Field Listing

Country name

This entry includes all forms of the country's name approved by the US Board on Geographic Names (Italy is used as an example): conventional long form (Italian Republic), conventional short form (Italy), local long form (Repubblica Italiana), local short form (Italia), former (Kingdom of Italy), as well as the abbreviation (if applicable). Additionally, an etymology entry explains how the country acquired its name.  Also see the Terminology note.

  • Afghanistan

    conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

    conventional short form: Afghanistan

    local long form: Jamhuri-ye Islami-ye Afghanistan

    local short form: Afghanistan

    former: Republic of Afghanistan

    etymology: the name "Afghan" originally referred to the Pashtun people (today it is understood to include all the country's ethnic groups), while the suffix "-stan" means "place of" or "country"; so Afghanistan literally means the "Land of the Afghans"

  • Akrotiri

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Akrotiri

    etymology: named for the village that lies within the Western Sovereign Base Area on Cyprus

  • Albania

    conventional long form: Republic of Albania

    conventional short form: Albania

    local long form: Republika e Shqiperise

    local short form: Shqiperia

    former: People's Socialist Republic of Albania

    etymology: the English-language country name seems to be derived from the ancient Illyrian tribe of the Albani; the native name "Shqiperia" is derived from the Albanian word "Shqiponje" ("Eagle") and is popularly interpreted to mean "Land of the Eagles"

  • Algeria

    conventional long form: People's Democratic Republic of Algeria

    conventional short form: Algeria

    local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Jaza'iriyah ad Dimuqratiyah ash Sha'biyah

    local short form: Al Jaza'ir

    etymology: the country name derives from the capital city of Algiers

  • American Samoa

    conventional long form: American Samoa

    conventional short form: American Samoa

    abbreviation: AS

    etymology: the meaning of Samoa is disputed; some modern explanations are that the "sa" connotes  "sacred" and "moa" indicates "center," so the name can mean "Holy Center"; alternatively, some assertions state that it can mean "place of the sacred moa bird" of Polynesian mythology; the name, however, may go back to Proto-Polynesian (PPn) times (before 1000 B.C.); a plausible PPn reconstruction has the first syllable as "sa'a" meaning "tribe or people" and "moa" meaning "deep sea or ocean" to convey the meaning "people of the deep sea"

  • Andorra

    conventional long form: Principality of Andorra

    conventional short form: Andorra

    local long form: Principat d'Andorra

    local short form: Andorra

    etymology: the origin of the country's name is obscure; the name may derive from the Arabic "ad-darra" meaning "the forest," a reference to its location as part of the Spanish March (defensive buffer zone) against the invading Moors in the 8th century

  • Angola

    conventional long form: Republic of Angola

    conventional short form: Angola

    local long form: Republica de Angola

    local short form: Angola

    former: People's Republic of Angola

    etymology: name derived by the Portuguese from the title "ngola" held by kings of the Ndongo (Ndongo was a kingdom in what is now northern Angola)

  • Anguilla

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Anguilla

    etymology: the name Anguilla means "eel" in various Romance languages (Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, French) and likely derives from the island's lengthy shape

  • Antarctica

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Antarctica

    etymology: name derived from two Greek words meaning "opposite to the Arctic" or "opposite to the north"

  • Antigua and Barbuda

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Antigua and Barbuda

    etymology: "antiguo" is Spanish for "ancient" or "old"; the island was discovered by Christopher COLUMBUS in 1493 and, according to tradition, named by him after the church of Santa Maria la Antigua (Old Saint Mary's) in Seville; "barbuda" is Spanish for "bearded" and the adjective may refer to the alleged beards of the indigenous people or to the island's bearded fig trees

  • Arctic Ocean

    etymology: the name Arctic comes from the Greek word "arktikos" meaning "near the bear" or "northern," and that word derives from "arktos," meaning "bear"; the name refers either to the constellation Ursa Major, the "Great Bear," which is prominent in the northern celestial sphere, or to the constellation Ursa Minor, the "Little Bear," which contains Polaris, the North (Pole) Star

  • Argentina

    conventional long form: Argentine Republic

    conventional short form: Argentina

    local long form: Republica Argentina

    local short form: Argentina

    etymology: originally the area was referred to as Tierra Argentina, i.e., "Land beside the Silvery River" or "silvery land," which referred to the massive estuary in the east of the country, the Rio de la Plata (River of Silver); over time the name shortened to simply Argentina or "silvery"

  • Armenia

    conventional long form: Republic of Armenia

    conventional short form: Armenia

    local long form: Hayastani Hanrapetut'yun

    local short form: Hayastan

    former: Armenian Soviet Socialist Republic, Armenian Republic

    etymology: the etymology of the country's name remains obscure; according to tradition, the country is named after Hayk, the legendary patriarch of the Armenians and the great-great-grandson of Noah; Hayk's descendant, Aram, purportedly is the source of the name Armenia

  • Aruba

    conventional long form: Country of Aruba

    conventional short form: Aruba

    local long form: Land Aruba (Dutch); Pais Aruba (Papiamento)

    local short form: Aruba

    etymology: the origin of the island's name is unclear; according to tradition, the name comes from the Spanish phrase "oro huba" (there was gold), but in fact no gold was ever found on the island; another possibility is the native word "oruba," which means "well-situated"

  • Ashmore and Cartier Islands

    conventional long form: Territory of Ashmore and Cartier Islands

    conventional short form: Ashmore and Cartier Islands

    etymology: named after British Captain Samuel ASHMORE, who first sighted his namesake island in 1811, and after the ship Cartier, from which the second island was discovered in 1800

  • Atlantic Ocean

    etymology: name derives from the Greek description of the waters beyond the Strait of Gibraltar, Atlantis thalassa, meaning "Sea of Atlas"

  • Australia

    conventional long form: Commonwealth of Australia

    conventional short form: Australia

    etymology: the name Australia derives from the Latin "australis" meaning "southern"; the Australian landmass was long referred to as "Terra Australis" or the Southern Land

  • Austria

    conventional long form: Republic of Austria

    conventional short form: Austria

    local long form: Republik Oesterreich

    local short form: Oesterreich

    etymology: the name Oesterreich means "eastern realm" or "eastern march" and dates to the 10th century; the designation refers to the fact that Austria was the easternmost extension of Bavaria, and, in fact, of all the Germans; the word Austria is a Latinization of the German name

  • Azerbaijan

    conventional long form: Republic of Azerbaijan

    conventional short form: Azerbaijan

    local long form: Azarbaycan Respublikasi

    local short form: Azarbaycan

    former: Azerbaijan Soviet Socialist Republic

    etymology: the name translates as "Land of Fire" and refers to naturally occurring surface fires on ancient oil pools or from natural gas discharges

  • Bahamas, The

    conventional long form: Commonwealth of The Bahamas

    conventional short form: The Bahamas

    etymology: name derives from the Spanish "baha mar," meaning "shallow sea," which describes the shallow waters of the Bahama Banks

  • Bahrain

    conventional long form: Kingdom of Bahrain

    conventional short form: Bahrain

    local long form: Mamlakat al Bahrayn

    local short form: Al Bahrayn

    former: Dilmun, Tylos, Awal, Mishmahig, Bahrayn, State of Bahrain

    etymology: the name means "the two seas" in Arabic and refers to the water bodies surrounding the archipelago

  • Bangladesh

    conventional long form: People's Republic of Bangladesh

    conventional short form: Bangladesh

    local long form: Gana Prajatantri Bangladesh

    local short form: Bangladesh

    former: East Bengal, East Pakistan

    etymology: the name - a compound of the Bengali words "Bangla" (Bengal) and "desh" (country) - means "Country of Bengal"

  • Barbados

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Barbados

    etymology: the name derives from the Portuguese "as barbadas," which means "the bearded ones" and can refer either to the long, hanging roots of the island's bearded fig trees or to the alleged beards of the native Carib inhabitants

  • Belarus

    conventional long form: Republic of Belarus

    conventional short form: Belarus

    local long form: Respublika Byelarus'/Respublika Belarus'

    local short form: Byelarus'/Belarus'

    former: Belorussian (Byelorussian) Soviet Socialist Republic

    etymology: the name is a compound of the Belarusian words "bel" (white) and "Rus" (the Old East Slavic ethnic designation) to form the meaning White Rusian or White Ruthenian

  • Belgium

    conventional long form: Kingdom of Belgium

    conventional short form: Belgium

    local long form: Royaume de Belgique (French)/Koninkrijk Belgie (Dutch)/Koenigreich Belgien (German)

    local short form: Belgique/Belgie/Belgien

    etymology: the name derives from the Belgae, an ancient Celtic tribal confederation that inhabited an area between the English Channel and the west bank of the Rhine in the first centuries B.C.

  • Belize

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Belize

    former: British Honduras

    etymology: may be named for the Belize River, whose name possibly derives from the Maya word "belix," meaning "muddy-watered"

  • Benin

    conventional long form: Republic of Benin

    conventional short form: Benin

    local long form: Republique du Benin

    local short form: Benin

    former: Dahomey, People's Republic of Benin

    etymology: named for the Bight of Benin, the body of water on which the country lies

  • Bermuda

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Bermuda

    former: Somers Islands

    etymology: the islands making up Bermuda are named after Juan de BERMUDEZ, an early 16th century Spanish sea captain and the first European explorer of the archipelago

  • Bhutan

    conventional long form: Kingdom of Bhutan

    conventional short form: Bhutan

    local long form: Druk Gyalkhap

    local short form: Druk Yul

    etymology: named after the Bhotia, the ethnic Tibetans who migrated from Tibet to Bhutan; "Bod" is the Tibetan name for their land; the Bhutanese name "Druk Yul" means "Land of the Thunder Dragon"

  • Bolivia

    conventional long form: Plurinational State of Bolivia

    conventional short form: Bolivia

    local long form: Estado Plurinacional de Bolivia

    local short form: Bolivia

    etymology: the country is named after Simon BOLIVAR, a 19th-century leader in the South American wars for independence

  • Bosnia and Herzegovina

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Bosnia and Herzegovina

    local long form: none

    local short form: Bosna i Hercegovina

    former: People's Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Socialist Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina

    abbreviation: BiH

    etymology: the larger northern territory is named for the Bosna River; the smaller southern section takes its name from the German word "herzog," meaning "duke," and the ending "-ovina," meaning "land," forming the combination denoting "dukedom"

  • Botswana

    conventional long form: Republic of Botswana

    conventional short form: Botswana

    local long form: Republic of Botswana

    local short form: Botswana

    former: Bechuanaland

    etymology: the name Botswana means "Land of the Tswana" - referring to the country's major ethnic group

  • Bouvet Island

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Bouvet Island

    etymology: named after the French naval officer Jean-Baptiste Charles BOUVET who discovered the island in 1739

    note: pronounced boo-vay i-land

  • Brazil

    conventional long form: Federative Republic of Brazil

    conventional short form: Brazil

    local long form: Republica Federativa do Brasil

    local short form: Brasil

    etymology: the country name derives from the brazilwood tree that used to grow plentifully along the coast of Brazil and that was used to produce a deep red dye

  • British Indian Ocean Territory

    conventional long form: British Indian Ocean Territory

    conventional short form: none

    abbreviation: BIOT

    etymology: self-descriptive name specifying the territory's affiliation and location

  • British Virgin Islands

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: British Virgin Islands

    abbreviation: BVI

    etymology: the myriad islets, cays, and rocks surrounding the major islands reminded explorer Christopher COLUMBUS in 1493 of Saint Ursula and her 11,000 virgin followers (Santa Ursula y las Once Mil Virgenes), which over time shortened to the Virgins (las Virgenes)

  • Brunei

    conventional long form: Brunei Darussalam

    conventional short form: Brunei

    local long form: Negara Brunei Darussalam

    local short form: Brunei

    etymology: derivation of the name is unclear; according to legend, MUHAMMAD SHAH, who would become the first sultan of Brunei, upon discovering what would become Brunei exclaimed "Baru nah," which roughly translates as "there" or "that's it"

  • Bulgaria

    conventional long form: Republic of Bulgaria

    conventional short form: Bulgaria

    local long form: Republika Bulgaria

    local short form: Bulgaria

    former: Kingdom of Bulgaria, People's Republic of Bulgaria

    etymology: named after the Bulgar tribes who settled the lower Balkan region in the 7th century A.D.

