The Literal Meaning Of Every Country’s Name On One Cool Map

You might already know what Canada’s name came from, but many other nations also have fascinating stories behind their names. Here is a very interesting map for those who want to learn a bit more about the different countries around the world.

There are 193 countries recognized by the United Nations, and honestly here at Flytrippers we want to visit all of them at least once because each and every one of them has something unique. And that’s precisely why we try to spot low prices to as many different destinations as we can on our cheap flight deals page.

Many travel enthusiasts will at least recognize the name of each one of these 193 countries, even the most obscure ones (like Brunei, in the news recently for bad reasons, we’ll soon share a post about our interesting trip there) however it’s doubtful that anyone knows what the literal translation of these names is.

That’s why I find this map really cool. The Australian website Compare Credit Cards used multiple sources to put together all the country name translations on one very interesting map.

It’s not perfect: many disagree with some of the interpretations (the sources are at the end of the post).

But in all cases, it’s a great way to learn interesting factoids quickly by glancing at one informative map. You can therefore quickly become more knowledgeable about the countries you’ve visited… or those you dream of visiting soon.

So here is the literal meaning of every country’s name continent by continent and then the complete (and full-sized) map!

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North America



South America














The Complete Map

Click here to see the full-sized map

Click here for sources for every country name



This is a very interesting map to learn a little bit more about what each country’s name actually means.


Which translation surprised you the most? Let us know in the comments below!

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Cover photo: the map (photo credit: Compare Credit Cards Australia)

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Posted April 5th, 2018; updated May 12th, 2019

Andrew D'Amours

Andrew is the co-founder of Flytrippers. He is passionate about traveling the world but also, as a former management consultant, about the travel industry itself. He shares his experiences to help you save money on travel. As a very cost-conscious traveler, he loves finding deals and getting free travel thanks to travel rewards points... to help him visit every country in the world (current count: 61/193 Countries, 46/50 US States & 9/10 Canadian Provinces).

This Post Has 8 Comments

  1. Romin

    Kazakhstan doesn’t meat land where one stands. ‘Stan’ means land of in Persian. ‘Kazakh’ means to wander. So the closest definition is land of the wanderer

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Oh well, it seems there are indeed a few inaccuracies. Thanks for pointing that one out!

  2. Miguel

    If I remember correctly the Philippines was named after Prince Philip II of Spain. Don’t recall a Prince of Asturias in my history class.

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      Quite possible, it seems there are indeed a few inaccuracies. Thanks for pointing that one out!

  3. Mandi

    Where is Bermuda?

  4. Pierre

    For most of the countries, the reference uses the actual, literal meaning of the nowdays name, but the original actual name given by the natives and the corresponding meaning before European invaders arrived, is rarely provided. i.e « Australia », meaning land of the South, but what was the name before the Westerners’ discovery/invasion? Thanks

    1. Andrew D'Amours

      That’s a good point! One way to deep-dive on the names is to read the Wikipedia page for a country, it usually has an exhaustive section about the etymology and history! Thanks for following us:)

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