Dictionary.com

Why is it called America, not Columbusia?

Columbus, America

American place names can sound pretty confusing even to native English speakers. From Philadelphia (Greek for “loving brother”) to Chicago (Algonquian Fox for “place of the wild onion”), the map of America is an etymological hodge-podge. For a clear example, take three adjacent states in New England. Vermont is an inverted, rough translation of the French for “green mountain,” mont vert. Massachusetts is derived from the name of the Native American people who lived in the area, the Algonquian Massachusett. The word meant “at the large hill.” New Hampshire comes from a county in southern England. Why do we call a turkey turkey? Learn about the history of nation’s favorite bird, the turkey, here.

But what about America itself? Why aren’t the continents of North and South America called “Columbusia” after Christopher Columbus? The word America comes from a lesser-known navigator and explorer, Amerigo Vespucci. Who made the decision? A cartographer.

Like Columbus, Vespucci traveled to the New World (first in 1499 and again in 1502). Unlike Columbus, Vespucci wrote about it. Vespucci’s accounts of his travels were published in 1502 and 1504 and were widely read in Europe. Columbus was also hindered because he thought he had discovered another route to Asia; he didn’t realize America was a whole new continent. Vespucci, however, realized that America was not contiguous with Asia. He was also the first to call it the New World, or Novus Mundus in Latin, in his books.

With the discovery of this “New World,” maps were being redrawn all the time. No one really knew what land was where or how big it was. Because of this confusion, maps from the 1500s are incredibly inaccurate and contradictory. (They also often feature drawings of mythical sea creatures.) In 1507, a German cartographer named Martin Waldseemüller was drawing a map of the world–a very serious map. He called it the Universalis Cosmographia, or Universal Cosmography. Comprised of 12 wooden panels, it was eight feet wide and four-and-a-half feet tall. He based his drawings of the New World on Vespucci’s published travelogues. All countries were seen as feminine (like her lady Liberty today), so Waldseemüller used a feminine Latinized of Amerigo to name the new continents “America.” Cartographers tended to copy one another’s choices, so Columbus was left off the map. The rest is history.

Today, an original of Waldseemüller’s map is permanently on display at the Library of Congress in Washington, D.C.

What do you think of America’s unlikely origin?

school briefs; ORONO; District wins School of Character award.(NEWS)

Star Tribune (Minneapolis, MN) June 4, 2008 | Relerford, Patrice Byline: Patrice Relerford; Staff Writer ORONO District wins School of Character award The Orono School District earned the state’s first-ever Minnesota School of Character award during an awards ceremony at the State Capitol.

The Center for Academic Excellence and state Department of Education sponsored the event last month to recognize schools with exemplary character-education programs.

Orono received an $86,760 grant from the state Department of Education in 2006 for staff training and materials to develop a more comprehensive approach to its Character Counts program. It’s rooted in principles developed by the Los Angeles-based Joseph and Edna Josephson Institute of Ethics. chanhassenhighschool.org chanhassen high school

Students in the west-suburban district have been exposed to character-building principles at various grade levels for more than six years. Recent examples include a bullying prevention program at Orono Middle School and student leadership initiatives at Orono High School.

For more information about the award or the Character Counts program, visit www.orono.k12.mn.us.

CHASKA Chanhassen joins Lake Conference Chanhassen High School will join the Lake Conference when the school opens in Fall 2009, school officials said.

The Chaska School District’s second high school was accepted unanimously by the Lake Conference executive committee last month, district officials said. Chaska High School also will remain in the Lake Conference.

Secondary schools in the Bloomington, Burnsville, Eden Prairie, Lakeville and Rosemount-Eagan-Apple Valley school districts are also Lake Conference members. Chanhassen High’s acceptance makes it the league’s 12th member school. in our site chanhassen high school

For more information about activities at Chaska and Chanhassen high schools, visit www.district112.org.