  • Burkina Faso

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Burkina Faso

    local long form: none

    local short form: Burkina Faso

    former: Upper Volta, Republic of Upper Volta

    etymology: name translates as "Land of the Honest (Incorruptible) Men"

  • Burma

    conventional long form: Union of Burma

    conventional short form: Burma

    local long form: Pyidaungzu Thammada Myanma Naingngandaw (translated as the Republic of the Union of Myanmar)

    local short form: Myanma Naingngandaw

    former: Socialist Republic of the Union of Burma, Union of Myanmar

    etymology: both "Burma" and "Myanmar" derive from the name of the majority Burman (Bamar) ethnic group

    note: since 1989 the military authorities in Burma and the current parliamentary government have promoted the name Myanmar as a conventional name for their state; the US Government has not officially adopted the name

  • Burundi

    conventional long form: Republic of Burundi

    conventional short form: Burundi

    local long form: Republique du Burundi/Republika y'u Burundi

    local short form: Burundi

    former: Urundi, German East Africa, Ruanda-Urundi, Kingdom of Burundi

    etymology: name derived from the pre-colonial Kingdom of Burundi (17th-19th century)

  • Cabo Verde

    conventional long form: Republic of Cabo Verde

    conventional short form: Cabo Verde

    local long form: Republica de Cabo Verde

    local short form: Cabo Verde

    etymology: the name derives from Cap-Vert (Green Cape) on the Senegalese coast, the westernmost point of Africa and the nearest mainland to the islands

  • Cambodia

    conventional long form: Kingdom of Cambodia

    conventional short form: Cambodia

    local long form: Preahreacheanachakr Kampuchea (phonetic transliteration)

    local short form: Kampuchea

    former: Khmer Republic, Democratic Kampuchea, People's Republic of Kampuchea, State of Cambodia

    etymology: the English name Cambodia is an anglicization of the French Cambodge, which is the French transliteration of the native name Kampuchea

  • Cameroon

    conventional long form: Republic of Cameroon

    conventional short form: Cameroon

    local long form: Republique du Cameroun/Republic of Cameroon

    local short form: Cameroun/Cameroon

    former: Kamerun, French Cameroon, British Cameroon, Federal Republic of Cameroon, United Republic of Cameroon

    etymology: in the 15th century, Portuguese explorers named the area near the mouth of the Wouri River the Rio dos Camaroes (River of Prawns) after the abundant shrimp in the water; over time the designation became Cameroon in English; this is the only instance where a country is named after a crustacean

  • Canada

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Canada

    etymology: the country name likely derives from the St. Lawrence Iroquoian word "kanata" meaning village or settlement

  • Cayman Islands

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Cayman Islands

    etymology: the islands' name comes from the native Carib word "caiman," describing the marine crocodiles living there

  • Central African Republic

    conventional long form: Central African Republic

    conventional short form: none

    local long form: Republique Centrafricaine

    local short form: none

    former: Ubangi-Shari, Central African Empire

    abbreviation: CAR

    etymology: self-descriptive name specifying the country's location on the continent; "Africa" is derived from the Roman designation of the area corresponding to present-day Tunisia "Africa terra," which meant "Land of the Afri" (the tribe resident in that area), but which eventually came to mean the entire continent

  • Chad

    conventional long form: Republic of Chad

    conventional short form: Chad

    local long form: Republique du Tchad/Jumhuriyat Tshad

    local short form: Tchad/Tshad

    etymology: named for Lake Chad, which lies along the country's western border; the word "tsade" means "large body of water" or "lake" in several local native languages

    note: the only country whose name is composed of a single syllable with a single vowel

  • Chile

    conventional long form: Republic of Chile

    conventional short form: Chile

    local long form: Republica de Chile

    local short form: Chile

    etymology: derivation of the name is unclear, but it may come from the Mapuche word "chilli" meaning "limit of the earth" or from the Quechua "chiri" meaning "cold"

  • China

    conventional long form: People's Republic of China

    conventional short form: China

    local long form: Zhonghua Renmin Gongheguo

    local short form: Zhongguo

    abbreviation: PRC

    etymology: English name derives from the Qin (Chin) rulers of the 3rd century B.C., who comprised the first imperial dynasty of ancient China; the Chinese name Zhongguo translates as "Central Nation" or "Middle Kingdom"

  • Christmas Island

    conventional long form: Territory of Christmas Island

    conventional short form: Christmas Island

    etymology: named by English Captain William MYNORS for the day of its rediscovery, Christmas Day (25 December 1643); the island had been sighted by Europeans as early as 1615

  • Clipperton Island

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Clipperton Island

    local long form: none

    local short form: Ile Clipperton

    former: sometimes referred to as Ile de la Passion or Atoll Clipperton

    etymology: named after an 18th-century English pirate who supposedly used the island as a base

  • Cocos (Keeling) Islands

    conventional long form: Territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands

    conventional short form: Cocos (Keeling) Islands

    etymology: the name refers to the abundant coconut trees on the islands and to English Captain William KEELING, the first European to sight the islands in 1609

  • Colombia

    conventional long form: Republic of Colombia

    conventional short form: Colombia

    local long form: Republica de Colombia

    local short form: Colombia

    etymology: the country is named after explorer Christopher COLUMBUS

  • Comoros

    conventional long form: Union of the Comoros

    conventional short form: Comoros

    local long form: Udzima wa Komori (Comorian), Union des Comores (French), Jumhuriyat al Qamar al Muttahidah (Arabic)

    local short form: Komori (Comorian), Comores (French), Juzur al Qamar (Arabic)

    etymology: name derives from the Arabic designation "Juzur al Qamar" meaning "Islands of the Moon"

     

  • Congo, Democratic Republic of the

    conventional long form: Democratic Republic of the Congo

    conventional short form: DRC

    local long form: Republique Democratique du Congo

    local short form: RDC

    former: Congo Free State, Belgian Congo, Congo/Leopoldville, Congo/Kinshasa, Zaire

    abbreviation: DRC (or DROC)

    etymology: named for the Congo River, most of which lies within the DRC; the river name derives from Kongo, a Bantu kingdom that occupied its mouth at the time of Portuguese discovery in the late 15th century and whose name stems from its people the Bakongo, meaning "hunters"

  • Congo, Republic of the

    conventional long form: Republic of the Congo

    conventional short form: Congo (Brazzaville)

    local long form: Republique du Congo

    local short form: Congo

    former: French Congo, Middle Congo, People's Republic of the Congo, Congo/Brazzaville

    etymology: named for the Congo River, which makes up much of the country's eastern border; the river name derives from Kongo, a Bantu kingdom that occupied its mouth at the time of Portuguese discovery in the late 15th century and whose name stems from its people the Bakongo, meaning "hunters"

  • Cook Islands

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Cook Islands

    former: Hervey Islands

    etymology: named after Captain James COOK, the British explorer who visited the islands in 1773 and 1777

  • Coral Sea Islands

    conventional long form: Coral Sea Islands Territory

    conventional short form: Coral Sea Islands

    etymology: self-descriptive name to reflect the islands' position in the Coral Sea off the northeastern coast of Australia

  • Costa Rica

    conventional long form: Republic of Costa Rica

    conventional short form: Costa Rica

    local long form: Republica de Costa Rica

    local short form: Costa Rica

    etymology: the name means "rich coast" in Spanish and was first applied in the early colonial period of the 16th century

  • Cote d'Ivoire

    conventional long form: Republic of Cote d'Ivoire

    conventional short form: Cote d'Ivoire

    local long form: Republique de Cote d'Ivoire

    local short form: Cote d'Ivoire

    former: Ivory Coast

    etymology: name reflects the intense ivory trade that took place in the region from the 15th to 17th centuries

    note: pronounced coat-div-whar

  • Croatia

    conventional long form: Republic of Croatia

    conventional short form: Croatia

    local long form: Republika Hrvatska

    local short form: Hrvatska

    former: People's Republic of Croatia, Socialist Republic of Croatia

    etymology: name derives from the Croats, a Slavic tribe who migrated to the Balkans in the 7th century A.D.

  • Cuba

    conventional long form: Republic of Cuba

    conventional short form: Cuba

    local long form: Republica de Cuba

    local short form: Cuba

    etymology: name derives from the Taino Indian designation for the island "coabana" meaning "great place"

  • Curacao

    conventional long form: Country of Curacao

    conventional short form: Curacao

    local long form: Land Curacao (Dutch); Pais Korsou (Papiamento)

    local short form: Curacao (Dutch); Korsou (Papiamento)

    former: Netherlands Antilles; Curacao and Dependencies

    etymology: the most plausible name derivation is that the island was designated Isla de la Curacion (Spanish meaning "Island of the Cure" or "Island of Healing") or Ilha da Curacao (Portuguese meaning the same) to reflect the locale's function as a recovery stop for sick crewmen

  • Cyprus

    conventional long form: Republic of Cyprus

    conventional short form: Cyprus

    local long form: Kypriaki Dimokratia/Kibris Cumhuriyeti

    local short form: Kypros/Kibris

    etymology: the derivation of the name "Cyprus" is unknown, but the extensive mining of copper metal on the island in antiquity gave rise to the Latin word "cuprum" for copper

    note: the Turkish Cypriot community, which administers the northern part of the island, refers to itself as the "Turkish Republic of Northern Cyprus" or "TRNC" ("Kuzey Kibris Turk Cumhuriyeti" or "KKTC")

  • Czechia

    conventional long form: Czech Republic

    conventional short form: Czechia

    local long form: Ceska republika

    local short form: Cesko

    etymology: name derives from the Czechs, a West Slavic tribe who rose to prominence in the late 9th century A.D.; the country officially adopted the English short-form name of Czechia on 1 July 2016

  • Denmark

    conventional long form: Kingdom of Denmark

    conventional short form: Denmark

    local long form: Kongeriget Danmark

    local short form: Danmark

    etymology: the name derives from the words "Dane(s)" and "mark"; the latter referring to a march (borderland) or forest

