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BS: countries that named themselves

greg stephens 03 May 02 - 09:38 AM
Amos 03 May 02 - 10:45 AM
Uncle_DaveO 03 May 02 - 01:50 PM
weepiper 03 May 02 - 01:57 PM
Lonesome EJ 03 May 02 - 02:06 PM
McGrath of Harlow 03 May 02 - 08:36 PM
GUEST 03 May 02 - 09:33 PM
GUEST,mr happy 03 May 02 - 09:36 PM
gnu 04 May 02 - 06:58 AM
Peter K (Fionn) 04 May 02 - 08:23 AM
Celtic Soul 04 May 02 - 09:22 AM
greg stephens 04 May 02 - 01:26 PM
Lonesome EJ 04 May 02 - 02:06 PM
greg stephens 04 May 02 - 02:27 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 May 02 - 06:10 PM
mack/misophist 04 May 02 - 06:50 PM
McGrath of Harlow 04 May 02 - 07:12 PM
Peter K (Fionn) 04 May 02 - 08:23 PM
Peter T. 04 May 02 - 08:28 PM
greg stephens 05 May 02 - 05:25 PM
CarolC 05 May 02 - 05:50 PM
greg stephens 05 May 02 - 05:58 PM
mack/misophist 05 May 02 - 06:01 PM
greg stephens 05 May 02 - 06:12 PM
mack/misophist 05 May 02 - 06:50 PM
Little Hawk 06 May 02 - 02:41 AM
Wilfried Schaum 06 May 02 - 03:38 AM
MudGuard 06 May 02 - 05:26 AM
Ringer 06 May 02 - 07:28 AM
GUEST,mr happy 06 May 02 - 07:32 AM
Teribus 06 May 02 - 07:37 AM
GUEST,Adolfo 06 May 02 - 08:00 AM
The Walrus 06 May 02 - 08:01 AM
GUEST,Adolfo 06 May 02 - 08:14 AM
greg stephens 06 May 02 - 10:25 AM
Lepus Rex 06 May 02 - 10:30 AM
mack/misophist 06 May 02 - 10:33 AM
Mrrzy 06 May 02 - 12:06 PM
weepiper 06 May 02 - 01:44 PM
Little Hawk 06 May 02 - 02:01 PM
GUEST,happiness not guest no cucky 06 May 02 - 02:33 PM
gnu 06 May 02 - 05:36 PM
GUEST,Just Amy 06 May 02 - 06:19 PM
mack/misophist 06 May 02 - 07:05 PM
mack/misophist 06 May 02 - 07:59 PM
DonD 06 May 02 - 08:22 PM
John Hindsill 06 May 02 - 08:30 PM
Wilfried Schaum 07 May 02 - 04:09 AM
Wilfried Schaum 07 May 02 - 04:27 AM
Lepus Rex 07 May 02 - 06:26 AM
gnu 07 May 02 - 06:32 AM
AKS 07 May 02 - 09:23 AM
catspaw49 07 May 02 - 09:52 AM
SharonA 07 May 02 - 09:58 AM
Mrrzy 07 May 02 - 01:05 PM
Bob Bolton 07 May 02 - 11:59 PM
Wilfried Schaum 08 May 02 - 02:57 AM
Bob Bolton 08 May 02 - 08:15 AM
Wilfried Schaum 08 May 02 - 09:43 AM
Wilfried Schaum 08 May 02 - 09:45 AM
HuwG 08 May 02 - 02:13 PM
HuwG 08 May 02 - 02:19 PM
Ebbie 08 May 02 - 11:21 PM
Bob Bolton 08 May 02 - 11:57 PM
mack/misophist 09 May 02 - 12:24 PM
Bob Bolton 09 May 02 - 10:08 PM
CarolC 10 May 02 - 12:22 AM
Steve Parkes 10 May 02 - 08:20 AM
Bob Bolton 10 May 02 - 09:26 AM

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Subject: BS:countries that named themselves
From: greg stephens
Date: 03 May 02 - 09:38 AM

A little thought just came to me. The United States of America definitely decided to call itself that. Wales presumably acquired that name from the English. England and Scotland could have been named by themselves, or equally well by each other. So, the question is, which countries named themselves, and which acquired them from outsiders?


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Subject: RE: countries that named themselves
From: Amos
Date: 03 May 02 - 10:45 AM

Liberia and Monrovia both named themselves, borrowing from the once-bright American vision of liberty in the first case, and the memory of James Monroe in the second case, if I recall right.

A


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Subject: RE: countries that named themselves
From: Uncle_DaveO
Date: 03 May 02 - 01:50 PM

While it's true that it's no longer around, I seem to remember something called the Soviet Union, more fully the Union of Soviet Socialist Republics.

Dave Oesterreich


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Subject: RE: countries that named themselves
From: weepiper
Date: 03 May 02 - 01:57 PM

Well... it depends on whose perspective you're looking from, no? Yes Wales is called that by the English, but as far as the Welsh are concerned, the country is called Cymru, isn't it?


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Subject: RE: countries that named themselves
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 03 May 02 - 02:06 PM

Germany and Deutschland always puzzled me. And then you have Allemagne (sp?) for the same country.