WEST METRO AREA Solstice fundraiser for Teens Alone Teens Alone will host its “Surf’s Up” fundraiser to celebrate the longest day of the year from 7:30 to 10 p.m. Saturday, June 21, at the St. Louis Park Aquatics Park, 3700 Monterey Drive. Tickets cost $3 per person or $7 per family. Children age 12 and under must be accompanied by an adult. All proceeds benefit Teens Alone, a Hopkins nonprofit agency that provides free crisis counseling and referral services to west-metro youth and their families in partnership with the Eden Prairie, Hopkins, Orono, St. Louis Park and Wayzata school districts.

At least 150 west-metro youth were homeless last year and 250 more were in housing crises, according to Teens Alone.

For more information about the event or Teens Alone, call 952-988-TEEN (8336) or visit www.teensalone.org.

BLOOMINGTON School registration deadline approaches Bloomington School District residents can register students for kindergarten through fifth grade for the 2008-09 school year at their neighborhood schools through June 9.

After that date, registrations must be completed in the assistant principal’s office at the Bloomington Educational Services Center, 1350 W. 106th St., Bloomington.

Middle and high school registration is conducted at individual schools throughout the year.

For more information about Bloomington School District’s registration process, visit www.bloomington.k12.mn.us or call 952-681-6478.

Relerford, Patrice

278 Comments

  1. PHILIP CRAWFORD -  June 23, 2014 - 8:57 pm

    Screw USA we are just nosey bodies we get in every ones business but our own we feed the world but our own we give jobs to the world but our own we can’t even take care of each other here in USA we even fight against each other we are getting bad as UK getting in wars and can’t even win them we been in war now since 1951 and it is still not won yet we are always on alert there

    Reply
    • Deb -  July 4, 2014 - 1:16 pm

      Philip,i sure feel sorry for your negative statement. Would living over in Iraq make you feel better?

      Reply
      • Mark -  August 17, 2014 - 8:16 am

        Why would living in Iraq make him feel better? What he’s not allowed to have an opinion on how america could be improved?

        Phillip – Valid enough statement, america’s got a lot of things going for it, but fighting overseas all the time isn’t one of them.

        Reply
  2. Ruby -  February 24, 2014 - 6:32 pm

    Disclosed I think ur the one bad at spelling

    Reply
  3. Tours Info -  January 22, 2014 - 8:35 am

    Having read this I thought it was really enlightening. I appreciate
    you finding the time and energy to put this information together.
    I once again find myself personally spending a lot of time both reading and leaving comments.
    But so what, it was still worth it!

    Reply
  4. solei -  November 18, 2013 - 4:27 pm

    the name came from amerigo vespucci i got it from my social studies book :p

    Reply
  5. disclosed -  November 12, 2013 - 12:41 pm

    u al ar terable at speling

    Reply
  6. KAMAL ELMAHDI -  October 16, 2013 - 8:08 pm

    America had been named after the Italian Geographer from Toscacany (Toscana).
    Amerigo Vespucci.

    Reply
  7. Siobhan -  October 15, 2013 - 7:36 pm

    Get over it people – there is not an existing country that has not been invaded by others down through history. The so-called native Americans came from somewhere else, too, in their beginning here. Most were savages fighting one another before Europeans got here. They didn’t just kill, they tortured and killed men, women and children. Noble savages?

    Reply
  8. Lily -  October 15, 2013 - 1:58 pm

    Columbus never actually killed any Indians, and infecting them with smallpox was not on purpose. The whole “smallpox blankets” idea is totally false.

    Reply
  9. svenjamin -  October 15, 2013 - 9:03 am

    Please read “Pocahontas” by Neil Young

    Aurora borealis
    The icy sky at night
    Paddles cut the water
    In a long and hurried flight
    From the white man
    to the fields of green
    And the homeland
    we’ve never seen.

    They killed us in our tepee
    And they cut our women down
    They might have left some babies
    Cryin’ on the ground
    But the firesticks
    and the wagons come
    And the night falls
    on the setting sun.

    They massacred the buffalo
    Kitty corner from the bank
    The taxis run across my feet
    And my eyes have turned to blanks
    In my little box
    at the top of the stairs
    With my Indian rug
    and a pipe to share.

