Where Did The Countries Get Their Names?

  • France: the origin of the name comes from the word “Francia” which means “country of the Franks” in Latin, as the empire belonged to the Franks.
  • Norway: the name comes from the Old English word Norþweg, meaning “northern way”.
  • India: the name stems from the word Indus, which is Old Persian for Hindu. The river that runs through the country is called the Indus River, and the inhabitants are “the people of the Indus”.
  • Saudi Arabia: its name comes from the last name of the founder of the country, Abdulaziz Al Saud. The country’s real name translates literally to “the Saudi Arab kingdom”.
  • China: the actual name of the country is Zhongguo, meaning “central state”.

We know most of their names... but don't always know the origins behind the names. Check out the gallery and discover the backstories behind the names of a handful of different countries spanning the globe.

By the editors
This Astronaut's Incredible Photographs Show What Our World Really Looks Like From Space

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