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Why is america called america

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chefConor
849845.  Sat Sep 24, 2011 5:20 pm Reply with quote

Why is america called america

 
Spud McLaren
849846.  Sat Sep 24, 2011 5:29 pm Reply with quote

This provides a summary of the many threads on the subject.

Welcome to QI!

 
Jenny
850127.  Sun Sep 25, 2011 2:59 pm Reply with quote

Welcome chefConor :-)

 
Zebra57
863608.  Fri Nov 11, 2011 3:53 am Reply with quote

The answer it was named after Amerigo Vespucci may well get a *klaxon* as many historians doubt this "accepted fact".

In Bristol a native of the city Richard Ameryk appears to have a strong claim.

http://www.uhmc.sunysb.edu/surgery/america.html

 
Sylvia
863629.  Fri Nov 11, 2011 5:19 am Reply with quote

Zebra57 wrote:
The answer it was named after Amerigo Vespucci may well get a *klaxon* as many historians doubt this "accepted fact".

It did.

 
Posital
863754.  Fri Nov 11, 2011 1:30 pm Reply with quote

I thought it's called america because that's the place where there's the highest concentration of american households.

 
Zebra57
863840.  Fri Nov 11, 2011 9:54 pm Reply with quote

In truth many of Spud's links are more believable than the Vespucci claim.

 
suze
863870.  Sat Nov 12, 2011 4:56 am Reply with quote

But there's a problem with the idea that it's named for this Richard Amerike or Ameryk. I wrote about that at post 217481, and shall auto-plagiarize here:


Quite right - QI held that America was named not after Vespucci but after one Richard Amerike, a guy from Bristol who appears to have financed John Cabot's journey to Newfoundland.

The first clear citation for "America" is from a map of 1507 drawn by a German named Martin Waldseemüller. In the book which accompanies that map (Cosmographiae Introductio, perhaps written by Waldseemüller or perhaps by his friend Matthias Ringmann) it is explained that the name is a feminization of "Amerigo".

But, say some, there were much earlier English maps showing the east coast of North America - perhaps as much as a hundred years before Columbus - and some of these mark it as "Amerike's Land". Just two problems here: 1. If English sailors were visiting Newfoundland a hundred years before Columbus sailed west, why does nobody know about it? and 2. No such maps survive. I find it improbable, but not impossible.

 
Bondee
864181.  Sun Nov 13, 2011 10:15 am Reply with quote

chefConor wrote:
Why is america called america


Because the United States of Kevin sounds stupid.

 
gruff5
864353.  Mon Nov 14, 2011 5:58 am Reply with quote

I find it very strange that this is such a mystery. I mean, it's not that long ago and plenty of record-keeping was going on at the time.

Isn't there a film script writer in Hollywood that knows the answer?

 
Gooische Vrijgezel
865481.  Sat Nov 19, 2011 4:19 am Reply with quote

gruff5 wrote:
I find it very strange that this is such a mystery. I mean, it's not that long ago and plenty of record-keeping was going on at the time.


Try writing down your own family tree. Not longer ago than the first use of the name America, plenty of record-keeping, names may have been used more than once, and you probably know a few generations personally. When you're done, try adding the reason why that were their names. Was that important enough to remember?

 

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