    I wish a was a trapper
    I would give thousand pelts
    To sleep with Pocahontas
    And find out how she felt
    In the mornin’
    on the fields of green
    In the homeland
    we’ve never seen.

    And maybe Marlon Brando
    Will be there by the fire
    We’ll sit and talk of Hollywood
    And the good things there for hire
    And the Astrodome
    and the first tepee
    Marlon Brando, Pocahontas and me
    Marlon Brando, Pocahontas and me
    Pocahontas.

    Reply
  10. Mary -  October 15, 2013 - 8:07 am

    I was once married to a man with the last name Colon. He told me he was related to Columbus and that Columbus’s real name was Cristobal Colon. And that is why money in
    Costa Rico is called colones. And what about the word colony?

    Reply
  11. Mike -  October 15, 2013 - 7:42 am

    Wow! What a discussion!

    Reply
  12. escocesrojo -  October 15, 2013 - 4:51 am

    Spanish can use “estadounidenses” or “United Statians” for USA citizens.

    Reply
    • bluefeather -  May 24, 2014 - 1:34 pm

      hahahah…..uh uh (no sir)…..they call us “those damn schankeys.” :)

      Reply
      • Fgfoo -  June 3, 2014 - 7:54 am

        Ha

        Reply
      • Fgfoo -  June 3, 2014 - 7:55 am

        Ha ha aaaaaaaa America one of the monkey

        Reply
    • Raul -  August 31, 2014 - 6:32 pm

      And Portuguese. Everyone forgets about Brazil…

      Reply
  13. lol man 57 -  October 14, 2013 - 7:46 pm

    how r u @lauren lol i just did a shout out
    /\ dat is u up dere doe so what u peeps wanto dp peeps lol bye yo

    Reply
  14. Jonathan -  October 14, 2013 - 7:14 pm

    LOLOLOLOL DIDN’T KNOW THAT?!?!?!?

    Reply
  15. Jose Renato T Silva -  October 14, 2013 - 7:03 pm

    Well,

    Colombo is his spanish name. And we have a spanish country called Colombia. In the past, it was called The Great Colombia and it was a reference to America..

    Reply
  16. unknown guyXD -  October 14, 2013 - 5:54 pm

    Learned this in 6th grade. Amerigo Vespucci…

    Reply
  17. cookbook21 -  October 14, 2013 - 5:22 pm

    is it weird that I already knew that?

    Reply
  18. dude -  October 14, 2013 - 5:06 pm

    that is messed up. we cellebrete the day we killes hundreds of people as a HOLIDAY

    Reply
    • rollinj 420 -  May 23, 2014 - 1:05 pm

      Who celebrates???

      Reply
  19. #11 -  October 14, 2013 - 5:04 pm

    how many are there

    Reply
  20. tre -  October 14, 2013 - 5:04 pm

    Avg. minorities across the world lives harmonously until Europeans invaded their land. You have fallen for the lies told by Europeans to justify their violence against other groups just as they they claim there has always been slavery. Of you examin the history and stories told to us via Europeans they only begin when Europe invaded land. You will also discover that is when discord within minorities groups began.

    Reply
  21. dude -  October 14, 2013 - 4:59 pm

    that is messed up. we celebrate the day we killed hundreds of people as a HOLIDAY

    Reply
  22. rebbeca -  October 14, 2013 - 4:28 pm

    i never thought about that i thought it was about something else like it being the name of a family member or something

    Reply
  23. rebbeca -  October 14, 2013 - 4:26 pm

    wow thats pretty cool

    Reply
  24. Lauren -  October 14, 2013 - 4:12 pm

    Actually, America was not named after Amerigo Vespucci because land was never named after the discoverer’s first name; it was derived from their last name. I learned the Amerigo Vespucci story in fifth grade and believed it for a long time, but recently I read a book that guessed that the name “America” was actually an accident. Basically, someone came up with a name for the land and handwrote it on a map, but the writing was so illegible that someone copying the map guessed at what it might have said, and thought that maybe the name was derived from “Amerigo.”