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Subject: RE: countries that named themselves
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 03 May 02 - 08:36 PM

There's a distinction between adopting officially a particular version of a name that's been there already, maybe in different versions, like Sri Lanka (formerly referred to as Ceylon), and coming up with a brand new name for a country that didn't exist before, like the USA.

Or the United Kingdom, which a lot of people count as a country.

In ex-colonial states the tendency has been to search for a name with some historical roots, such as Ghana to replace the Gold Coast.


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Subject: RE: countries that named themselves
From: GUEST
Date: 03 May 02 - 09:33 PM

some people from india call their homeland burrat.

others call it hindustan-[at a guess, i'd say this how the british name for the area evolved]

perh. based on cultural/philosophical differences in the subcontinent.


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Subject: RE: countries that named themselves
From: GUEST,mr happy
Date: 03 May 02 - 09:36 PM

it was me 'burrat' etc + 'hindustan'

joe hasn't mended my bicky [cookie] yet

hellp


I tried, Mr. Happy, but my e-mail to you was returned.
Please send me an e-mail.
Click to e-mail Joe


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Subject: RE: countries that named themselves
From: gnu
Date: 04 May 02 - 06:58 AM

So, Canada wouldn't count because the name is historical ? even though it was "decided" upon as the official name by our founding fathers in 1867 ?


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Subject: RE: countries that named themselves
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 04 May 02 - 08:23 AM

The Republic of Ireland had a couple of goes.

Zimbabwe named itself after extensive ruins which provide evidence of earlier civilisation. While it was still Rhodesia, its children (the whites and "coloureds" only of course) were taught that AFrica must have been visited by whites much earlier than the most recent cononisation, as this was the only way to explain such sophistication.

What's the origin of Myanmar, as SLORC renamed Burma?


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Subject: RE: countries that named themselves
From: Celtic Soul
Date: 04 May 02 - 09:22 AM

Nippon=Japan

People in Holland are called "Dutch", and the people we call "Germans" come from "Deutschland".

Gah...


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: greg stephens
Date: 04 May 02 - 01:26 PM

Gnu: I dont see what you mean about "Canada wouldnt count". I was just asking the basic quetion, did a country's name arise internally, or did it come from what the neighbours called it ? Someof the answers must be lost in the mists of time, but in cases some sort of answer must be there.Tell us about Canada.Same questionfor peoples, too. By all accounts Eskimos were so called by outsiders, as were Welsh and Celts. Acommon pattern for countries who have been named by outsiders(Rhodesia as McGrath has pointed out) is to revert to a more locally sourced name as a gesture of independence. It doesnt always catch on though, not a lot of people ever actually say Eire. Anyway, anybody know any more answers? France, Italia, Espana? Who named them?


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: Lonesome EJ
Date: 04 May 02 - 02:06 PM

France was named after a Celtic-Germano tribe, the Franks.


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: greg stephens
Date: 04 May 02 - 02:27 PM

Yes ,but they call it France, or did their neighbours call it France first.That's what i'm wondering.


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 May 02 - 06:10 PM

Ireland is properly called that in the English tongue, with Eire only when talking Irish.

Like Cymru and Wales. Or Alba and Scotland. Or Breize and Bretagne (Brittany).

In French the United States becomes Etats-Unis - so in French do they refer to the EUA instead of the USA? And do Spanish speakers use the same abbreviation?


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: mack/misophist
Date: 04 May 02 - 06:50 PM

Each country is a little different. In truth, France was named by Joan of Arc, one of Europe's first nationalists. The Germans were named by the Romans, who recognized them as 'germania', of related peoples.(Herman, with a hard H, means brother in Spanish.) For some reason, Ceylon returned to an ancient literary name from the Ramayana, for their country. Bharati, as I understand it, is the poetic Sanscrit term for the place where Hindus live. Sometimes the name is derived from a language, as in Farsi = Persia. The Swiss name for Switzerland means 3 cornered country. Read deeply. Have fun. But never forget; the oldest book in any modern European language is the Tain bo Cooley. We Irish just can't keep our hands off each other's cattle.


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: McGrath of Harlow
Date: 04 May 02 - 07:12 PM

Well, the Ten Commandments just mmentions Oxen, there's nothing saying you shouldn't go covetting your neighbour's Bulls or Cows in it. So that's all right.


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: Peter K (Fionn)
Date: 04 May 02 - 08:23 PM

Greg, the first name for the 26 counties was the Irish Free State. This name was established by the 1921 treaty, which gave Ireland some measure of independence ffom the UK but within what was then the British Commonwealth (later just "the Commonwealth").

In 1937 the Irish Free State adopted a new constitution (the one still in effect now, although there have been significant amendments). At the same time the country gave itself a new name: Eire.

On Easter Monday 1949 Eire left the commonwealth. At the same time it dropped the name Eire and became the Republic of Ireland.


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: Peter T.
Date: 04 May 02 - 08:28 PM

The legend is that Canada was a misunderstanding of an Indian word for "socialized medicine" (joke) -- what interests me is that there are so many versions of this legend for different countries and places, I wonder if any of them are true.

yours, Peter T.


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: greg stephens
Date: 05 May 02 - 05:25 PM

Still trying to get this discussion back to my question. yes I know the Romans called it Germany(or something like it). But the Germans dont call it Germany, they call it Deutschland.Iwant to know who called it Deutschland first? The Germans, or the neighbours?And ditto England etc.