  • Dhekelia

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Dhekelia

  • Djibouti

    conventional long form: Republic of Djibouti

    conventional short form: Djibouti

    local long form: Republique de Djibouti/Jumhuriyat Jibuti

    local short form: Djibouti/Jibuti

    former: French Somaliland, French Territory of the Afars and Issas

    etymology: the country name derives from the capital city of Djibouti

  • Dominica

    conventional long form: Commonwealth of Dominica

    conventional short form: Dominica

    etymology: the island was named by explorer Christopher COLUMBUS for the day of the week on which he spotted it, Sunday ("Domingo" in Latin), 3 November 1493

  • Dominican Republic

    conventional long form: Dominican Republic

    conventional short form: The Dominican

    local long form: Republica Dominicana

    local short form: La Dominicana

    etymology: the country name derives from the capital city of Santo Domingo (Saint Dominic)

  • Ecuador

    conventional long form: Republic of Ecuador

    conventional short form: Ecuador

    local long form: Republica del Ecuador

    local short form: Ecuador

    etymology: the country's position on the globe, straddling the Equator, accounts for its Spanish name

  • Egypt

    conventional long form: Arab Republic of Egypt

    conventional short form: Egypt

    local long form: Jumhuriyat Misr al-Arabiyah

    local short form: Misr

    former: United Arab Republic (with Syria)

    etymology: the English name "Egypt" derives from the ancient Greek name for the country "Aigyptos"; the Arabic name "Misr" can be traced to the ancient Akkadian "misru" meaning border or frontier

  • El Salvador

    conventional long form: Republic of El Salvador

    conventional short form: El Salvador

    local long form: Republica de El Salvador

    local short form: El Salvador

    etymology: name is an abbreviation of the original Spanish conquistador designation for the area "Provincia de Nuestro Senor Jesus Cristo, el Salvador del Mundo" (Province of Our Lord Jesus Christ, the Saviour of the World), which became simply "El Salvador" (The Savior)

  • Equatorial Guinea

    conventional long form: Republic of Equatorial Guinea

    conventional short form: Equatorial Guinea

    local long form: Republica de Guinea Ecuatorial/Republique de Guinee Equatoriale

    local short form: Guinea Ecuatorial/Guinee Equatoriale

    former: Spanish Guinea

    etymology: the country is named for the Guinea region of West Africa that lies along the Gulf of Guinea and stretches north to the Sahel; the "equatorial" refers to the fact that the country lies just north of the Equator

  • Eritrea

    conventional long form: State of Eritrea

    conventional short form: Eritrea

    local long form: Hagere Ertra

    local short form: Ertra

    former: Eritrea Autonomous Region in Ethiopia

    etymology: the country name derives from the ancient Greek appellation "Erythra Thalassa" meaning Red Sea, which is the major water body bordering the country

  • Estonia

    conventional long form: Republic of Estonia

    conventional short form: Estonia

    local long form: Eesti Vabariik

    local short form: Eesti

    former: Estonian Soviet Socialist Republic

    etymology: the country name may derive from the Aesti, an ancient people who lived along the eastern Baltic Sea in the first centuries A.D.

  • Eswatini

    conventional long form: Kingdom of Eswatini

    conventional short form: Eswatini

    local long form: Umbuso weSwatini

    local short form: eSwatini

    former: Swaziland

    etymology: the country name derives from 19th century King MSWATI II, under whose rule Swati territory was expanded and unified

    note: pronounced ay-swatini or eh-swatini

  • Ethiopia

    conventional long form: Federal Democratic Republic of Ethiopia

    conventional short form: Ethiopia

    local long form: Ityop'iya Federalawi Demokrasiyawi Ripeblik

    local short form: Ityop'iya

    former: Abyssinia, Italian East Africa

    abbreviation: FDRE

    etymology: the country name derives from the Greek word "Aethiopia," which in classical times referred to lands south of Egypt in the Upper Nile region

  • Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Falkland Islands (Islas Malvinas)

    etymology: the archipelago takes its name from the Falkland Sound, the strait separating the two main islands; the channel itself was named after the Viscount of Falkland, who sponsored an expedition to the islands in 1690; the Spanish name for the archipelago derives from the French "Iles Malouines," the name applied to the islands by French explorer Louis-Antoine de BOUGAINVILLE in 1764

  • Faroe Islands

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Faroe Islands

    local long form: none

    local short form: Foroyar

    etymology: the archipelago's name may derive from the Old Norse word "faer," meaning sheep

  • Fiji

    conventional long form: Republic of Fiji

    conventional short form: Fiji

    local long form: Republic of Fiji/Matanitu ko Viti

    local short form: Fiji/Viti

    etymology: the Fijians called their home Viti, but the neighboring Tongans called it Fisi, and in the Anglicized spelling of the Tongan pronunciation - promulgated by explorer Captain James COOK - the designation became Fiji

  • Finland

    conventional long form: Republic of Finland

    conventional short form: Finland

    local long form: Suomen tasavalta/Republiken Finland

    local short form: Suomi/Finland

    etymology: name may derive from the ancient Fenni peoples who are first described as living in northeastern Europe in the first centuries A.D.

  • France

    conventional long form: French Republic

    conventional short form: France

    local long form: Republique francaise

    local short form: France

    etymology: name derives from the Latin "Francia" meaning "Land of the Franks"; the Franks were a group of Germanic tribes located along the middle and lower Rhine River in the 3rd century A.D. who merged with Gallic-Roman populations in succeeding centuries and to whom they passed on their name

  • French Polynesia

    conventional long form: Overseas Lands of French Polynesia

    conventional short form: French Polynesia

    local long form: Pays d'outre-mer de la Polynesie Francaise

    local short form: Polynesie Francaise

    former: Establishments in Oceania, French Establishments in Oceania

    etymology: the term "Polynesia" is an 18th-century construct composed of two Greek words, "poly" (many) and "nesoi" (islands), and refers to the more than 1,000 islands scattered over the central and southern Pacific Ocean

  • French Southern and Antarctic Lands

    conventional long form: Territory of the French Southern and Antarctic Lands

    conventional short form: French Southern and Antarctic Lands

    local long form: Territoire des Terres Australes et Antarctiques Francaises

    local short form: Terres Australes et Antarctiques Francaises

    abbreviation: TAAF

    etymology: self-descriptive name specifying the territories' affiliation and location in the Southern Hemisphere

  • Gabon

    conventional long form: Gabonese Republic

    conventional short form: Gabon

    local long form: Republique Gabonaise

    local short form: Gabon

    etymology: name originates from the Portuguese word "gabao" meaning "cloak," which is roughly the shape that the early explorers gave to the estuary of the Komo River by the capital of Libreville

  • Gambia, The

    conventional long form: Republic of The Gambia

    conventional short form: The Gambia

    etymology: named for the Gambia River that flows through the heart of the country

  • Gaza Strip

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Gaza Strip

    local long form: none

    local short form: Qita' Ghazzah

    etymology: named for the largest city in the region, Gaza, whose settlement can be traced back to at least the 15th century B.C. (as "Ghazzat")

  • Georgia

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Georgia

    local long form: none

    local short form: Sak'art'velo

    former: Georgian Soviet Socialist Republic

    etymology: the Western name may derive from the Persian designation "gurgan" meaning "Land of the Wolves"; the native name "Sak'art'velo" means "Land of the Kartvelians" and refers to the core central Georgian region of Kartli

  • Germany

    conventional long form: Federal Republic of Germany

    conventional short form: Germany

    local long form: Bundesrepublik Deutschland

    local short form: Deutschland

    former: German Reich

    etymology: the Gauls (Celts) of Western Europe may have referred to the newly arriving Germanic tribes who settled in neighboring areas east of the Rhine during the first centuries B.C. as "Germani," a term the Romans adopted as "Germania"; the native designation "Deutsch" comes from the Old High German "diutisc" meaning "of the people"

  • Ghana

    conventional long form: Republic of Ghana

    conventional short form: Ghana

    former: Gold Coast

    etymology: named for the medieval West African kingdom of the same name but whose location was actually further north than the modern country

  • Gibraltar

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Gibraltar

    etymology: from the Spanish derivation of the Arabic "Jabal Tariq," which means "Mountain of Tariq" and which refers to the Rock of Gibraltar

  • Greece

    conventional long form: Hellenic Republic

    conventional short form: Greece

    local long form: Elliniki Dimokratia

    local short form: Ellas or Ellada

    former: Hellenic State, Kingdom of Greece

    etymology: the English name derives from the Roman (Latin) designation "Graecia," meaning "Land of the Greeks"; the Greeks call their country "Hellas" or "Ellada"

  • Greenland

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Greenland

    local long form: none

    local short form: Kalaallit Nunaat

    note: named by Norwegian adventurer Erik THORVALDSSON (Erik the Red) in A.D. 985 in order to entice settlers to the island

  • Grenada

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Grenada

    etymology: derivation of the name remains obscure; some sources attribute the designation to Spanish influence (most likely named for the Spanish city of Granada), with subsequent French and English interpretations resulting in the present-day Grenada; in Spanish "granada" means "pomegranate"

  • Guam

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Guam

    local long form: none

    local short form: Guahan

    abbreviation: GU

    etymology: the native Chamorro name for the island "Guahan" (meaning "we have" or "ours") was changed to Guam in the 1898 Treaty of Paris, whereby Spain relinquished Guam, Cuba, Puerto Rico, and the Philippines to the US

  • Guatemala

    conventional long form: Republic of Guatemala

    conventional short form: Guatemala

    local long form: Republica de Guatemala

    local short form: Guatemala

    etymology: the Spanish conquistadors used many native Americans as allies in their conquest of Guatemala; the site of their first capital (established in 1524), a former Maya settlement, was called "Quauhtemallan" by their Nahuatl-speaking Mexican allies, a name that means "land of trees" or "forested land", but which the Spanish pronounced "Guatemala"; the Spanish applied that name to a re founded capital city three years later and eventually it became the name of the country

  • Guernsey

    conventional long form: Bailiwick of Guernsey

    conventional short form: Guernsey

    former: Norman Isles

    etymology: the name is of Old Norse origin, but the meaning of the root "Guern(s)" is uncertain; the "-ey" ending means "island"

  • Guinea

    conventional long form: Republic of Guinea

    conventional short form: Guinea

    local long form: Republique de Guinee

    local short form: Guinee

    former: French Guinea

    etymology: the country is named after the Guinea region of West Africa that lies along the Gulf of Guinea and stretches north to the Sahel

  • Guinea-Bissau

    conventional long form: Republic of Guinea-Bissau

    conventional short form: Guinea-Bissau

    local long form: Republica da Guine-Bissau

    local short form: Guine-Bissau

    former: Portuguese Guinea

    etymology: the country is named after the Guinea region of West Africa that lies along the Gulf of Guinea and stretches north to the Sahel; "Bissau," the name of the capital city, distinguishes the country from neighboring Guinea

  • Guyana

    conventional long form: Cooperative Republic of Guyana

    conventional short form: Guyana

    former: British Guiana

    etymology: the name is derived from Guiana, the original name for the region that included British Guiana, Dutch Guiana, and French Guiana; ultimately the word is derived from an indigenous Amerindian language and means "Land of Many Waters" (referring to the area's multitude of rivers and streams)