    Also, in fifth grade I learned that Magellen went all the way around the world, but he actually died halfway through his journey.

    Reply
    • Fred W. Hill -  June 8, 2014 - 9:06 am

      Waldseemuller obviously decided using the alleged discoverer’s first name to coin a name for the “New World” worked much better than the last name and he did do it. There were no set rules on how to pick a name for a region. All that mattered was if enough other people, particularly those in authority, went along so it became accepted as the official name. At the time, Columbus was still insisting he’d made it to eastern Asia, which is why Waldseemuller assumed Columbus was not involved in the “discovery” of the new continents Amerigo Vespucci described in his accounts. Later, from what I’ve read, Waldseemuller realized his mistake but by then the name America was already in common enough usage to correct it.

      Reply
  25. Ja -  October 14, 2013 - 3:59 pm

    To people shouting “Racists! Columbus did not discover America! Native Americans did!” while heaping an obscene amount of crude racist verbal abuse upon white people in general and white Americans in particular :

    The blatantly obvious truth you’re seemingly incapable of comprehending is that whether America was inhabited or not in 1492 has nothing whatsoever to do with whether it is right to say that Columbus discovered America, for the simple reason that when we say someone discovered, found, invented and so on, we’re always using the word from the perspective of the person doing the discovery/finding/invention etc, as has been pointed out several times on this page.

    Thus, I can say “While travelling around Patagonian islands, Tommy accidentally discovered the ancient treasures hidden by Redbeard,” even though Redbeard knew about Redbeard’s treasures, because I’m using the word “discovered” from Tommy’s perspective. I can say “Henry Shortfellow’s stories are real hidden gems, I was very lucky to discover them,” even though many people including Shortfellow himself know about his poems, because I’m using the word from my perspective. Likewise, I can say “Columbus discovered America in 1492,” even though he was not the first human being to do encounter it, because I’m using the word from Columbus and by extension other Europeans’ perspective. Everyone not suffering from severe PC can see this simple truth.

    So, if you, despite the word’s universal and utterly innocuous usage, cannot help shuddering with anger whenever you see or hear or write “Columbus” and “discover” in the same sentence, you should not pretend that your arbitrary objection to the perfectly fine word is based on rational reflection. You are not, I repeat, you are not rectifying the wrong usage, but engaging in lingustic engineering a la 1984, in which you distort words into meaning what you will them to mean for your ulterior purpose.

    Anyway, if you really believe in your highly idiosyncratic definition of the word “discover,” so that you cannot say anyone discovered anything unless they did so from some absolute perspective of a dehumanized audience, then you should NOT say that Native Americans discovered America, because Native Americans, being Native Americans, by definition came into existence only after the discovery of America. You cannot even say that Asians discovered America, because, if you follow your own logic, only one person, the absolute first to see America, can claim the honor ; every single person who came next, including but not limited to Columbus, came to a continent that had already been discovered once and for all by this first Asian to see America. So you should tell children “an Asian discovered America.”

    But things are a bit more complicated, as you should also take into account islands that really were uninhabited before Europeans came, such as Cape Verde. So, your child’s historical education will go something like this : “Portuguese sailors discovered Cape Verde, encountered Brazil, discovered Mauritius, encountered…” until, of course, radical animal rights activists enter the fray.

    Reply
  26. Lolima -  October 14, 2013 - 3:58 pm

    It is not wrong to refer to the USA as “America,” nor is it wrong to refer to the people of the USA as “Americans.” For one thing, we are the only country that actually has the word “America” in our name. And what else are we supposed to call ourselves? “USAians?” That’s an absurdly stupid demonym. Or “people from the USA?” That’s way too long.

    The rest of the world calls us Americans too, and calls the USA America. It’s not like we’re the only ones who use those words to describe ourselves.