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: CarolC
Date: 05 May 02 - 05:50 PM

I like this account of how Canada got its name. Not that I'm particularly in a position to have an opinion, but what the hell, eh.

Route to Canada

(I'm feeling particularly giddy today... I just ordered my first Canadian flag. And my first Newfoundland tricolor flag, too. How can anyone not love a place that has a half hour time difference from every place else in the world and has the only flag in the world that contains the color pink?)


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: greg stephens
Date: 05 May 02 - 05:58 PM

Brilliant. Thanks a lot, CarolC that's what I'm looking for. We all use the names of our counties so casually, it's fascinating to try and find out who thought up the names first.Most of them were too long ago and we'll never know, but a few theories are always welcome.My impression is that a lot of countries were named by outsiders, more than you'ld think.


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: mack/misophist
Date: 05 May 02 - 06:01 PM

You really need to get a copy of the OED if this is important to you. Germany didn't become one country till about 1878 when the first reich was formed. Before that, it was Prussia, Saxony, etc. Deutsch is German for German. Austria calls itself the Eastern Empire [Oesterreich]. If you think back to Beowulf, with it's Angles and Jutes, well the Angles gave their name to England. Belgium is named for a germanic tribe that settled the area [Belgae]. Switzerland, which we call after it's largest canton, Schweitz, is really the Confederation Helvetiae, after another german tribe, the Helvetii, whom Caesar thought he'd wiped out. Norway and Sweden are, respectively, Norge and Sverige. Our spellings are approximations. If you need this for some special reason, pm me a list and I'll do what I can. Let me leave you with one of my favourites. Scotland comes from the Gaelic word for pirate. The reason the highlanders are notably different stock from the lowlanders is that they were driven out of Ireland and the isles for being uncomfortable neighbors. The same word -scot- may be related to a term for tax.


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: greg stephens
Date: 05 May 02 - 06:12 PM

Misophist, you havent grasped my question.Yes,of course England was named after the Angles. But was it named BY the Angles? Or was it named by someone else, referring to it as "that place where the Angles live".And splendid as the OED is, it won't tell me that. If it did, I wouldnt be asking.


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: mack/misophist
Date: 05 May 02 - 06:50 PM

Dear Mr Stephens,

The OED has this to say about England [keep it in mind, please, that there are about 200 years worth of citations that I can't read.] Angle-land was the part of Britan where the Angles lived, as opposed to Wessex, Sussex, Wales, Scotland, etc. Since the Normans defeated Harold of Wessex, I assume [guess] they made a more diplomatic settlement with the Angles. At any rate, by 1205, Britan was happily using the term Anglelond. That's what I discovered by walking into the dining room. Any more research than that on the subject will cost you.


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 May 02 - 02:41 AM

Mexico, I believe, was named by the Indian peoples in that area, and later kept by the Spanish conquistadores, unchanged. Bolivia was named after Simon Bolivar, the revolutionary who threw out the Spanish colonial government. Peru is another ancient Indian name. I think Cuba is another. Hawaii is another name which the place was given by its Native people long before the white explorers arrived there.

Canadian provinces...Saskatchewan and Manitoba are Indian names. Ontario may be too, but I'm not sure.

Does anyone know how the Chinese actually pronounce "China" in their own tongue?

Greece, I believe, is called "Elatha" (or something like that) by the Greeks.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 06 May 02 - 03:38 AM

Germany:
Named Germania by the Romans. The land east of the Rhine. Late Latin germanus = brother, from ther span. hermano. Might have a special sense, cf. lex Rhodia de iactu, where "germanitas" denotes the sharing of saved goods brotherlike. The German etymology is ger-man = spearman. But God knows best. Deutschlandis a recent name. In medieval times we had a King of the Germans or German King, but he reigned the Holy Roman Empire of the German Nation.
It was followed by the German Federation (of 33 states including four republics). 1870 followed by the German Reich, the name remained until 1945. In 1949 we meet Deutschland for the first time as a name for a political unity in "Bundesrepublik Deutschland" (Federal Republic of Germany). The name was given by the National Assembly to the new state.
The National Anthem of the Reich since 1919 starts with Deutschland, Deutschland über alles, where Deutschland denotes not a state, but the lands where the German language is used. (Since 1949 we only sing the 3rd stanza starting with "unity, justice and liberty"). The song was written shortly before 1848 in Helgoland, then a British island.
Allemagne, Alemania:
Derived from the Allemanni, a German tribe on the upper Rhine, partly in Alsatia, with a special dialect, name given by the French. France: In German Frankreich, Empire of the Franks. The Franks were not a tribe, but a confederation of tribes. The Empire was divided into three parts after the death of Charlemange between his three sons; the eastern king inherited the title of Emperor. The middle part was later on divided between the eastern and western parts. Schweiz, Svizzera, Switzerland: Derived from Schwyz, one of the original cantons. The name is used by the Swiss only for their language Schwyzerdütsch = Swiss German. They call themselves Eidgenossen, Confederates (sworn together), in the Confederatio Helvetica. As noted correctly before the Helvetii were an Alpine tribe; when Switzerland was occupied by the French under Napoleon they formed the Helvetian Republic.
Dutch:
Clearly a name given by people who can't pronounce "Deutsch" correctly. Not only used for Netherlanders, but also for German immigrants in the USA with their hybrid language Pennsylvania Dutch. Note that the Netherlands belonged to the Roman Empire of the German Nation in former times like the Helvetian Confederates.

