NAME THAT COUNTRY! Interesting Names and Idioms for People and Places Globally

With Covid-19 vaccination rolling out globally, perhaps you are resuming your travel plans to some foreign, exotic destinations.  In addition to the essentials of your travel planning, here at LHA Travel, we are almost as concerned about the non-essential, frivolity of travel. For instance, do you know that one nickname that French locals and French outer territories’ residents use to refer to France? “The Hexagon! Le Metropole!” 

Along the lines of France’s nicknames, here are a few additional names that we’ve compiled for places that may be in your next destination. In this list we have excluded former names of countries, of which nearly all countries have, such as “British Honduras” for present day Belize.

Albania – Shqiperi is another name for Albania, and is derived from the word “eagle.”

Anguilla – The name means “Snake (or eel) Island.”

Antarctica – South Pole.

Antigua – To the native population, Antigua is called “Waladli.”

Armenia – The country is also known as Hayastan, which is derived from the name of the tribe Hayas.

Australia – Down-under, Oz. 

Austria – The country is referred to as “Osterreich” in German. 

Barbados – Meaning “the bearded ones,” Barbados was named by a Portuguese sea captain upon sighting bearded fig trees.

Belarus – The name means “White Russia.” 

Bhutan – In Bhutanese, Bhutan is called “Druk Yul,” which means “Land of the Thunder Dragon.”  

Brunei – Also is known as the “Abode of peace.”

Burkina Faso – Also known as the “Land of the Honest (or Incorruptible) Men.”

Cambodia – Also known as Kampuchea, meaning “the country of Cambodia.”

Canadian – It is also called Canajun in some circles. 

Chile – Also known as the country “Where the Land Ends.”

Colombia – The country was named after Christopher Columbus.

Costa Rica – Costa Ricans are also known as Ticos, and the country is also known as “the Switzerland of Central America.” 

Croatia – The Croatians call their country Hrvatska.

Czech Republic – Czechia is another name for the Czech Republic.

Egypt – Egyptians call their country “Misr.”

Fiji – Also known as “Soft Coral Capital of the World.”

Finland – The Finish call their country “Soumi.”

France – Hexagon, Le Metropole are both used to refer to France.

Georgia – The Georgians call their country Sakartvelo.

Germany – Deutschland is another name for Germany.

Gibraltar – The Rock is another name for Gibraltar.

Greece – The Greece is also known as “Hellas,” and its people “Hellenes.”

Grenada – Also known as the “Island of Spice.”

Guatemala – Also known as the “Land of eternal spring.” To its neighbors, Guatemalans are nicknamed “Chapines.” 

Guyana – Also known as the “Land of many waters.”

Hondurans – Catracho(a) is a nickname for Hondurans in Spanish.

Hong Kong – Its name means “Fragrant Harbour” in Cantonese.

Hungary – The Hungarians call their country Magyarország, and their people Magyar.

India – Bharata is another name for India.

Indonesia – The name means “Indian islands” in Greek. 

Iran – Has also been called the “Cradle of Civilization” and Persia.

Iraq – The country was known in ancient times as Mesopotamia, meaning “Land Between the Rivers.”

Ireland – Also is known as the “Emerald Isles.” 

Italy – “The boot” is also another name for Italy.

Ivory Coast – Cote D’Ivoire

Jamaica – Jamaicans also refer to their home islands as “Rock” and the country is known as the “Land of Wood and Water.”

Japan – “Nippon” and “Koku” are official Japanese names for Japan. The Japanese call themselves Nihonjin, and Japan is known as the “Land of the Rising Sun.”

Martinique – Also known as the “Island of Flowers.”

Mauritius – Locals refer to their countries as “Maurice.” 

Mayotte – Also known as the “Grande Terre.”

Mongolians – Mongols is an alternate name for Mongolians.

Montserrat – Also is known as “the Emerald Isle of the Caribbean.”

Nepal – The country is known as the “Land of the Thunder and Dragon.”

Netherlands – Holland is another term used for the Netherlands.

New Zealander – Nationals from New Zealand are also known as Kiwis.

Norway – Norge is what Norwegians call their country.

Paraguay – Also known as the “Island Surrounded by Land.”

Philippines – Also known as the “Pearl of the Orient.”

Poland – The Polish call themselves Polska. 

Sierra Leone – The name means (and is known as) the “Mountain of Lions.”

Singapore – The name means “Lion City” in Sanskrit.

South Koreans – South Koreans refer themselves as Hanguk.

South of France – This is also known as “Emerald Coast” or “Cote D’Azur.” 

eSwatini – Formerly known as Swaziland, the new name means “Land of the Swazis.” King Mswati changed the name of his country in honor of 50th year of independence in 2018.

Taiwan – The country is also known as “Formosa” for the past five centuries.

Thailand – Also known as the “Land of Smiles.”

Timor L’Este – East Timor.

Tonga – Also known as the “Friendly islands.”

United Kingdom – Also referred to as Great Britain or England, the UK is known as the “Land of the Rose.”

United States – Known as “Land of the Free, Home of the Brave,” Americans (from the U.S.) are also called abroad as “Gringos” and “Yankees” abroad.  

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *