List of subnational name etymologies
Here is a collection of the etymology of the names of subnational entities
for the convenience of interested reader who then would not have to go into each individual place's article to find out the word origin. (See also: List of country name etymologies
, political entities named after people
- Canada (see also Origin of North American state names, Canada section)
- Alberta - Princess Louise Caroline Alberta, fourth daughter of Queen Victoria.
- British Columbia - "British" (former UK colony) + "Columbia" River, in turn named after a ship "Columbia," in turn a poetic name for the USA.
- Manitoba - Ojibwa, "Spirit Straits," name for The Narrows on Lake Manitoba.
- New Brunswick - the British royal family's House of Brunswick.
- Newfoundland and Labrador - "new found land," name dating to 1502; llavrador ("farmer"), called for a crewman of John Cabot's, who sighted it.
- Nova Scotia - Latin, "New Scotland".
- Ontario - from Lake Ontario, Wyandot ontare ("lake").
- Prince Edward Island - Prince Edward, Duke of Kent, brother of George III.
- Quebec - from Quebec City; Algonquian kebek, "narrow passage".
- Saskatchewan - from the Saskatchewan River; Cree kisiskatchewan, "fast-flowing river".
- Northwest Territories - from the North-West Territory, the Arctic Ocean watershed.
- Nunavut - Inuktitut, "our land".
- Yukon - from the Yukon River; Gwich'in, "great river".
- People's Republic of China
- Kemt - "land of the black (mud of the Nile, or people)".
- Chungcheong - from the first characters in the city names Chungju and Cheongju.
- Gangweon (South Korea)/Kangwŏn (North Korea) - from the first characters in the city names Gangneung and Weonju.
- Gyeongsang - from the first characters in the city names Gyeongju and Sangju.
- Hamgyŏng - from the first characters in the city names Hamju and Kyŏngsŏng (?).
- Hwanghae - from the first characters in the city names Hwangju and Haeju.
- Jeolla - from the first characters in the city names Jeonju and Naju (The changes from "n" to "l" are due to phonetic characteristics of the Korean language).
- P'yŏngan - from the first characters in the city names P'yŏngyang and Anju.
- Gyeonggi - the Chinese characters for the name mean "area around the capital," i.e., around Seoul, South Korea, where the province is located.
- Mexico see Origin of North American state names, Mexico section
- Holland - (Germanic) - 'wooded land' (often incorrectly regarded as meaning 'hollow land')
- Batavia - (Germanic) - 'arable land'
- Bessarabia - from Basarab I, Wallachian king who led some expeditions in this land
- Bukovina - "Buchenland" = "beech land"
- Dobrogea - "good land"
- Hateg - "Terra Herzog" = Duke's land
- Muntenia - from muntean = man of the mountains, from Romanian munte=mountain
- Oltenia - from the river Olt, called Alutus by the Romans, probably from Latin lutum=clay.
- Transylvania - "beyond the woods"
- Ardeal - "wooden hill" - arde is an Indo-European particle meaning forest, the same as in English Forest of Arden and Belgian Ardennes Woods; Deal means hill in Romanian.
- Wallachia - "land of the foreigners".
- Republic of China (Taiwan)
- United Kingdom
- England - from Engla-lond, the land settled in the early 6th century by various peoples from Low Germany, among them the Angles (Latin Anglii) who originally inhabited the fish-hook shaped territory known as Angeln situated in present-day Schleswig. See Anglo-Saxons.
- Gibraltar - from Arabic "djebl al-Tarik" -> "Tarik's rock" because this is where the Arabic general Tarik started his conquest of the Iberian peninsula in 711.
- Northern Ireland - from Old Irish Eriu. Precise meaning uncertain, though could be the name of a prehistoric fertility goddess.
- Scotland Literally 'Land of the Scots'. The Scottish people were originally 5th Century settlers from Ireland although the name didn't come about until after the 9th Century. Alba, the Gaelic name for Scotland means 'highlands' from the Latin albus or 'white' (describing the mountains). Caledonia, the Latin name means forested highlands
- Wales - "land of the foreigners", from the Germanic 'welsche' the term used by Anglo-Saxon invaders of the British Isles for the native Celts they encountered. The Welsh native toponym "Cymru" means "fellow countrymen". Several areas in Europe were named by the ancient Germans in the same way, the term used only for places inhabited by peoples of Celtic or Latin descent, including "Wallonia" in Belgium, "Valais" (in Switzerland), Wallachia in Romania and the archaic "Welschenland" a term for Italy.
- United States see Etymological list of U.S. States and Origin of North American state names, United States section