Wilfried


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: MudGuard
Date: 06 May 02 - 05:26 AM

Just some more thoughts (I am not a historian, so don't rely on whatever I write) about Germany/Allemagne/Deutschland:

In the area nowadays known as Germany many tribes lived.
Especially in the south/southwest (i.e. near France) a tribe called "Alemannen" - this lead to the French name Alemagne. (not sure about the numbers of "l" right now).

In other areas, a tribe called "Teutonen" lived. Teutonen -> Deutsch

Germanen: afaik is derived from the fact that they used a weapon called "Ger" which is spear in English, so it should translate to spear-men.

In slavic languages, German is "nemes" or "nimis" or "nemec" - don't ask me where that comes from.

MudGuard (not a German, but even better: a Bavarian)


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: Ringer
Date: 06 May 02 - 07:28 AM

"The same word -scot-", says misophist, "may be related to a term for tax". A term now lost to normal usage except in the phrase "scot-free".


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: GUEST,mr happy
Date: 06 May 02 - 07:32 AM

suomi=finland

magyar=hungary

republika srpska= a serbian inhabited part of former yugoslavia


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: Teribus
Date: 06 May 02 - 07:37 AM

"The same word -scot-", says misophist, "may be related to a term for tax". A term now lost to normal usage except in the phrase "scot-free".

Wandering off the subject a bit but could this be a corruption of the Norse word for tax - skatt.


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: GUEST,Adolfo
Date: 06 May 02 - 08:00 AM

Spain was first named by the Phoenicians, who called it "Land of Rabbits" in their language (something like "spanidja"). The name was kept by the Romans in the form of Hispania. The Greek had called it Iberia, which still accounts for the Peninsula (especially when talking about Spain and Portugal). I read somewhere that Deutsch/Dutch/(te)Desco and all those terms meant something like 'beyond' in clear reference to the 'people who lived beyond the Roman limes', particularly, the Rhein. Finally, in Spanish we say 'EEUU' when referring to the USA.


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: The Walrus
Date: 06 May 02 - 08:01 AM

"The same word -scot-", says misophist, "may be related to a term for tax". A term now lost to normal usage except in the phrase "scot-free". As opposed to a "Scotch" which, at one point was a wedge used as a brake or chock to prevent wagon wheels rolling.

Walrus


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: GUEST,Adolfo
Date: 06 May 02 - 08:14 AM

For those of you who can speak Spanish, there's a word, 'escueto', meaning 'brief' 'lean', which derives from "Scotus", wandering Irish monks, because they used to take with them only what was strictly necessary.


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: greg stephens
Date: 06 May 02 - 10:25 AM

great, keep it coming. Misophist: afraid you still havent grasped what I'm looking for. Let me put it this way. Greg Stephens is my name.It was given to me by someone else. Misophist is your name. You chose it for yourself. Those are the categories I want to put countries in. I dont want to know the etymology of "misophist" or "greg stephens", particularly, unless it has a bearing on who chose it.


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 06 May 02 - 10:30 AM

(Ooh, ooh! Something I know! I NEVER get to use this info. >:) )

One correction, misophist: You said "Sometimes the name is derived from a language, as in Farsi = Persia." Actually, Persia isn't named after the language, Farsi. Farsi means "from Fars," in SW Iran, the traditional homeland of the Persian people. We get "Persia" from the Greek name for Fars, "Persis." Of course, the "Persians" (and most people on Earth) call their land by the modern version of it's ancient, native name, Iran, which ultimately, means something like "land of the Aryans." ("Aryans" being the ancient Indo-Iranian tribes, not the modern ethnonym-hijacking Nazi pricks) :)

---Lepus Rex


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: mack/misophist
Date: 06 May 02 - 10:33 AM

Greeks call their country Hellas, the ancient Greek name. Our word comes from the Romans = Graecia, which may also have been the name of the Greek language.


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 06 May 02 - 12:06 PM

I've always wondered why Suomi for the Finns. And the Ivory Coast, where I grew up, insists on being called Côte d'Ivoire no matter what the language, so that even in English they get listed ahead of France in alpha listings... hee hee...


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: weepiper
Date: 06 May 02 - 01:44 PM

The Basque Country (ok, not officially a country, but tell that to the Basques) is another one which translates as the same thing no matter the language as far as I know - in their own language Euskal Herria (I think this literally means 'country of the speakers of the Basque language'), in Spanish Pais Vasco, in French Pays Basque...


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: Little Hawk
Date: 06 May 02 - 02:01 PM

Oddly enough, Coney Island also means "the land of rabbits", since coney was an old English word for rabbit. The rabbits have since mostly had to relocate, I'm afraid.