  • Haiti

    conventional long form: Republic of Haiti

    conventional short form: Haiti

    local long form: Republique d'Haiti/Repiblik d Ayiti

    local short form: Haiti/Ayiti

    etymology: the native Taino name means "Land of High Mountains" and was originally applied to the entire island of Hispaniola

  • Heard Island and McDonald Islands

    conventional long form: Territory of Heard Island and McDonald Islands

    conventional short form: Heard Island and McDonald Islands

    abbreviation: HIMI

    etymology: named after American Captain John HEARD, who sighted the island on 25 November 1853, and American Captain William McDONALD, who discovered the islands on 4 January 1854

  • Holy See (Vatican City)

    conventional long form: The Holy See (Vatican City State)

    conventional short form: Holy See (Vatican City)

    local long form: La Santa Sede (Stato della Citta del Vaticano)

    local short form: Santa Sede (Citta del Vaticano)

    etymology: "holy" comes from the Greek word "hera" meaning "sacred"; "see" comes from the Latin word "sedes" meaning "seat," and refers to the episcopal chair; the term "Vatican" derives from the hill Mons Vaticanus on which the Vatican is located and which comes from the Latin "vaticinari" (to prophesy), referring to the fortune tellers and soothsayers who frequented the area in Roman times

  • Honduras

    conventional long form: Republic of Honduras

    conventional short form: Honduras

    local long form: Republica de Honduras

    local short form: Honduras

    etymology: the name means "depths" in Spanish and refers to the deep anchorage in the northern Bay of Trujillo

  • Hong Kong

    conventional long form: Hong Kong Special Administrative Region

    conventional short form: Hong Kong

    local long form: Heung Kong Takpit Hangching Ku (Eitel/Dyer-Ball)

    local short form: Heung Kong (Eitel/Dyer-Ball)

    abbreviation: HK

    etymology: probably an imprecise phonetic rendering of the Cantonese name meaning "fragrant harbor"

  • Hungary

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Hungary

    local long form: none

    local short form: Magyarorszag

    former: Kingdom of Hungary, Hungarian People's Republic, Hungarian Soviet Republic, Hungarian Republic

    etymology: the Byzantine Greeks refered to the tribes that arrived on the steppes of Eastern Europe in the 9th century as the "Oungroi," a name that was later Latinized to "Ungri" and which became "Hungari"; the name originally meant an "[alliance of] ten tribes"; the Hungarian name "Magyarorszag" means "Country of the Magyars"; the term may derive from the most prominent of the Hungarian tribes, the Megyer

  • Iceland

    conventional long form: Republic of Iceland

    conventional short form: Iceland

    local long form: Lydveldid Island

    local short form: Island

    etymology: Floki VILGERDARSON, an early explorer of the island (9th century), applied the name "Land of Ice" after spotting a fjord full of drift ice to the north and spending a bitter winter on the island; he eventually settled on the island, however, after he saw how it greened up in the summer and that it was, in fact, habitable

  • India

    conventional long form: Republic of India

    conventional short form: India

    local long form: Republic of India/Bharatiya Ganarajya

    local short form: India/Bharat

    etymology: the English name derives from the Indus River; the Indian name "Bharat" may derive from the "Bharatas" tribe mentioned in the Vedas of the second millennium B.C.; the name is also associated with Emperor Bharata, the legendary conqueror of all of India

  • Indian Ocean

    etymology: named for the country of India, which makes up much of its northern border

  • Indonesia

    conventional long form: Republic of Indonesia

    conventional short form: Indonesia

    local long form: Republik Indonesia

    local short form: Indonesia

    former: Netherlands East Indies, Dutch East Indies

    etymology: the name is an 18th-century construct of two Greek words, "Indos" (India) and "nesoi" (islands), meaning "Indian islands"

  • Iran

    conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Iran

    conventional short form: Iran

    local long form: Jomhuri-ye Eslami-ye Iran

    local short form: Iran

    former: Persia

    etymology: name derives from the Avestan term "aryanam" meaning "Land of the Noble [Ones]"

  • Iraq

    conventional long form: Republic of Iraq

    conventional short form: Iraq

    local long form: Jumhuriyat al-Iraq/Komar-i Eraq

    local short form: Al Iraq/Eraq

    former: Mesopotamia, Mandatory Iraq, Hashemite Kingdom of Iraq

    etymology: the name probably derives from "Uruk" (Biblical "Erech"), the ancient Sumerian and Babylonian city on the Euphrates River

  • Ireland

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Ireland

    local long form: none

    local short form: Eire

    etymology: the modern Irish name "Eire" evolved from the Gaelic "Eriu," the name of the matron goddess of Ireland (goddess of the land); the names "Ireland" in English and "Eire" in Irish are direct translations of each other

  • Isle of Man

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Isle of Man

    abbreviation: I.O.M.

    etymology: the name "man" may be derived from the Celtic word for "mountain"

  • Israel

    conventional long form: State of Israel

    conventional short form: Israel

    local long form: Medinat Yisra'el

    local short form: Yisra'el

    etymology: named after the ancient Kingdom of Israel; according to Biblical tradition, the Jewish patriarch Jacob received the name "Israel" ("He who struggles with God") after he wrestled an entire night with an angel of the Lord; Jacob's 12 sons became the ancestors of the Israelites, also known as the Twelve Tribes of Israel, who formed the Kingdom of Israel

  • Italy

    conventional long form: Italian Republic

    conventional short form: Italy

    local long form: Repubblica Italiana

    local short form: Italia

    former: Kingdom of Italy

    etymology: derivation is unclear, but the Latin "Italia" may come from the Oscan "Viteliu" meaning "[Land] of Young Cattle" (the bull was a symbol of southern Italic tribes)

  • Jamaica

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Jamaica

    etymology: from the native Taino word "haymaca" meaning "Land of Wood and Water" or possibly "Land of Springs"

  • Jan Mayen

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Jan Mayen

    etymology: named after Dutch Captain Jan Jacobszoon MAY, one of the first explorers to reach the island in 1614

  • Japan

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Japan

    local long form: Nihon-koku/Nippon-koku

    local short form: Nihon/Nippon

    etymology: the English word for Japan comes via the Chinese name for the country "Cipangu"; both Nihon and Nippon mean "where the sun originates" and are frequently translated as "Land of the Rising Sun"

  • Jersey

    conventional long form: Bailiwick of Jersey

    conventional short form: Jersey

    former: Norman Isles

    etymology: the name is of Old Norse origin, but the meaning of the root "Jer(s)" is uncertain; the "-ey" ending means "island"

  • Jordan

    conventional long form: Hashemite Kingdom of Jordan

    conventional short form: Jordan

    local long form: Al Mamlakah al Urduniyah al Hashimiyah

    local short form: Al Urdun

    former: Transjordan

    etymology: named for the Jordan River, which makes up part of Jordan's northwest border

  • Kazakhstan

    conventional long form: Republic of Kazakhstan

    conventional short form: Kazakhstan

    local long form: Qazaqstan Respublikasy

    local short form: Qazaqstan

    former: Kazakh Soviet Socialist Republic

    etymology: the name "Kazakh" derives from the Turkic word "kaz" meaning "to wander," recalling the Kazakh's nomadic lifestyle; the Persian suffix "-stan" means "place of" or "country," so the word Kazakhstan literally means "Land of the Wanderers"

  • Kenya

    conventional long form: Republic of Kenya

    conventional short form: Kenya

    local long form: Republic of Kenya/Jamhuri ya Kenya

    local short form: Kenya

    former: British East Africa

    etymology: named for Mount Kenya; the meaning of the name is unclear but may derive from the Kikuyu, Embu, and Kamba words "kirinyaga," "kirenyaa," and "kiinyaa" - all of which mean "God's resting place"

  • Kiribati

    conventional long form: Republic of Kiribati

    conventional short form: Kiribati

    local long form: Republic of Kiribati

    local short form: Kiribati

    former: Gilbert Islands

    etymology: the name is the local pronunciation of "Gilberts," the former designation of the islands; originally named after explorer Thomas GILBERT, who mapped many of the islands in 1788

    note: pronounced keer-ree-bahss

  • Korea, North

    conventional long form: Democratic People's Republic of Korea

    conventional short form: North Korea

    local long form: Choson-minjujuui-inmin-konghwaguk

    local short form: Choson

    abbreviation: DPRK

    etymology: derived from the Chinese name for Goryeo, which was the Korean dynasty that united the peninsula in the 10th century A.D.; the North Korean name "Choson" means "[Land of the] Morning Calm"

  • Korea, South

    conventional long form: Republic of Korea

    conventional short form: South Korea

    local long form: Taehan-min'guk

    local short form: Han'guk

    abbreviation: ROK

    etymology: derived from the Chinese name for Goryeo, which was the Korean dynasty that united the peninsula in the 10th century A.D.; the South Korean name "Han'guk" derives from the long form, "Taehan-min'guk," which is itself a derivation from "Daehan-je'guk," which means "the Great Empire of the Han"; "Han" refers to the "Sam'han" or the "Three Han Kingdoms" (Goguryeo, Baekje, and Silla from the Three Kingdoms Era, 1st-7th centuries A.D.)

  • Kosovo

    conventional long form: Republic of Kosovo

    conventional short form: Kosovo

    local long form: Republika e Kosoves (Republika Kosovo)

    local short form: Kosove (Kosovo)

    etymology: name derives from the Serbian "kos" meaning "blackbird," an ellipsis (linguistic omission) for "kosove polje" or "field of the blackbirds"

  • Kuwait

    conventional long form: State of Kuwait

    conventional short form: Kuwait

    local long form: Dawlat al Kuwayt

    local short form: Al Kuwayt

    etymology: the name derives from the capital city, which is from Arabic "al-Kuwayt" a diminutive of "kut" meaning "fortress," possibly a reference to a small castle built on the current location of Kuwait City by the Beni Khaled tribe in the 17th century

  • Kyrgyzstan

    conventional long form: Kyrgyz Republic

    conventional short form: Kyrgyzstan

    local long form: Kyrgyz Respublikasy

    local short form: Kyrgyzstan

    former: Kirghiz Soviet Socialist Republic

    etymology: a combination of the Turkic words "kyrg" (forty) and "-yz" (tribes) with the Persian suffix "-stan" (country) creating the meaning "Land of the Forty Tribes"; the name refers to the 40 clans united by the legendary Kyrgyz hero, MANAS

  • Laos

    conventional long form: Lao People's Democratic Republic

    conventional short form: Laos

    local long form: Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao

    local short form: Mueang Lao (unofficial)

    etymology: name means "Land of the Lao [people]"

  • Latvia

    conventional long form: Republic of Latvia

    conventional short form: Latvia

    local long form: Latvijas Republika

    local short form: Latvija

    former: Latvian Soviet Socialist Republic

    etymology: the name "Latvia" originates from the ancient Latgalians, one of four eastern Baltic tribes that formed the ethnic core of the Latvian people (ca. 8th-12th centuries A.D.)

