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Peter O'Kennedy
784638.  Sun Feb 06, 2011 10:28 am Reply with quote

Can anybody tell me the origin of the name 'America? Who named it?

784664.  Sun Feb 06, 2011 11:10 am Reply with quote

There are various threads on Qi about the etymology of America.

The first known citation is from a Martin Waldseemüller map from 1507. There was a book that accompanied the map, though it's source is not agreed on by everyone, and it claimed the name America was a female version of Amerigo Vespucci.

There are claims, as reported on the Qi show, that maps had existed prior to that date, drawn by the voyages of John Cabot, who was in the employ of John Amerike, and had called it Amerike's Land.

I like to throw in a third claim of my own, which is that French sailors from the region of Brittany had claimed to have sailed to America before anyone else (don't forget they were decended from the Normans, who came from the Vikings). The old name for the region was named after the "seaside", which was Amorica, they could have claimed it for themselves.


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