- LH


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: GUEST,happiness not guest no cucky
Date: 06 May 02 - 02:33 PM

gaul= france

albania=north wales

hibernia=ireland

caledonia=scotland

it also comes to mind that on todays globe, there's lots of nations who either don't have a country-or its been split up [for ploitical reasons]

like anatolia in turkey

macedonia- greece & former yugoslavia

and disputed territories like kurafuto/sahkalin island:russia & japan, the kurile islands also russia & japan

and in the news again the tragedy of palestine

and theres always 'northern ireland'

and donegal's in ulster

i'm happy to be a citizen of the world- can't we dispose of borders and just all live together as humans? [who called us that name?]


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: gnu
Date: 06 May 02 - 05:36 PM

CC... GOOD GOD WOMAN !!! Cancel your order ! If any Newf ever sees that and you tell him it's a Newfy flag, e'll 'ave yer arse fer dat ! After 'ee 'as da flag !

Yup, the popular version of the naming of Canada is Canata, meaning village in the native tongue, and it's on a government "Hertiage" commercial a half dozen times a night. However, I heard another story that the Spaniards named it after southern natives told them not to bother going "up there" because there is "nothing there"... a ca nada (or similar). I kinda like this one better... suits our personality more.


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: GUEST,Just Amy
Date: 06 May 02 - 06:19 PM

Belize was named by itself. It used to be British Honduras.


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: mack/misophist
Date: 06 May 02 - 07:05 PM

Note to Mrzzy: Suomi means something like 'free people'. Sorry I don't remember exactly.
Earlier some one asked about China, which has been nagging the hell out of me. Classical Chinese consideren their culture and language to be the only civilized options possible. They saw no need for a group noun [other than for kingdoms, minority races, etc] and so, never invented one. They would sometimes refer to themselves as "people of Han" but that was a poetic notion, not a label. It seems that.....Marco Polo did the deed. He needed a name to use in his book and so used the name of one of the 'golden age' dynasties - Qin. He also, in effect, named Japan which, as you know, refers to itself as Nippon or Nihon. The Chinese name for Japan sounded like Chipangu, which is the Chinese translation of Nihon -rising sun. Good bar trivia question. Let me add that Marco Polo also says that, like the Romans, the Chinese began to think of you as one of them if you spoke Chinese and adopted the culture.


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: mack/misophist
Date: 06 May 02 - 07:59 PM

Dearest Lepus Rex, mightiest of rodents;

Thanks for the correction. Obviously I didn't know that. But why is the language NOW called Farsi? PS. Their national epic, Rustum and Sorhab, [I think that's right] is a great storey that doesn't seem to be in print anywhere.

Note to Guest, I think you'll find that Turkey is a country that sits on the Anatolean peninsula. A self-named country.


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: DonD
Date: 06 May 02 - 08:22 PM

In Chinese, China is called "Chung Kuo" -- Chung is middle and Kuo is kingdom -- refleecting the common notion that they are the center of the universe.

Many early ("primitive") peoples call themselves "the people" in their own languages, reflecting the same notion that THEY are the human beings as differentiated from other animals and thinghs, noy that they are different from other peoples. When they met other tribes they recognized that they were people I'm sure, but not that they were THE people, so they had to have a diffeerent name, which probably was derived from how they heard the others saying their word for "the people".

I think that this is true of many of the First Nations (No, I'm not Canadian, but I think that's a much nicer PC term than Native Americans or Indians, certainly).

If Shakespeare got to name himself (since he spelled it as many different ways as possible), it'sas no surprise that countries, etc. should have such confused nemnclature.

But isn't it fun?


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: John Hindsill
Date: 06 May 02 - 08:30 PM

Sorry I got to this thread so late...but you all are wrong. Countries DO NOT name themselves. People give countries names, and sometimes other people give those same areas different names. BG.


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 07 May 02 - 04:09 AM

misophist,

looking up Rustum and Sorhab you should use the scientific transliteration Rustam wa-Surhab. That is one of the books I found:
Firdausi [Dastan-i Rustam wa Suhrab az Sahnama] Dastan-i Rustam wa Suhrab az Sahnama-i Firdausi : ba tagdid-i nazar dar tashih wa taudih-i matn wa muqabala ba nusha-i Flurans / muqaddama wa tashih wa taudih-i Mugtaba Minuwi. - Cap 2.
Tihran : Mu´assasa-i Mutala´at wa Tahqiqat-i Farhangi, 1990 = 1369 h. s.. - 3, 19, 415 S.; (pers.)
(Mu´assasa-i Mutala´at wa Tahqiqat-i Farhangi ; 627)
Original: Sahnama
Nebent.: The story of Rustam va Suhrab from the Shahnamah
Teilausg. v Sahnama. - In arab. Schr., pers.
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Universitätsbibliothek Tübingen:
Signatur: 31 B 1830
This is the 2nd print.
It is a part only of Firdausi's famous Shah-nama (Book of Kings) printed very often; the newest scientific edition is published in New York in the Persian Text Series.

The Romans adopted the original names of countries and peoples transforming them often to their usual pronouncings. So Persia seems to be derived from Pars (there are Parsi communities in India; they had to leave as non-Muslims some centuries ago). Since the true Arabs don't have "P" in their language and script, they transformed Parsi into Farsi. The name of the language Farsi is very old; the name for the state was adopted by the new Pahlawi Shahs having reigned from 1925 to 1979.