  • Lebanon

    conventional long form: Lebanese Republic

    conventional short form: Lebanon

    local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Lubnaniyah

    local short form: Lubnan

    former: Greater Lebanon

    etymology: derives from the Semitic root "lbn" meaning "white" and refers to snow-capped Mount Lebanon

  • Lesotho

    conventional long form: Kingdom of Lesotho

    conventional short form: Lesotho

    local long form: Kingdom of Lesotho

    local short form: Lesotho

    former: Basutoland

    etymology: the name translates as "Land of the Sesotho Speakers"

  • Liberia

    conventional long form: Republic of Liberia

    conventional short form: Liberia

    etymology: name derives from the Latin word "liber" meaning "free"; so named because the nation was created as a homeland for liberated African-American slaves

  • Libya

    conventional long form: State of Libya

    conventional short form: Libya

    local long form: Dawiat Libiya

    local short form: Libiya

    etymology: name derives from the Libu, an ancient Libyan tribe first mentioned in texts from the 13th century B.C.

  • Liechtenstein

    conventional long form: Principality of Liechtenstein

    conventional short form: Liechtenstein

    local long form: Fuerstentum Liechtenstein

    local short form: Liechtenstein

    etymology: named after the Liechtenstein dynasty that purchased and united the counties of Schellenburg and Vaduz and that was allowed by the Holy Roman Emperor in 1719 to rename the new property after their family; the name in German means "light (bright) stone"

  • Lithuania

    conventional long form: Republic of Lithuania

    conventional short form: Lithuania

    local long form: Lietuvos Respublika

    local short form: Lietuva

    former: Lithuanian Soviet Socialist Republic

    etymology: meaning of the name "Lietuva" remains unclear; it may derive from the Lietava, a stream in east central Lithuania

  • Luxembourg

    conventional long form: Grand Duchy of Luxembourg

    conventional short form: Luxembourg

    local long form: Grand Duche de Luxembourg

    local short form: Luxembourg

    etymology: the name derives from the Celtic "lucilem" (little) and the German "burg" (castle or fortress) to produce the meaning of the "little castle"; the name is actually ironic, since for centuries the Fortress of Luxembourg was one of Europe's most formidable fortifications; the name passed to the surrounding city and then to the country itself

  • Macau

    conventional long form: Macau Special Administrative Region

    conventional short form: Macau

    official long form: Aomen Tebie Xingzhengqu (Chinese); Regiao Administrativa Especial de Macau (Portuguese)

    official short form: Aomen (Chinese); Macau (Portuguese)

    etymology: name is thought to derive from the A-Ma Temple - built in 1488 and dedicated to Mazu, the goddess of seafarers and fishermen - which is referred to locally as "Maa Gok" - and in Portuguese became "Macau"; the Chinese name Aomen means "inlet gates"

  • Madagascar

    conventional long form: Republic of Madagascar

    conventional short form: Madagascar

    local long form: Republique de Madagascar/Repoblikan'i Madagasikara

    local short form: Madagascar/Madagasikara

    former: Malagasy Republic

    etymology: the name "Madageiscar" was first used by the 13th-century Venetian explorer Marco POLO, as a corrupted transliteration of Mogadishu, the Somali port with which POLO confused the island

  • Malawi

    conventional long form: Republic of Malawi

    conventional short form: Malawi

    local long form: Dziko la Malawi

    local short form: Malawi

    former: British Central African Protectorate, Nyasaland Protectorate, Nyasaland

    etymology: named for the East African Maravi Kingdom of the 16th century; the word "maravi" means "fire flames"

  • Malaysia

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Malaysia

    local long form: none

    local short form: Malaysia

    former: Federation of Malaya

    etymology: the name means "Land of the Malays"

  • Maldives

    conventional long form: Republic of Maldives

    conventional short form: Maldives

    local long form: Dhivehi Raajjeyge Jumhooriyyaa

    local short form: Dhivehi Raajje

    etymology: archipelago apparently named after the main island (and capital) of Male; the word "Maldives" means "the islands (dives) of Male"; alternatively, the name may derive from the Sanskrit word "maladvipa" meaning "garland of islands"; Dhivehi Raajje in Dhivehi means "Kingdom of the Dhivehi people"

  • Mali

    conventional long form: Republic of Mali

    conventional short form: Mali

    local long form: Republique de Mali

    local short form: Mali

    former: French Sudan and Sudanese Republic

    etymology: name derives from the West African Mali Empire of the 13th to 16th centuries A.D.

  • Malta

    conventional long form: Republic of Malta

    conventional short form: Malta

    local long form: Repubblika ta' Malta

    local short form: Malta

    etymology: the ancient Greeks called the island "Melite" meaning "honey-sweet" from the Greek word "meli" meaning "honey" and referring to the island's honey production

  • Marshall Islands

    conventional long form: Republic of the Marshall Islands

    conventional short form: Marshall Islands

    local long form: Republic of the Marshall Islands

    local short form: Marshall Islands

    former: Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Marshall Islands District

    abbreviation: RMI

    etymology: named after British Captain John MARSHALL, who charted many of the islands in 1788

  • Mauritania

    conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Mauritania

    conventional short form: Mauritania

    local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Islamiyah al Muritaniyah

    local short form: Muritaniyah

    etymology: named for the ancient kingdom of Mauretania (3rd century B.C. to 1st century A.D.) and the subsequent Roman province (1st-7th centuries A.D.), which existed further north in present-day Morocco; the name derives from the Mauri (Moors), the Berber-speaking peoples of northwest Africa

  • Mauritius

    conventional long form: Republic of Mauritius

    conventional short form: Mauritius

    local long form: Republic of Mauritius

    local short form: Mauritius

    etymology: island named after Prince Maurice VAN NASSAU, stadtholder of the Dutch Republic, in 1598

    note: pronounced mah-rish-us

  • Mexico

    conventional long form: United Mexican States

    conventional short form: Mexico

    local long form: Estados Unidos Mexicanos

    local short form: Mexico

    etymology: named after the capital city, whose name stems from the Mexica, the largest and most powerful branch of the Aztecs; the meaning of the name is uncertain

  • Micronesia, Federated States of

    conventional long form: Federated States of Micronesia

    conventional short form: none

    local long form: Federated States of Micronesia

    local short form: none

    former: New Philippines; Caroline Islands; Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Ponape, Truk, and Yap Districts

    abbreviation: FSM

    etymology: the term "Micronesia" is a 19th-century construct of two Greek words, "micro" (small) and "nesoi" (islands), and refers to thousands of small islands in the western Pacific Ocean

  • Moldova

    conventional long form: Republic of Moldova

    conventional short form: Moldova

    local long form: Republica Moldova

    local short form: Moldova

    former: Moldavian Soviet Socialist Republic, Moldovan Soviet Socialist Republic

    etymology: named for the Moldova River in neighboring eastern Romania

  • Monaco

    conventional long form: Principality of Monaco

    conventional short form: Monaco

    local long form: Principaute de Monaco

    local short form: Monaco

    etymology: founded as a Greek colony in the 6th century B.C., the name derives from two Greek words "monos" (single, alone) and "oikos" (house) to convey the sense of a people "living apart" or in a "single habitation"

  • Mongolia

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Mongolia

    local long form: none

    local short form: Mongol Uls

    former: Outer Mongolia, Mongolian People's Republic

    etymology: the name means "Land of the Mongols" in Latin; the Mongolian name Mongol Uls translates as "Mongol State"

  • Montenegro

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Montenegro

    local long form: none

    local short form: Crna Gora

    former: People's Republic of Montenegro, Socialist Republic of Montenegro, Republic of Montenegro

    etymology: the country's name locally as well as in most Western European languages means "black mountain" and refers to the dark coniferous forests on Mount Lovcen and the surrounding area

  • Montserrat

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Montserrat

    etymology: island named by explorer Christopher COLUMBUS in 1493 after the Benedictine abbey Santa Maria de Montserrat, near Barcelona, Spain

  • Morocco

    conventional long form: Kingdom of Morocco

    conventional short form: Morocco

    local long form: Al Mamlakah al Maghribiyah

    local short form: Al Maghrib

    former: French Protectorate in Morocco, Spanish Protectorate in Morocco, Spanish Sahara, Western Sahara

    etymology: the English name "Morocco" derives from, respectively, the Spanish and Portuguese names "Marruecos" and "Marrocos," which stem from "Marrakesh" the Latin name for the former capital of ancient Morocco; the Arabic name "Al Maghrib" translates as "The West"

  • Mozambique

    conventional long form: Republic of Mozambique

    conventional short form: Mozambique

    local long form: Republica de Mocambique

    local short form: Mocambique

    former: Portuguese East Africa, People's Republic of Mozambique

    etymology: named for the offshore island of Mozambique; the island was apparently named after Mussa al-BIK, an influential Arab slave trader who set himself up as sultan on the island in the 15th century

  • Namibia

    conventional long form: Republic of Namibia

    conventional short form: Namibia

    local long form: Republic of Namibia

    local short form: Namibia

    former: German South-West Africa (Deutsch-Suedwestafrika), South-West Africa

    etymology: named for the coastal Namib Desert; the name "namib" means "vast place" in the Nama/Damara language

  • Nauru

    conventional long form: Republic of Nauru

    conventional short form: Nauru

    local long form: Republic of Nauru

    local short form: Nauru

    former: Pleasant Island

    etymology: the island name may derive from the Nauruan word "anaoero" meaning "I go to the beach"

  • Navassa Island

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Navassa Island

    etymology: the flat island was named "Navaza" by some of Christopher COLUMBUS' sailors in 1504; the name derives from the Spanish term "nava" meaning "flat land, plain, or field"

  • Nepal

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Nepal

    local long form: none

    local short form: Nepal

    etymology: the Newar people of the Kathmandu Valley and surrounding areas apparently gave their name to the country; the terms "Nepal," "Newar," "Nepar," and "Newal" are phonetically different forms of the same word

  • Netherlands

    conventional long form: Kingdom of the Netherlands

    conventional short form: Netherlands

    local long form: Koninkrijk der Nederlanden

    local short form: Nederland

    abbreviation: NL

    etymology: the country name literally means "the lowlands" and refers to the geographic features of the land being both flat and down river from higher areas (i.e., at the estuaries of the Scheldt, Meuse, and Rhine Rivers; only about half of the Netherlands is more than 1 meter above sea level)

  • New Caledonia

    conventional long form: Territory of New Caledonia and Dependencies

    conventional short form: New Caledonia

    local long form: Territoire des Nouvelle-Caledonie et Dependances

    local short form: Nouvelle-Caledonie

    etymology: British explorer Captain James COOK discovered and named New Caledonia in 1774; he used the appellation because the northeast of the island reminded him of Scotland (Caledonia is the Latin designation for Scotland)

  • New Zealand

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: New Zealand

    abbreviation: NZ

    etymology: Dutch explorer Abel TASMAN was the first European to reach New Zealand in 1642; he named it Staten Landt, but Dutch cartographers renamed it Nova Zeelandia in 1645 after the Dutch province of Zeeland; British explorer Captain James COOK subsequently anglicized the name to New Zealand when he mapped the islands in 1769