    Moreover, the American continents are not called, “America.” They are called North America and South America. If they’re referred to together, then they are called, “the Americas,” or, “the American continents.” So it’s not like the words “America” and “Americans” are already taken. Brazilian people, for example, don’t call themselves “Americans.” They call themselves “Brazilian” or “South American.”

    In short, this is like claiming that Londoners or Parisians should never call themselves Londoners and Parisians, because there are several other towns/cities named London and Paris, too. Instead they should only call themselves, “London, Englanders” and “Paris, Francians.”

    It’s just absurd, born of anti-American sentiment, not logic or reason.

    Reply
  27. RasEnoch -  October 14, 2013 - 3:55 pm

    Note, Sigmund Fraud And The Super ego: According to fraud the super-ego is the faculty that seeks to police what it deems unacceptable desires; it represents all moral restrictions and is the “advocate of a striving towards perfection.” Thereby, as you can see, discrimination against others in regards to imperfection begins within the human mind and not within the divine universal mind.
    Hence, the naming of this earthly act “Discovery” is an air of superiority relative to the super ego. Of which translates into claiming land by thinking of its inhabitants as “less than human”. The reason being, indigenous people seemed inferior in the presence of the European super ego.
    Therefore, discovered land, according to the Roman law of Negotiorum gestio, justified the claiming of ownership and possession of land belonging to others. Moreover, this was the prerogative of a so-called sovereign monarch with a mighty army to act without acknowledging the rights of the inhabitants, which is arbitrarily nothing more than the means to one’s own self serving interest. And for most part, this atrocious act was done in the name of God and with an aim of demeaning the humanity of the people of that land by demonizing their character. In turn, this act led to the destruction of that civilization. Indeed, this is a classic case of the arrogance of humanism . . . Man’s humanity to his fellow man . . . Nothing in this world can bear the stamp of perfection barring an ideal.

    Reply
  28. Tyler Owens [7th grader] -  October 14, 2013 - 1:32 pm

    Amerigo Vespucci named America! I think, because it wasn’t Cristopher Colombus.

    Reply
  29. David Ben-Abraham -  October 14, 2013 - 11:20 am

    I thought the article was very informative. But really, it misses the whole point. The Native American Indians had discovered the North American and South American continents long before Christopher Columbus and Amerigo Vespucci, and long before the Chinese Muslim eunuch named “Sambao,” and long before Viking or Norse explorers! Rather, the western civilizations of Europe only began to discover the already-known and settled continent to be called “America” in 1492.

    Reply
  30. Awesome Lady -  October 14, 2013 - 11:09 am

    I meant to put. :P

    Reply
  31. Awesome Lady -  October 14, 2013 - 11:08 am

    Just saying. ;p

    Reply
  32. Awesome Lady -  October 14, 2013 - 11:05 am

    Don’t you mean *yourselves*?

    Reply
  33. Thom -  October 14, 2013 - 9:51 am

    What do you mean “Unlike Columbus, Vespucci wrote about it” Columbus wrote in his journal about the new world.

    Reply
  34. Alexandra -  October 14, 2013 - 7:59 am

    Lolzs,

    Did anyone here cleared someone’s old and very wrong assumption that Columbus was Genovese? He certainly was clever at hiding his true identity, it became a myth to this day, wow.
    Why has no one ever wondered why he named the first bit of land he came across – Cuba??
    There is another much more anciently titled land called Cuba, and that is in the south of Portugal.
    Columbus changed his name to a more latinized form (as someone mentioned quite rightly) he was of an Arabic ascendent, who by having his plans refuted by the crown of Portugal went to its enemies the Spanish monarchs; for fear of having his head cut off he hid in Italy and assumed a new identity.
    Hence the reason why he never extensively wrote and boasted about his new found land, but gave it away “just ever so slightly” by naming that first encountered plot of land his own name town.
    However, there is also another theory about this name, that it comes from an indian word, which I doubt very much because Cuba in the region of Alentejo, Portugal has been Cuba from immemorial times, before any Europeans travelled to America.
    As for the name America, the explanation given by the Dictionary people here seems very plausible.
    Why this has turned into some kind of silly racist debate is beyond me. Another wrong assumption is the Indians being the “first”; the Indians weren’t actually the “first” inhabitants of this land, there has been recent archeological evidence to point to a much more ancient people who were driven out by the Indians that the Europeans encountered there. Wether this is true or not, we should still keep our ears sharp about it.
    There are no victims and heroes; everyone is a bit of everything at one point.
    I am an european who is very aware of her own widely mixed background, my country has had many occupations by many other conquerors (Arabs, North Africans, Visigoths, Greeks, Romans, Vikings, Celts and so endlessly).
    Europeans are in touch with the natural world, contrary to another comment made by the same person. Our rich folklore and legends attests to our awareness of this.
    And after all is said, regardless, I must assert that being mixed is good, it improves the genes.