Lepus Rex,

The Aryans are not Indo-Iranians, but members of the great Indo-European language family. This name was chosen from the Eastern and Western borders of the range. In former times it was called Indo-German, but this excluded the more Western Roman languages, so the name was changed.
I have met a lot of Iranian racists who were proud to be Aryans from a "better" or "higher" race; I used to stop them by a racist answer from the European view which is not printable here.

Wilfried


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 07 May 02 - 04:27 AM

Guest, happiness

Anatolia is not split up for political reasons, but the Eastern part of Turkey, Asia Minor. The name Anadolu derived from Greek Anatoli = Oriens, "where the sun rises".
I think what you are referring to is the problem of the Kurds; the Kurds live in the border region of Turkey (Anadolu), Persia and Irak. But you can't say Anadolu is divided.

Wilfried


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: Lepus Rex
Date: 07 May 02 - 06:26 AM

Well, Wilfried, I'll have to disagree with you. Indo-Iranian languages (the Indic and Iranian languages, heh) are actually part of the larger Indo-European family. The historical Aryans were nomadic, Indo-Iranian-speaking tribesmen from Central Asia, who spread their languages throughout Southwest Asia and India. Goofy-ass European scholars appropriated the name for their racist fantasies (Where Aryan=Indo-European=blonde Nordic white guys) in the 1800s, and later, of course, we know what the Nazis did with that. Thanks to the mis-use of the word "Aryan" by these people, it's become, eh, unpopular, and has been replaced with the more politically correct (and sometimes just more correct) terms we use today. (The bastards ruined the swastika too, grr) :)

And, misophist, I'm not sure what you mean by "why is the language NOW called Farsi?" Other than "because that's what it's called," I have no idea. ;) No, seriously, it's probably because Fars province was the historic center of Iran, and the name stuck.

Eh... shoot, I'm tired, and making little sense, I bet. Someone have fun correcting me... Insomnia sucks. Back to bed. :)


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: gnu
Date: 07 May 02 - 06:32 AM

I am informed that the NF tri-colour is indeed preferred over the new flag by most Newfoundlanders, while I thought the opposite was true. I stand corrected by a actual NF'er. Us fellahs from New Brunswick think we know it all whereas the opposite is true.


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: AKS
Date: 07 May 02 - 09:23 AM

Sorry to be slow, was interrupted more than once ...

To MudGuard: nemec < nemoj, dumb, mute, ie one who can not speak 'our' language.

Finland certainly is a name given by foreigners; the Roman historian Tacitus (1st century) was the first to write on Fenniae (unless he confuses the Fenians here;-) and their strange habits. We ourselves (and the Estonians) call our country Suomi (s-oo-oh-m-ee). It originally has denoted the province around Turku in South West of F. only, but nobody knows for certain whether the name really means (or has meant) anything at all. Etymologically it is often connected to saami 'Lapp', some say it must mean 'land of swamp/bog' (suo = bog, marsh, swamp), but that's not probable. Although it sounds great, Misophist, there's no 'free people' connotation in 'suomi'. In fact it would suit fine, mind you, there's never been feudalism here!

I am quite convinced that if you ask any Russian person about their country's (Rus' / Rossija) or nation's (russkije) name, they'd claim them to be of old Russian origin. But the source lies in Sweden (Svearike); the vikings (varyags) who founded Kievskaja Rus along the Dnepr river (the first Russian state) came mainly from Roslagen, the coastal area north of Stockholm, that in turn had got its name from rodslag, 'a crew of oarsmen'. Funny thing is that the original home of these ancient rowers is remembered only by Finns and Estonians; we call Sverige 'Ruotsi / Rootsi'. The rest of the world seems to know their creation only :-).

A minor correction, guest mr happy: a Hungarian (magyar) who speaks in Hungarian (magyarul) calls his/her country Magyarország ('magyar land', /gy/ is one letter, pronounced soft (palatalized) d, /sz/ stands for s).

Have to run now, got an apple tree to plant (or would 'set' be the correct verb?)!

AKS


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: catspaw49
Date: 07 May 02 - 09:52 AM

For those of you wishing an origin of state names within the the U.S., there is this:


Alabama May come from Choctaw meaning "thicket-clearers" or "vegetation-gatherers"
Alaska Corruption of Aleut word meaning "great land" or "that which the sea breaks against"
Arizona From the Indian "Arizonac," meaning "little spring" or "young spring"
Arkansas From the Quapaw Indians
California From a book, Las Sergas de Esplandián, by Garcia Ordóñez de Montalvo, c. 1500
Colorado From the Spanish, "ruddy" or "red"
Connecticut From an Indian word (Quinnehtukqut) meaning "beside the long tidal river"
Delaware From Delaware River and Bay; named in turn for Sir Thomas West, Baron De La Warr
Florida From the Spanish, meaning "feast of flowers" (Easter)
Georgia In honor of George II of England
Hawaii Uncertain. The islands may have been named by Hawaii Loa, their traditional discoverer. Or they may have been named after Hawaii or Hawaiki, the traditional home of the Polynesians.
Idaho Though popularly believed to be an Indian word, it is an invented name whose meaning is unknown.
Illinois Algonquin for "tribe of superior men"
Indiana Meaning "land of Indians"
Iowa Probably from an Indian word meaning "this is the place" or "the Beautiful Land"
Kansas From a Sioux word meaning "people of the south wind"
Kentucky From an Iroquoian word "Ken-tah-ten" meaning "land of tomorrow"
Louisiana In honor of Louis XIV of France
Maine First used to distinguish the mainland from the offshore islands. It has been considered a compliment to Henrietta Maria, queen of Charles I of England. She was said to have owned the province of Mayne in France.
Maryland In honor of Henrietta Maria (queen of Charles I of England)
Massachusetts From Massachusett tribe of Native Americans, meaning "at or about the great hill"
Michigan From Indian word "Michigana" meaning "great or large lake"
Minnesota From a Dakota Indian word meaning "sky-tinted water"
Mississippi From an Indian word meaning "Father of Waters"
Missouri Named after the Missouri Indian tribe. "Missouri" means "town of the large canoes."
Montana Chosen from Latin dictionary by J. M. Ashley. It is a Latinized Spanish word meaning "mountainous."
Nebraska From an Oto Indian word meaning "flat water"
Nevada Spanish: "snowcapped"
New Hampshire From the English county of Hampshire
New Jersey From the Channel Isle of Jersey
New Mexico From the country of Mexico
New York In honor of the Duke of York
North Carolina In honor of Charles I of England
North Dakota From the Sioux tribe, meaning "allies"
Ohio From an Iroquoian word meaning "great river"
Oklahoma From two Choctaw Indian words meaning "red people"
Oregon Unknown. However, it is generally accepted that the name, first used by Jonathan Carver in 1778, was taken from the writings of Maj. Robert Rogers, an English army officer.
Pennsylvania In honor of Adm. Sir William Penn, father of William Penn. It means "Penn's Woodland."
Rhode Island From the Greek Island of Rhodes
South Carolina In honor of Charles I of England
South Dakota From the Sioux tribe, meaning "allies"
Tennessee Of Cherokee origin; the exact meaning is unknown
Texas From an Indian word meaning "friends"
Utah From the Ute tribe, meaning "people of the mountains"
Vermont From the French "vert mont," meaning "green mountain"
Virginia In honor of Elizabeth "Virgin Queen" of England
Washington In honor of George Washington
West Virginia In honor of Elizabeth, "Virgin Queen" of England
Wisconsin French corruption of an Indian word whose meaning is disputed
Wyoming From the Delaware Indian word, meaning "mountains and valleys alternating"; the same as the Wyoming Valley in Pennsylvania


Spaw


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: SharonA
Date: 07 May 02 - 09:58 AM

To our guest Adolfo: Thanks for posting the origin of "Spain"! To correct someone's (?) earlier posting, the Spanish call it España ("ace-SPAHN-nya"). Also, the Spanish word "hermano" meaning brother is pronounced "air-MAH-no" (the "h" is not pronounced, or if so almost imperceptibly).


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: Mrrzy
Date: 07 May 02 - 01:05 PM

And yes, I read that the name of the Basque countries in Basque means Land of the Speakers of the Basque Language - they are linguistically, rather than politically or geographically defined. Neat.

I also read somewhere that Abidjan, the capital of Côte d'Ivoire, means "what does it look like I'm doing? I'm fishing, you idiot!" or something like that in a now-extinct African language - guess the white man asked What is this place in some European language!


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 07 May 02 - 11:59 PM

G'say all,

A lot of discussion of Scotland back a ways, talking about later uses of words like scot. Of course the country/region names go back to the Roman occupation of the more southerly parts of Britain.

To that pack of opportunists from the Mediterranean regions, the north was untenable: Ireland was Hibernia (essentially, the Land of Winter) and Scotland was Scotia ... which is why we still have Nova Scotia ... Scotia is Greek (spoken widely by educated Romans of those days) for darkness, thus 'Land of Darkness'. In this case, the name passed o the the residents, as the 'Scotii' ... because the Romans needed to have a name ... the locals did not!

I don't believe that any country - or people - is named by its own people. To them, they are simply "Us" ... and where they live is "Here". It's only when someone comes from somewhere else that there is need to make distinctions. We blithely name a "newly discovered" region in our terms, not the residents'.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 08 May 02 - 02:57 AM

Objection, Bob. This may be right with jungle tribes, but not with countries civilized since more than 2000 years. My county's name was derived from its central river long ago and given by its inhabitants. In a letter from the pope to St Boniface the latinized form is used, but you clearly can see that the name was in use in its true German form more than 1300 years ago.

Wilfried


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 08 May 02 - 08:15 AM

G'day Wilfied,

I agree that I was using the extreme example - but I believe the principle holds throughout. There is no need for a distinctive name for yourself until you meet up with someone else. The most likely one to seek a label (aka 'name') is the one on unfamiliar ground ... particularly when they come in force. A good example I did not use was the mention way back of Wales.

This is definitely not the preferred country name of those we call Welsh (and they are certainly no 'jungle tribe' ... and were not at the time of the Anglo-Saxon ... Jute &c ... invasion) but they ended up called the Walu (~) - apparently 'Saxon' for "foreigner" in their own country!