  • Nicaragua

    conventional long form: Republic of Nicaragua

    conventional short form: Nicaragua

    local long form: Republica de Nicaragua

    local short form: Nicaragua

    etymology: Nicarao was the name of the largest indigenous settlement at the time of Spanish arrival; conquistador Gil GONZALEZ Davila, who explored the area (1622-23), combined the name of the community with the Spanish word "agua" (water), referring to the two large lakes in the west of the country (Lake Managua and Lake Nicaragua)

  • Niger

    conventional long form: Republic of Niger

    conventional short form: Niger

    local long form: Republique du Niger

    local short form: Niger

    etymology: named for the Niger River that passes through the southwest of the country; from a native term "Ni Gir" meaning "River Gir"

    note: pronounced nee-zher

  • Nigeria

    conventional long form: Federal Republic of Nigeria

    conventional short form: Nigeria

    etymology: named for the Niger River that flows through the west of the country to the Atlantic Ocean; from a native term "Ni Gir" meaning "River Gir"

  • Niue

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Niue

    former: Savage Island

    etymology: the origin of the name is obscure; in Niuean, the word supposedly translates as "behold the coconut"

    note: pronunciation falls between nyu-way and new-way, but not like new-wee

  • Norfolk Island

    conventional long form: Territory of Norfolk Island

    conventional short form: Norfolk Island

    etymology: named by British explorer Captain James COOK after Mary HOWARD, Duchess of Norfolk, in 1774

  • North Macedonia

    conventional long form: Republic of North Macedonia

    conventional short form: North Macedonia

    local long form: Republika Severna Makedonija

    local short form: Severna Makedonija

    former: Democratic Federal Macedonia, People's Republic of Macedonia, Socialist Republic of Macedonia, Republic of Macedonia

    etymology: the country name derives from the ancient kingdom of Macedon (7th to 2nd centuries B.C.)

  • Northern Mariana Islands

    conventional long form: Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands

    conventional short form: Northern Mariana Islands

    former: Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Mariana Islands District

    abbreviation: CNMI

    etymology: formally claimed and named by Spain in 1667 in honor of the Spanish Queen, MARIANA of Austria

  • Norway

    conventional long form: Kingdom of Norway

    conventional short form: Norway

    local long form: Kongeriket Norge

    local short form: Norge

    etymology: derives from the Old Norse words "nordr" and "vegr" meaning "northern way" and refers to the long coastline of western Norway

  • Oman

    conventional long form: Sultanate of Oman

    conventional short form: Oman

    local long form: Saltanat Uman

    local short form: Uman

    former: Sultanate of Muscat and Oman

    etymology: the origin of the name is uncertain, but it apparently dates back at least 2,000 years since an "Omana" is mentioned by Pliny the Elder (1st century A.D.) and an "Omanon" by Ptolemy (2nd century A.D.)

  • Pacific Ocean

    etymology: named by Portuguese explorer Ferdinand MAGELLAN during the Spanish circumnavigation of the world in 1521; encountering favorable winds upon reaching the ocean, he called it "Mar Pacifico," which means "peaceful sea" in both Portuguese and Spanish

  • Pakistan

    conventional long form: Islamic Republic of Pakistan

    conventional short form: Pakistan

    local long form: Jamhuryat Islami Pakistan

    local short form: Pakistan

    former: West Pakistan

    etymology: the word "pak" means "pure" in Persian or Pashto, while the Persian suffix "-stan" means "place of" or "country," so the word Pakistan literally means "Land of the Pure"

  • Palau

    conventional long form: Republic of Palau

    conventional short form: Palau

    local long form: Beluu er a Belau

    local short form: Belau

    former: Trust Territory of the Pacific Islands, Palau District

    etymology: from the Palauan name for the islands, Belau, which likely derives from the Palauan word "beluu" meaning "village"

  • Panama

    conventional long form: Republic of Panama

    conventional short form: Panama

    local long form: Republica de Panama

    local short form: Panama

    etymology: named after the capital city which was itself named after a former indigenous fishing village

  • Papua New Guinea

    conventional long form: Independent State of Papua New Guinea

    conventional short form: Papua New Guinea

    local short form: Papuaniugini

    former: Territory of Papua and New Guinea

    abbreviation: PNG

    etymology: the word "papua" derives from the Malay "papuah" describing the frizzy hair of the Melanesians; Spanish explorer Ynigo ORTIZ de RETEZ applied the term "Nueva Guinea" to the island of New Guinea in 1545 after noting the resemblance of the locals to the peoples of the Guinea coast of Africa

  • Paracel Islands

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Paracel Islands

    etymology: Portuguese navigators began to refer to the "Ilhas do Pracel" in the 16th century as a designation of low lying islets, sandbanks, and reefs scattered over a wide area; over time the name changed to "parcel" and then "paracel"

  • Paraguay

    conventional long form: Republic of Paraguay

    conventional short form: Paraguay

    local long form: Republica del Paraguay

    local short form: Paraguay

    etymology: the precise meaning of the name Paraguay is unclear, but it seems to derive from the river of the same name; one explanation has the name meaning "water of the Payagua" (an indigenous tribe that lived along the river)

  • Peru

    conventional long form: Republic of Peru

    conventional short form: Peru

    local long form: Republica del Peru

    local short form: Peru

    etymology: exact meaning is obscure, but the name may derive from a native word "biru" meaning "river"

  • Philippines

    conventional long form: Republic of the Philippines

    conventional short form: Philippines

    local long form: Republika ng Pilipinas

    local short form: Pilipinas

    etymology: named in honor of King PHILLIP II of Spain by Spanish explorer Ruy LOPEZ de VILLALOBOS, who visited some of the islands in 1543

  • Pitcairn Islands

    conventional long form: Pitcairn, Henderson, Ducie, and Oeno Islands

    conventional short form: Pitcairn Islands

    etymology: named after Midshipman Robert PITCAIRN who first sighted the island in 1767

  • Poland

    conventional long form: Republic of Poland

    conventional short form: Poland

    local long form: Rzeczpospolita Polska

    local short form: Polska

    former: Polish People's Republic

    etymology: name derives from the Polanians, a west Slavic tribe that united several surrounding Slavic groups (9th-10th centuries A.D.) and who passed on their name to the country; the name of the tribe likely comes from the Slavic "pole" (field or plain), indicating the flat nature of their country

  • Portugal

    conventional long form: Portuguese Republic

    conventional short form: Portugal

    local long form: Republica Portuguesa

    local short form: Portugal

    etymology: name derives from the Roman designation "Portus Cale" meaning "Port of Cale"; Cale was an ancient Celtic town and port in present-day northern Portugal

  • Puerto Rico

    conventional long form: Commonwealth of Puerto Rico

    conventional short form: Puerto Rico

    abbreviation: PR

    etymology: Christopher COLUMBUS named the island San Juan Bautista (Saint John the Baptist) and the capital city and main port Cuidad de Puerto Rico (Rich Port City); over time, however, the names were shortened and transposed and the island came to be called Puerto Rico and its capital San Juan

  • Qatar

    conventional long form: State of Qatar

    conventional short form: Qatar

    local long form: Dawlat Qatar

    local short form: Qatar

    etymology: the origin of the name is uncertain, but it dates back at least 2,000 years since a term "Catharrei" was used to describe the inhabitants of the peninsula by Pliny the Elder (1st century A.D.), and a "Catara" peninsula is depicted on a map by Ptolemy (2nd century A.D.)

    note: closest approximation of the native pronunciation is gattar or cottar

  • Romania

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Romania

    local long form: none

    local short form: Romania

    former: Kingdom of Romania, Romanian People's Republic, Socialist Republic of Romania

    etymology: the name derives from the Latin "Romanus" meaning "citizen of Rome" and was used to stress the common ancient heritage of Romania's three main regions - Moldavia, Transylvania, and Wallachia - during their gradual unification between the mid-19th century and early 20th century

  • Russia

    conventional long form: Russian Federation

    conventional short form: Russia

    local long form: Rossiyskaya Federatsiya

    local short form: Rossiya

    former: Russian Empire, Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic

    etymology: Russian lands were generally referred to as Muscovy until PETER I officially declared the Russian Empire in 1721; the new name sought to invoke the patrimony of the medieval eastern European Rus state centered on Kyiv in present-day Ukraine; the Rus were a Varangian (eastern Viking) elite that imposed their rule and eventually their name on their Slavic subjects

  • Rwanda

    conventional long form: Republic of Rwanda

    conventional short form: Rwanda

    local long form: Republika y'u Rwanda

    local short form: Rwanda

    former: Ruanda, German East Africa

    etymology: the name translates as "domain" in the native Kinyarwanda language

  • Saint Barthelemy

    conventional long form: Overseas Collectivity of Saint Barthelemy

    conventional short form: Saint Barthelemy

    local long form: Collectivite d'outre mer de Saint-Barthelemy

    local short form: Saint-Barthelemy

    abbreviation: Saint-Barth (French); St. Barts or St. Barths (English)

    etymology: explorer Christopher COLUMBUS named the island in honor of his brother Bartolomeo's namesake saint in 1493

  • Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha

    conventional long form: Saint Helena, Ascension, and Tristan da Cunha

    conventional short form: none

    etymology: Saint Helena was discovered in 1502 by Galician navigator Joao da NOVA, sailing in the service of the Kingdom of Portugal, who named it "Santa Helena"; Ascension was named in 1503 by Portuguese navigator Afonso de ALBUQUERQUE who sighted the island on the Feast Day of the Ascension; Tristan da Cunha was discovered in 1506 by Portuguese explorer Tristao da CUNHA who christened the main island after himself (the name was subsequently anglicized)

  • Saint Kitts and Nevis

    conventional long form: Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis

    conventional short form: Saint Kitts and Nevis

    former: Federation of Saint Christopher and Nevis

    etymology: Saint Kitts was, and still is, referred to as Saint Christopher and this name was well established by the 17th century (although who first applied the name is unclear); in the 17th century a common nickname for Christopher was Kit or Kitt, so the island began to be referred to as "Saint Kitt's Island" or just "Saint Kitts"; Nevis is derived from the original Spanish name "Nuestra Senora de las Nieves" (Our Lady of the Snows) and refers to the white halo of clouds that generally wreathes Nevis Peak

    note: Nevis is pronounced neevis

  • Saint Lucia

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Saint Lucia

    etymology: named after Saint LUCY of Syracuse by French sailors who were shipwrecked on the island on 13 December 1502, the saint's feast day; Saint Lucia is the only country named specifically after a woman

    note: pronounced saynt-looshya

  • Saint Martin

    conventional long form: Overseas Collectivity of Saint Martin

    conventional short form: Saint Martin

    local long form: Collectivite d'outre mer de Saint-Martin

    local short form: Saint-Martin

    etymology: explorer Christopher COLUMBUS named the island after Saint MARTIN of Tours because the 11 November 1493 day of discovery was the saint's feast day

  • Saint Pierre and Miquelon

    conventional long form: Territorial Collectivity of Saint Pierre and Miquelon

    conventional short form: Saint Pierre and Miquelon

    local long form: Departement de Saint-Pierre et Miquelon

    local short form: Saint-Pierre et Miquelon

    etymology: Saint-Pierre is named after Saint PETER, the patron saint of fishermen; Miquelon may be a corruption of the Basque name Mikelon

  • Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

    etymology: Saint Vincent was named by explorer Christopher COLUMBUS after Saint VINCENT of Saragossa because the 22 January 1498 day of discovery was the saint's feast day

  • Samoa

    conventional long form: Independent State of Samoa

    conventional short form: Samoa

    local long form: Malo Sa'oloto Tuto'atasi o Samoa

    local short form: Samoa

    former: Western Samoa

    etymology: the meaning of Samoa is disputed; some modern explanations are that the "sa" connotes  "sacred" and "moa" indicates "center," so the name can mean "Holy Center"; alternatively, some assertions state that it can mean "place of the sacred moa bird" of Polynesian mythology; the name, however, may go back to Proto-Polynesian (PPn) times (before 1000 B.C.); a plausible PPn reconstruction has the first syllable as "sa'a" meaning "tribe or people" and "moa" meaning "deep sea or ocean" to convey the meaning "people of the deep sea"

  • San Marino

    conventional long form: Republic of San Marino

    conventional short form: San Marino

    local long form: Repubblica di San Marino

    local short form: San Marino

    etymology: named after Saint MARINUS, who in A.D. 301 founded the monastic settlement around which the city and later the state of San Marino coalesced

  • Sao Tome and Principe

    conventional long form: Democratic Republic of Sao Tome and Principe

    conventional short form: Sao Tome and Principe

    local long form: Republica Democratica de Sao Tome e Principe

    local short form: Sao Tome e Principe

    etymology: Sao Tome was named after Saint THOMAS the Apostle by the Portuguese who discovered the island on 21 December 1470 (or 1471), the saint's feast day; Principe is a shortening of the original Portuguese name of "Ilha do Principe" (Isle of the Prince) referring to the Prince of Portugal to whom duties on the island's sugar crop were paid

  • Saudi Arabia

    conventional long form: Kingdom of Saudi Arabia

    conventional short form: Saudi Arabia

    local long form: Al Mamlakah al Arabiyah as Suudiyah

    local short form: Al Arabiyah as Suudiyah

    etymology: named after the ruling dynasty of the country, the House of Saud; the name "Arabia" can be traced back many centuries B.C., the ancient Egyptians referred to the region as "Ar Rabi"

  • Senegal

    conventional long form: Republic of Senegal

    conventional short form: Senegal

    local long form: Republique du Senegal

    local short form: Senegal

    former: Senegambia (along with The Gambia), Mali Federation

    etymology: named for the Senegal River that forms the northern border of the country; many theories exist for the origin of the river name; perhaps the most widely cited derives the name from "Azenegue," the Portuguese appellation for the Berber Zenaga people who lived north of the river

  • Serbia

    conventional long form: Republic of Serbia

    conventional short form: Serbia

    local long form: Republika Srbija

    local short form: Srbija

    former: People's Republic of Serbia, Socialist Republic of Serbia

    etymology: the origin of the name is uncertain, but seems to be related to the name of the West Slavic Sorbs who reside in the Lusatian region in present-day eastern Germany; by tradition, the Serbs migrated from that region to the Balkans in about the 6th century A.D.

  • Seychelles

    conventional long form: Republic of Seychelles

    conventional short form: Seychelles

    local long form: Republic of Seychelles

    local short form: Seychelles

    etymology: named by French Captain Corneille Nicholas MORPHEY after Jean Moreau de SECHELLES, the finance minister of France, in 1756

  • Sierra Leone

    conventional long form: Republic of Sierra Leone

    conventional short form: Sierra Leone

    local long form: Republic of Sierra Leone

    local short form: Sierra Leone

    etymology: the Portuguese explorer Pedro de SINTRA named the country "Serra Leoa" (Lion Mountains) for the impressive mountains he saw while sailing the West African coast in 1462

  • Singapore

    conventional long form: Republic of Singapore

    conventional short form: Singapore

    local long form: Republic of Singapore

    local short form: Singapore

    etymology: name derives from the Sanskrit words "simha" (lion) and "pura" (city) to describe the city-state's leonine symbol

  • Sint Maarten

    conventional long form: Country of Sint Maarten

    conventional short form: Sint Maarten

    local long form: Land Sint Maarten (Dutch); Country of Sint Maarten (English)

    local short form: Sint Maarten (Dutch and English)

    former: Netherlands Antilles; Curacao and Dependencies

    etymology: explorer Christopher COLUMBUS named the island after Saint MARTIN of Tours because the 11 November 1493 day of discovery was the saint's feast day

  • Slovakia

    conventional long form: Slovak Republic

    conventional short form: Slovakia

    local long form: Slovenska republika

    local short form: Slovensko

    etymology: may derive from the medieval Latin word "Slavus" (Slav), which had the local form "Sloven", used since the 13th century to refer to the territory of Slovakia and its inhabitants

  • Slovenia

    conventional long form: Republic of Slovenia

    conventional short form: Slovenia

    local long form: Republika Slovenija

    local short form: Slovenija

    former: People's Republic of Slovenia, Socialist Republic of Slovenia

    etymology: the country's name means "Land of the Slavs" in Slovene

  • Solomon Islands

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Solomon Islands

    local long form: none

    local short form: Solomon Islands

    former: British Solomon Islands

    etymology: Spanish explorer Alvaro de MENDANA named the isles in 1568 after the wealthy biblical King SOLOMON in the mistaken belief that the islands contained great riches

  • Somalia

    conventional long form: Federal Republic of Somalia

    conventional short form: Somalia

    local long form: Jamhuuriyadda Federaalkaa Soomaaliya

    local short form: Soomaaliya

    former: Somali Republic, Somali Democratic Republic

    etymology: "Land of the Somali" (ethnic group)

  • South Africa

    conventional long form: Republic of South Africa

    conventional short form: South Africa

    former: Union of South Africa

    abbreviation: RSA

    etymology: self-descriptive name from the country's location on the continent; "Africa" is derived from the Roman designation of the area corresponding to present-day Tunisia "Africa terra," which meant "Land of the Afri" (the tribe resident in that area), but which eventually came to mean the entire continent

  • South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands

    conventional long form: South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands

    conventional short form: South Georgia and South Sandwich Islands

    abbreviation: SGSSI

    etymology: South Georgia was named "the Isle of Georgia" in 1775 by Captain James COOK in honor of British King GEORGE III; the explorer also discovered the Sandwich Islands Group that year, which he named "Sandwich Land" after John MONTAGU, the Earl of Sandwich and First Lord of the Admiralty; the word "South" was later added to distinguish these islands from the other Sandwich Islands, now known as the Hawaiian Islands

  • South Sudan

    conventional long form: Republic of South Sudan

    conventional short form: South Sudan

    etymology: self-descriptive name from the country's former position within Sudan prior to independence; the name "Sudan" derives from the Arabic "bilad-as-sudan" meaning "Land of the Black [peoples]"

  • Southern Ocean

    etymology: the International Hydrographic Organization (IHO) included the ocean and its definition as the waters south of 60 degrees south in its year 2000 revision, but this has not formally been adopted; the 2000 IHO definition, however, was circulated in a draft edition in 2002 and has acquired de facto usage by many nations and organizations, including the CIA

  • Spain

    conventional long form: Kingdom of Spain

    conventional short form: Spain

    local long form: Reino de Espana

    local short form: Espana

    etymology: derivation of the name "Espana" is uncertain, but may come from the Phoenician term "span," related to the word "spy," meaning "to forge metals," so, "i-spn-ya" would mean "place where metals are forged"; the ancient Phoenicians long exploited the Iberian Peninsula for its mineral wealth

  • Spratly Islands

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Spratly Islands

    etymology: named after a British whaling captain Richard SPRATLY, who sighted Spratly Island in 1843; the name of the island eventually passed to the entire archipelago

  • Sri Lanka

    conventional long form: Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka

    conventional short form: Sri Lanka

    local long form: Shri Lanka Prajatantrika Samajavadi Janarajaya/Ilankai Jananayaka Choshalichak Kutiyarachu

    local short form: Shri Lanka/Ilankai

    former: Serendib, Ceylon

    etymology: the name means "resplendent island" in Sanskrit

  • Sudan

    conventional long form: Republic of the Sudan

    conventional short form: Sudan

    local long form: Jumhuriyat as-Sudan

    local short form: As-Sudan

    former: Anglo-Egyptian Sudan, Democratic Republic of the Sudan

    etymology: the name "Sudan" derives from the Arabic "bilad-as-sudan" meaning "Land of the Black [peoples]"

  • Suriname

    conventional long form: Republic of Suriname

    conventional short form: Suriname

    local long form: Republiek Suriname

    local short form: Suriname

    former: Netherlands Guiana, Dutch Guiana

    etymology: name may derive from the indigenous "Surinen" people who inhabited the area at the time of European contact

  • Svalbard

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Svalbard (sometimes referred to as Spitsbergen, the largest island in the archipelago)

    etymology: 12th century Norse accounts speak of the discovery of a "Svalbard" - literally "cold shores" - but they may have referred to Jan Mayen Island or eastern Greenland; the archipelago was traditionally known as Spitsbergen, but Norway renamed it Svalbard in the 1920s when it assumed sovereignty of the islands

  • Sweden

    conventional long form: Kingdom of Sweden

    conventional short form: Sweden

    local long form: Konungariket Sverige

    local short form: Sverige

    etymology: name ultimately derives from the North Germanic Svear tribe, which inhabited central Sweden and is first mentioned in the first centuries A.D.

