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what is behind the names of our continents

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posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 02:34 AM
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Right to the point, (yes i have tried to research on my own with no success). The names of our countries and continents what/who do they refer to, what I mean is europe or asia and in particular america since it is the united states OF america. Do these names refer to anything in particular or have any special meanings behind them.




posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 02:54 AM
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Canada


Linguistically, mountains can be made out of molehills, so to speak: words denoting a small thing can, over time, come to denote something much larger. This is the case with Canada, now the name of the second-largest country in the world but having a much humbler origin. Apparently its history starts with the word kanata, which in Huron (an Iroquoian language of eastern Canada) meant “village.” Jacques Cartier, the early French explorer, picked up the word and used it to refer to the land around his settlement, now part of Quebec City. By the 18th century it referred to all of New France, which extended from the St. Lawrence River to the Great Lakes and down into what is now the American Midwest. In 1759, the British conquered New France and used the name Quebec for the colony north of the St. Lawrence River, and Canada for the rest of the territory. Eventually, as the territory increased in size and the present arrangement of the provinces developed, Canada applied to all the land north of the United States and east of Alaska.


www.answers.com...
en.wikipedia.org...
en.wikipedia.org...'s_name
canadaonline.about.com...


That should cover it. Canada's is quite simple.



posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 03:16 AM
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Australia comes from Terra Australis Incognita, which means The Unknown Southern Land. In 1817 Governor Lachlan Macquarie of New South Wales recommended the word Australia become officially adopted, which in 1824, the British Admirality agreed that the continent should be called Australia.

There's more history behind it before 1817, but the above was just before it was officially named.

Wiki: Australia



posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 03:27 AM
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North and South America are named after Amerigo Vespucci. In fact, North and South America could have easily been named North and South Vespuccia. It just came down to preference. Imagine living in the United States of Vespucci or Vespuccia instead of what it is today.



posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 03:39 AM
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Africa

Our name for Africa comes from the good ol' Romans, who used the term Africa Terra ("Land of the Afri") to refer to that part of northern Africa where the city of Carthage was located. The "Afri" part comes from either:

- "afar" which is a Phoenician word that means "dust".
- the Afri people who dwelt in northern Africa.
- "aphrike" which is a Greek term for "without cold".
- "aprika" which is Latin for "sunny".

Wikipedia has a great article on Africa which includes the origins of the name.

[edit on 4/9/05 by Jeremiah25]



posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 03:58 AM
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Well the "a" at the end is because continents always get feminized latin names.

Africa:

* the Phoenician `afar, dust;
* the Afri, a tribe—possibly Berber—who dwelt in North Africa in the Carthage area;
* the Greek word aphrike, meaning without cold;
* or the Latin word aprica, meaning sunny.


Those are possible origins of Africa, taken from Wikipedia's entry on Africa.

Europe: Europa was a Phoenecian queen in Greek mythology who was carried off by Zeus who had assumed the form of a bull.
By 500 BC the term Europa refered to Greece and some of the surrounding area.
Euryops, in greek means "broad face".

Another possible explanation of both Europe and Asia comes from the Akkadian language, in which Erebu means sunset and Asu means Sunrise. From a middle eastern point of view, the sun rises over Asia and sets over Europe.

Asia: Besides the theory metnioned above, Assu means "good" in Hittite and by 1400BC there was a confederation city states in what is now Turkey which was called Assuwa

Australia, as has already been mentioned, basically means Southern Land. The presence of a southern continent was theorized and referred to as Terra Australus long before the continent was actually "discovered".

Antartica was of course the most recently discovered so it's name is known to great certainty and is not nearly as romantic as the others. The word Arctic has long been used to refer to the extreme North. It comes from a Greek word meaning Bear, referring to the bear constellations which can be seen in the Northern sky (Ursa Major and Ursa Minor). Antarctic literally means "opposite of arctic". Not a very fitting name if you ask me, since in common parlance the word arctic now refers as much to conditions as to geography, and with the exception of the presence of a landmass in the South, conditions in the arctic and antractic are not all that dissimiliar.

The Americas are either named for Amerigo Vespucci or according to a less popular theory, could come from La Merika, meaning "the star" in reference to a legend that a star lead the Knights Templar to the America's when they sought refuge from the attack on them ordered by Phillip IV of France, or something like that if my memory serves.



posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 04:01 AM
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May the fleas of a thousand camels infest the armpits of Vagabond for all time for making me write out a long and detailed post explaining the etymology of the names of the other continents and then posting his mere seconds before I could hit the send buton.



Lucky I checked.


Edit
Why is this in the New World Order forum?


[edit on 4/9/05 by Jeremiah25]



posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 04:04 AM
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If that boils your blood just wait till I win the next fiction contest lol.

It's the thought that counts though. You beat me to Africa too, with the same source I used no less.

Edit to add: i'm holding the rest of "Live a little" in reserve for the next contest. With any luck at all it will be good.

[edit on 4-9-2005 by The Vagabond]



posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 04:26 AM
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Originally posted by Grey
North and South America are named after Amerigo Vespucci. In fact, North and South America could have easily been named North and South Vespuccia. It just came down to preference. Imagine living in the United States of Vespucci or Vespuccia instead of what it is today.




Oh, that's priceless. I don't think that the rest of us would be able to take you seriously if you were the United States of Vespucci. Just picture it:

"My fellow Vespuccians, in this time of great adversity, we need ... wait. Oh, geez, the cameraman's laughing again. Can we cut? Uh huh, uh huh ... live you say. Damn stupid name".

"Ladies and gentlemen, the President of the United States of Vespuccia ... Ladies and ... people! People!!! Enough s'n-word'ing, its not that funny!!!".

"Today at 0350 hours, Vespuccian soldiers began the liberation of Fakeistan. Despite being met with sorties of mocking laughter, our brave Vespuccian forces are pressing onwards! God bless them all! And God bless Vespuccia!"



posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 04:32 AM
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Oh my god, you think Americans are a warlike breed now? (well we are)

Imagine if we actually had a quasi-hominem for the female anatomy in our name. Has anybody here ever heard the song "Boy named Sue", or perhaps heard George Carlin suggest that perhaps if the president in 1992 had been named George Boner that perhaps he wouldn't have felt the need to assert his manhood against Saddam? ROFL.

We'd be like a 5'6" redhead kid from the rough part of chicago man- look at us funny and we rush you, shouting obscenities incoherently and swinging to knock your head off.



posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 05:41 AM
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As far as the theory that "America" was named after an Italian in Columbus's vessels (Americo Vespuccit), it strikes me that some of the probability for that has been rubbed off by new studies showing pretty convincingly (to me at least) that C. Columbus was not Italian himself, he was a Catalonian. So would an Italian along for the ride bestow the name for the Continent? Columbus himself would have been the authority in this kind of area and would have leaned toward Spanish names rather than Italian ones.



posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 05:50 AM
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Originally posted by michaelanteski
As far as the theory that "America" was named after an Italian in Columbus's vessels (Americo Vespuccit), it strikes me that some of the probability for that has been rubbed off by new studies showing pretty convincingly (to me at least) that C. Columbus was not Italian himself, he was a Catalonian.


To the best of my knowledge Vespucci was not with Columbus, nor did Columbus have much to do with naming the new world since he never did find the mainland.

Vespucci was basically a shameless self promoter. He made a few trips to South America and publicized them heavily (and not necessarily accurately.) He became well known by writing heavily about the new world and his exploits there, real or imagined, and so some cartographer eventually assigned his name to the new continents.

Cartographers hold the power really. Whatever misunderstandings a cartographer falls victim to are likely to be remembered on maps for centuries to come.

The place where I grew up, for example, was originally the conchilla valley, conchilla being Spanish for little shell- pretty much the whole area used to be an inland sea created while the Colorado River was building its delta, and eventually it lost its source and slowly dried up, leaving a useless desert full of broken shells.
Some half-educated map maker got his hands on the Spanish word Conchilla and rendered it as Coachella, and voila, the name stuck.

[edit on 4-9-2005 by The Vagabond]



posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 12:07 PM
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great information, I see that the names behind many of the eastern hemispheres locations are understandable. However I for one will NEVER refer to the united states as anything but that again the name america will be poisen to my toungue naming this great country after a shameless self promoter who wasnt even that good at his work(Cartography) disgusts me, and i geuss speaks to our countries complacany on such matters(political, why there are only two parties running the country and in presidential debates, also disgusting).



posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 03:55 PM
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Originally posted by Desolate Cancer
naming this great country after a shameless self promoter who wasnt even that good at his work(Cartography) disgusts me, and i geuss speaks to our countries complacany on such matters(political, why there are only two parties running the country and in presidential debates, also disgusting).


In all fairness, we didn't really name it ourselves. England hadn't even meaningfully asserted any claim here at the time when this land became known as the Americas. The brits adopted somebody elses name and by the time we were running the show here that's just what this place was called. What were we supposed to do, say, "hey we fought that dang revolution because we dont wanna be called Americans. from now on you gotta call us the United States of KickAssia"



posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 05:51 PM
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Wasn't Europe named after the Goddess Europa? Or was this already mentioned and I just missed it
I am unsure of Asia, I could go look it up, or maybe someone already has, I skimmed through this topic rather quickly.



posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 06:12 PM
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Originally posted by The Vagabond
If that boils your blood just wait till I win the next fiction contest lol.


Drums quietly with his ten fingers of literary and poetic death, waiting patiently for the next contest. (Any idea when that might be?)

Sorry if this is off topic. I have no idea why continents are named as they are, i've never really cared I suppose. We are all creatures living on Gods great big blue ball, drifting towards only God knows what.

Love and light,

Wupy



posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 09:19 PM
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Why was this idea brought to the New World Order forum? Do you have some idea that the names of a continent or country have something to do with this idea? I don't really get it, and for mrwupy I think that was very off topic



posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 09:35 PM
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I'm pretty sure the next contest is sometime in September according to WW.

As for Europa, I'm not so sure she was a Goddess, except that I know that all bodies in the solar system, save one which I can't remember are named for Greek and Roman gods, which of course would imply that there is another Europa beyond the mythical queen I mentioned.



posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 09:39 PM
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Originally posted by The Vagabond
As for Europa, I'm not so sure she was a Goddess, except that I know that all bodies in the solar system, save one which I can't remember are named for Greek and Roman gods, which of course would imply that there is another Europa beyond the mythical queen I mentioned.


This could be very possible, I would have learned this info probably in like the 7th grade. So there is a very good chance that you are correct and I was mistaken. But I would still love to know where this thread is going or did we merely answer someones homework worksheet from their world history class?



posted on Sep, 4 2005 @ 11:37 PM
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Originally posted by The_FinalBut I would still love to know where this thread is going or did we merely answer someones homework worksheet from their world history class?


I think you nailed it. So if that's the case, allow me to keep the thread on topic with yet another question.

Describe the physical and chemical properties of elements in the chalcogen family. J/K. I'm miraculously holding my own in chem.



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