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 08 May 02 - 09:43 AM

Hi, Bob - how right you are! I just looked up "deutsch" in our standard etymologic dictionary. Old thiudisc- is a derivation of Indogermanic teutâ and this means: folk, people.
So all the continental-european German tribes called themselves Deutsch or Dutch, Diets, Dütsch and so on while using their language as opposite to Latin as the language of church and government. In latin texts of Charlemagne's times it appears as theodiscus, but note that the German word is older and given as a name by the people to themselves.
Deutschland (Germany) is a composition of the adjective deutsch and the noun land and appeared first in the 14th century, but not so often; we mostly find deutsches land or in the folksongs of the 16th and 17th century.

Wilfried


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: Wilfried Schaum
Date: 08 May 02 - 09:45 AM

Insert after or: deutsche nation; bloody machine scratched it out while transmitting.

Wilfried


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: HuwG
Date: 08 May 02 - 02:13 PM

Bob Bolton; this cuts both ways. "Waelisc" (or something like it) = Anglo-Saxon "foreigner"

However, the Welsh (Cymraeg) word, "Saeson", which obviously means "Saxon", has come down the ages as "Sais" which means "English" (person) or "bl***y foreigner".

Other than place-names, or parts of place-names (such as all those rivers named "Avon", after the Welsh "afan", meaning, "river") I can think of very few Welsh words which found their way into English. Those which did aren't usually very complimentary. "Glib" (= shallow, ready, insincere), is one such, from the Welsh "gwlyb", which means "wet", or "slippery". I'll try and think of a few more.


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: HuwG
Date: 08 May 02 - 02:19 PM

Mrrzy - how about the Mexican province (or area) of Yucatan, which means, "What the hell do you want ?" in Maya ?


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: Ebbie
Date: 08 May 02 - 11:21 PM

Interesting discussion. But it is odd that Canada has no vowels in its name. C- eh? N- eh? D- eh?

Just funnin', o country to the east of me.


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 08 May 02 - 11:57 PM

G'day again,

Wilfried: I'm sure the oldest of the German names are (now) German words ... and used by the local people for millenia. But ... I still cleave to the notion that no people has need of a descriptive name until they are confronted by other peoples ... and such descriptions usually come from the people coming in, not the settled ones who have no problem knowing who they are. I also suspect that two or three thousand years allows a lot of space to create endurung "folk myths" about the meaning and derivation.

HuwG: I'm sure you are right about the way the Welsh use Sais ... and it is part of the same process of name-giving (~-calling?) and analogous to similar epithets used by the other Celts of Britain. (Even if the "Saxon" name is somewhat suspicious ... we were all taught that England was taken over, post-Roman Occupation, by "Angles, Jutes and Saxons" - but the linguistic evidence suggests that everyone (well, the Venerable Bede, anyway) forgot to mention the Frisians!

BTW: The risks of accepting (what you think is) the local, native, name are beautifully illustrated by an Australian example. Down in Melbourne, (Victoria, capital of our south-eastern mainland state) they have an annual festival called Moomba: because someone thought that this was the local native language's word for celebration, or something similar.

Lately they have been able to check with source documents and/or native speakers ... and have found the the name of their festival means: Buttocks! Maybe the native enquired of was giving a succinct message to the invader (aka "colonist").

Regard(les)s,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: mack/misophist
Date: 09 May 02 - 12:24 PM

HuwG: The first book about the Maya I ever read said that Yucatan means "place of deer and turkey". I've seen that elsewhere, since.


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 09 May 02 - 10:08 PM

G'day Misophist,

That sort of description of a place in terms of its resources is another type of naming - and common among first peoples of all nations. Here in Australia, we have the second city of the European settlement: Parramtta - which means place of eels (Hey ... It's all good tucker!) and the Sydney suburb where I was born: Kogarah - place of frogs (also good tucker ... if the French got here a few weeks earlier - those frogs would have been gone in a flash!).

In telling those 'names' the Aboriginal people were not so much 'naming' ... and certainly not 'claiming' ... they were telling others where the food resources could be found and harvested.

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: CarolC
Date: 10 May 02 - 12:22 AM

Heh. Lost track of this one. My understanding of the preferances of Newfoundlanders with regard to the different flags (from what I was told by one Newfoundlander) is that they usually fly the official Newfoundland and Labrador provincial flag. But a lot of them of them like the tricolor better, although apparently it is seen as a bit separatist. And many Newfoundlanders still have great affection for the British Union Jack.


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: Steve Parkes
Date: 10 May 02 - 08:20 AM

"Coney", as in Coney Island, was pronounced "cunny" in previous centuries. Unfortunately, this also came to be used for a lady's naughty bits (clue: first 3 letters the same in the modern form). In a piece of nursery-speak bowdlerisation reminiscent of Monty Python's "North Minehead by-election", the rabbit-word became "bunny". That must have prevented many an embarrassing mix-up!

Steve


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Subject: RE: BS: countries that named themselves
From: Bob Bolton
Date: 10 May 02 - 09:26 AM

G'day Steve,

And keep in mind that a young rabbit is a 'kit' ... indeed a rabbit was often called a 'puss' - althought that was more correct for a hare (Latin = lepus ... misconstrued in French as 'le pus').

Regards,

Bob Bolton


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Mudcat time: 13 May 6:25 AM EDT

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