What is the name of America?

Vladislav Meriin
Vladislav Meriin
March 14, 2013
What is the name of America?

By the word “America” we are used to understand two continents, this is North and South America. But why America was called America. Since this was a long time ago, no one can exactly answer this question or after whom America is named. As usual, scientists have several versions about where the name America came from.

What is the name of America? Before proceeding to the analysis of the name, let's find out what the term “America” includes. America includes North America (which in turn contains Mexico, the USA and Canada and the islands to the east of them), South America (mainland countries South America), Latin America (mainland French-speaking, Spanish-speaking and Portuguese-speaking countries), Central America and the Caribbean (colonies and countries on the islands of the Caribbean. Formerly, this region was called the West Indies). As you can see this is just a huge area. Let us now find out where the name came from - “America”.

The origin of the name

Formally, America was discovered by Christopher Columbus.So why is it not named in his honor. There are several options:

According to the first version, America was named after the Florentine traveler Amerigo Vespucci. From 1499 to 1504 he took part in many expeditions around present-day America.

There are many letters that Amerigo wrote to his notable friends. In the letters Amerigo spoke colorfully about his travels and new geographical discoveries. And Vespucci's friends, perhaps unwittingly, spread information about his discoveries and travels. Inquisitive people met these first stories about the New World with great interest. But Columbus did not widely spread about his travels, and did not devote anyone to the details.

There is also an opinion that Amerigo received such a nickname or named itself after the continent that already had a name.

If there is another version that America got its name thanks to Richard America. It was a wealthy merchant from the city of Bristol. He was a generous and inquisitive merchant. He gave money for a second transatlanticThis is an expedition led by John Cabot. In 1497, John reached the shores of Labrador (by the way, two years earlier than Amerigo) and named the lands he discovered in honor of the main sponsor of this company.

Indians are not from India

What is the name of the indigenous people of America? Indians! Agree, a little strange, considering that they live in the territory of America. Why not “Americans”? But there is a rather amusing explanation to this - the European navigators of the end of the 15th century mistakenly thought that having crossed the Atlantic, they sailed to India. And so this name was fixed to the local population.

There is also the slang name for this part of the land and its inhabitants. Because of the unflattering attitude of the residents of Russia and the CIS countries, people call America “Pendostanom”, and e residents “pendosy”. It is difficult to say how offensive it is, but this name is strongly entrenched for the Americans.

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