  • Switzerland

    conventional long form: Swiss Confederation

    conventional short form: Switzerland

    local long form: Schweizerische Eidgenossenschaft (German); Confederation Suisse (French); Confederazione Svizzera (Italian); Confederaziun Svizra (Romansh)

    local short form: Schweiz (German); Suisse (French); Svizzera (Italian); Svizra (Romansh)

    abbreviation: CH

    etymology: name derives from the canton of Schwyz, one of the founding cantons of the Old Swiss Confederacy that formed in the 14th century

     

  • Syria

    conventional long form: Syrian Arab Republic

    conventional short form: Syria

    local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Arabiyah as Suriyah

    local short form: Suriyah

    former: United Arab Republic (with Egypt)

    etymology: name ultimately derived from the ancient Assyrians who dominated northern Mesopotamia, but whose reach also extended westward to the Levant; over time, the name came to be associated more with the western area

  • Taiwan

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Taiwan

    local long form: none

    local short form: Taiwan

    former: Formosa

    etymology: "Tayowan" was the name of the coastal sandbank where the Dutch erected their colonial headquarters on the island in the 17th century; the former name "Formosa" means "beautiful" in Portuguese

  • Tajikistan

    conventional long form: Republic of Tajikistan

    conventional short form: Tajikistan

    local long form: Jumhurii Tojikiston

    local short form: Tojikiston

    former: Tajik Soviet Socialist Republic

    etymology: the Persian suffix "-stan" means "place of" or "country," so the word Tajikistan literally means "Land of the Tajik [people]"

  • Tanzania

    conventional long form: United Republic of Tanzania

    conventional short form: Tanzania

    local long form: Jamhuri ya Muungano wa Tanzania

    local short form: Tanzania

    former: German East Africa, Trust Territory of Tanganyika, United Republic of Tanganyika and Zanzibar

    etymology: the country's name is a combination of the first letters of Tanganyika and Zanzibar, the two states that merged to form Tanzania in 1964

  • Thailand

    conventional long form: Kingdom of Thailand

    conventional short form: Thailand

    local long form: Ratcha Anachak Thai

    local short form: Prathet Thai

    former: Siam

    etymology: Land of the Tai [People]"; the meaning of "tai" is uncertain, but may originally have meant "human beings," "people," or "free people

  • Timor-Leste

    conventional long form: Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste

    conventional short form: Timor-Leste

    local long form: Republika Demokratika Timor Lorosa'e [Tetum]; Republica Democratica de Timor-Leste [Portuguese]

    local short form: Timor Lorosa'e [Tetum]; Timor-Leste [Portuguese]

    former: East Timor, Portuguese Timor

    etymology: timor" derives from the Indonesian and Malay word "timur" meaning "east"; "leste" is the Portuguese word for "east", so "Timor-Leste" literally means "Eastern-East"; the local [Tetum] name "Timor Lorosa'e" translates as "East Rising Sun"

    note: pronounced TEE-mor LESS-tay

  • Togo

    conventional long form: Togolese Republic

    conventional short form: Togo

    local long form: Republique Togolaise

    local short form: none

    former: French Togoland

    etymology: derived from the Ewe words "to" (river) and "godo" (on the other side) to give the sense of "on the other side of the river"; originally, this designation applied to the town of Togodo (now Togoville) on the northern shore of Lake Togo, but the name was eventually extended to the entire nation

  • Tokelau

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Tokelau

    former: Union Islands, Tokelau Islands

    etymology: "tokelau" is a Polynesian word meaning "north wind"

  • Tonga

    conventional long form: Kingdom of Tonga

    conventional short form: Tonga

    local long form: Pule'anga Fakatu'i 'o Tonga

    local short form: Tonga

    former: Friendly Islands

    etymology: "tonga" means "south" in the Tongan language and refers to the country's geographic position in relation to central Polynesia

  • Trinidad and Tobago

    conventional long form: Republic of Trinidad and Tobago

    conventional short form: Trinidad and Tobago

    etymology: explorer Christopher COLUMBUS named the larger island "La Isla de la Trinidad" (The Island of the Trinity) on 31 July 1498 on his third voyage; the tobacco grown and smoked by the natives of the smaller island or its elongated cigar shape may account for the "tobago" name, which is spelled "tobaco" in Spanish

  • Tunisia

    conventional long form: Republic of Tunisia

    conventional short form: Tunisia

    local long form: Al Jumhuriyah at Tunisiyah

    local short form: Tunis

    etymology: the country name derives from the capital city of Tunis

  • Turkey

    conventional long form: Republic of Turkey

    conventional short form: Turkey

    local long form: Turkiye Cumhuriyeti

    local short form: Turkiye

    etymology: the name means "Land of the Turks"

  • Turkmenistan

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Turkmenistan

    local long form: none

    local short form: Turkmenistan

    former: Turkmen Soviet Socialist Republic

    etymology: the suffix "-stan" means "place of" or "country," so Turkmenistan literally means the "Land of the Turkmen [people]"

  • Turks and Caicos Islands

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Turks and Caicos Islands

    abbreviation: TCI

    etymology: the Turks Islands are named after the Turk's cap cactus (native to the islands and appearing on the flag and coat of arms), while the Caicos Islands derive from the native term "caya hico" meaning "string of islands"

  • Tuvalu

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Tuvalu

    local long form: none

    local short form: Tuvalu

    former: Ellice Islands

    etymology: "tuvalu" means "group of eight" or "eight standing together" referring to the country's eight traditionally inhabited islands

  • Uganda

    conventional long form: Republic of Uganda

    conventional short form: Uganda

    etymology: from the name "Buganda," adopted by the British as the designation for their East African colony in 1894; Buganda had been a powerful East African state during the 18th and 19th centuries

  • Ukraine

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Ukraine

    local long form: none

    local short form: Ukraina

    former: Ukrainian National Republic, Ukrainian State, Ukrainian Soviet Socialist Republic

    etymology: name derives from the Old East Slavic word "ukraina" meaning "borderland or march (militarized border region)" and began to be used extensively in the 19th century; originally Ukrainians referred to themselves as Rusyny (Rusyns, Ruthenians, or Ruthenes), an endonym derived from the medieval Rus state (Kyivan Rus)

  • United Arab Emirates

    conventional long form: United Arab Emirates

    conventional short form: none

    local long form: Al Imarat al Arabiyah al Muttahidah

    local short form: none

    former: Trucial Oman, Trucial States

    abbreviation: UAE

    etymology: self-descriptive country name; the name "Arabia" can be traced back many centuries B.C., the ancient Egyptians referred to the region as "Ar Rabi"; "emirates" derives from "amir" the Arabic word for "commander," "lord," or "prince"

  • United Kingdom

    conventional long form: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland; note - the island of Great Britain includes England, Scotland, and Wales

    conventional short form: United Kingdom

    abbreviation: UK

    etymology: self-descriptive country name; the designation "Great Britain," in the sense of "Larger Britain," dates back to medieval times and was used to distinguish the island from "Little Britain," or Brittany in modern France; the name Ireland derives from the Gaelic "Eriu," the matron goddess of Ireland (goddess of the land)

  • United States

    conventional long form: United States of America

    conventional short form: United States

    abbreviation: US or USA

    etymology: the name America is derived from that of Amerigo VESPUCCI (1454-1512) - Italian explorer, navigator, and cartographer - using the Latin form of his name, Americus, feminized to America

  • United States Pacific Island Wildlife Refuges

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Baker Island, Howland Island, Jarvis Island, Johnston Atoll, Kingman Reef, Midway Islands, Palmyra Atoll

    etymology: self-descriptive name specifying the territories' affiliation and location

  • Uruguay

    conventional long form: Oriental Republic of Uruguay

    conventional short form: Uruguay

    local long form: Republica Oriental del Uruguay

    local short form: Uruguay

    former: Banda Oriental, Cisplatine Province

    etymology: name derives from the Spanish pronunciation of the Guarani Indian designation of the Uruguay River, which makes up the western border of the country and whose name later came to be applied to the entire country

  • Uzbekistan

    conventional long form: Republic of Uzbekistan

    conventional short form: Uzbekistan

    local long form: O'zbekiston Respublikasi

    local short form: O'zbekiston

    former: Uzbek Soviet Socialist Republic

    etymology: a combination of the Turkic words "uz" (self) and "bek" (master) with the Persian suffix "-stan" (country) to give the meaning "Land of the Free"

  • Vanuatu

    conventional long form: Republic of Vanuatu

    conventional short form: Vanuatu

    local long form: Ripablik blong Vanuatu

    local short form: Vanuatu

    former: New Hebrides

    etymology: derived from the words "vanua" (home or land) and "tu" (stand) that occur in several of the Austonesian languages spoken on the islands and which provide a meaning of "the land remains" but which also convey a sense of "independence" or "our land"

  • Venezuela

    conventional long form: Bolivarian Republic of Venezuela

    conventional short form: Venezuela

    local long form: Republica Bolivariana de Venezuela

    local short form: Venezuela

    former: State of Venezuela, Republic of Venezuela, United States of Venezuela

    etymology: native stilt-houses built on Lake Maracaibo reminded early explorers Alonso de OJEDA and Amerigo VESPUCCI in 1499 of buildings in Venice and so they named the region "Venezuola," which in Italian means "Little Venice"

  • Vietnam

    conventional long form: Socialist Republic of Vietnam

    conventional short form: Vietnam

    local long form: Cong Hoa Xa Hoi Chu Nghia Viet Nam

    local short form: Viet Nam

    abbreviation: SRV

    etymology: "Viet nam" translates as "Viet south," where "Viet" is an ethnic self identification dating to a second century B.C. kingdom and "nam" refers to its location in relation to other Viet kingdoms

  • Virgin Islands

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Virgin Islands

    former: Danish West Indies

    abbreviation: VI

    etymology: the myriad islets, cays, and rocks surrounding the major islands reminded Christopher COLUMBUS in 1493 of Saint Ursula and her 11,000 virgin followers (Santa Ursula y las Once Mil Virgenes), which over time shortened to the Virgins (las Virgenes)

  • Wake Island

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: Wake Island

    etymology: although first discovered by British Captain William WAKE in 1792, the island is named after British Captain Samuel WAKE, who rediscovered the island in 1796

  • Wallis and Futuna

    conventional long form: Territory of the Wallis and Futuna Islands

    conventional short form: Wallis and Futuna

    local long form: Territoire des Iles Wallis et Futuna

    local short form: Wallis et Futuna

    former: Hoorn Islands is the former name of the Futuna Islands

    etymology: Wallis Island is named after British Captain Samuel WALLIS, who discovered it in 1767; Futuna is derived from the native word "futu," which is the name of the fish-poison tree found on the island

  • West Bank

    conventional long form: none

    conventional short form: West Bank

    etymology: name refers to the location of the region - occupied and administered by Jordan after 1948 - that fell on the far side (west bank) of the Jordan River in relation to Jordan proper; the designation was retained following the 1967 Six-Day War and the subsequent changes in government

  • World

    note: countries with names connected to animals include: Albania "Land of the Eagles," Anguilla (the name means "eel"), Bhutan "Land of the Thunder Dragon," Cameroon (the name derives from "prawns"), Cayman Islands (named after the caiman, a marine crocodile), Faroe Islands (from Old Norse meaning "sheep"), Georgia "Land of the Wolves," Italy "Land of Young Cattle," Kosovo "Field of Blackbirds," Sierra Leone "Lion Mountains," Singapore "Lion City"

  • Yemen

    conventional long form: Republic of Yemen

    conventional short form: Yemen

    local long form: Al Jumhuriyah al Yamaniyah

    local short form: Al Yaman

    former: Yemen Arab Republic [Yemen (Sanaa) or North Yemen] and People's Democratic Republic of Yemen [Yemen (Aden) or South Yemen]

    etymology: name derivation remains unclear but may come from the Arab term "yumn" (happiness) and be related to the region's classical name "Arabia Felix" (Fertile or Happy Arabia); the Romans referred to the rest of the peninsula as "Arabia Deserta" (Deserted Arabia)

  • Zambia

    conventional long form: Republic of Zambia

    conventional short form: Zambia

    former: Northern Rhodesia

    etymology: name derived from the Zambezi River, which flows through the western part of the country and forms its southern border with neighboring Zimbabwe

  • Zimbabwe

    conventional long form: Republic of Zimbabwe

    conventional short form: Zimbabwe

    former: Southern Rhodesia, Rhodesia, Zimbabwe-Rhodesia

    etymology: takes its name from the Kingdom of Zimbabwe (13th-15th century) and its capital of Great Zimbabwe, the largest stone structure in pre-colonial southern Africa