    Reply
  35. megan lewis -  October 14, 2013 - 7:41 am

    There is increasingly solid evidence that America is actually named after Welshman Richard Amerike (ap Meurig or son of Meurig) who was one of the Bristol merchants who funded John Cabot’s trip to Newfoundland and Nova Scotia in 1497.
    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Richard_Amerike

    Reply
  36. sue ellen -  October 14, 2013 - 6:18 am

    My goodness what a heated discussion. I hope children do not view this.

    History is about people, their decisions, and their actions. And is in many years before, as Solomon said that there is nothing new under the son.
    We are all sinners, and in need of a Savior.
    We cannot make up for the past, BUT we can learn for the future.
    This is why I am a Civil War reenactor, a Christian, and of Jewish descent, but not mad, looking to make things better and display love for all. I do not reenact to practice a romanticism for the age,but to show how hard life was and that horrible things like slavery existed, and what it was like to live in a country divided amoung itself.

    I agree aaa, it is in the past, we learn from it so as not to practice the errors again.

    Reply
  37. noel -  October 14, 2013 - 6:12 am

    i wonder if people actually read these comments. I’ve seen the same comment repeated a dozen times. e.g. “canada comes from the iriquios word for village…which sounded a lot like: ka NA ta.” or “America was named after Richard Ameryk, NOT vespucci.” to name a few.

    Reply
  38. noel -  October 14, 2013 - 5:58 am

    well, a lot of the problem is education. whatever goes in the brain first is the last thing that is going to change. e.g. (many people don’t know this) the poles of the common battery are actually the reverse: electricity flows from the negative post to the positive. when we finally figured that out it was too late to change it…it was stuck in everyone’s brain, so we just left it that way. likewise, most people in north america still refer to the aboriginals as “indians.” and i could continue this idea easily with more examples.

    it’s how our brains are wired. we are really a “small group” species and it was important to our survival to know who was a member of our group and who was an outsider. we needed to conform to the rituals and rules of our tribe. so now we are living more cosmopolitan but we still have a “small group” brain…now it’s not my tribe but more about MY country, MY religion, MY school, MY sports team, MY neighbourhood, and even MY style of living, taste in clothing, what i eat, what i do for fun or earn a living, etc. i recognize and bond mainly with those who share the same ethos. thus comes stereotypes which leads to prejudice, bigotry, racial hatred….

    so if you are not a member of my tribe, then you are not one i need to respect or take care of….slavery, rape, robbery….etc.

    what is necessary is consciousness….to recognize another and the differences they bring. with that diversity comes creativity as cultures blend and develop, taking what works and making it better, on the favourable side. we did this throughout history like waves on the ocean. some cultures bring and share their richness with others and some don’t. europe suffered the dark ages after an incredibly rich and intellectual era of greek and roman culture. the haida gwaii, aboriginals of the northwest coast of canada, had an amazingly rich culture of technology and art but also had slaves…conquered other cultures etc. the waves come and recede…sort of poetic in the beauty but sad in the loss, for me.

    can we be conscious? it’s possible but it takes some work to override the brains inherent wiring….if you’re interested, explore neuro-plasticity or brain plasticity.

    Reply
  39. