “to wander,” describing the nomadic life of the early Kazakhs people.
Another example is El Salvador’s name. El Salvador is the only country in the Americas with ten letters and is the smallest and most densely populated country in Central America. “El Salvador” means the “The Savior” in Spanish, named by Spanish conquistador Pedro de Alvarado.
Luxembourg received its name from Lucilinburhuc Castle, which translated to “Little Fortress.” The name was first mentioned in 963 CE, when Count Siegfried of Ardennes purchased the castle. “Luxembourg” is the anglicized version of “Lucilinburhuc.”
- El Salvador
- New Zealand
- North Korea
- Saint Lucia
- South Korea
- South Sudan
Some of these countries have official names, such as the Republic of Madagascar, making their names 20 letters instead of 10. Another example is Luxembourg, which is officially known as the Grand Duchy of Luxembourg, making its name 22 letters.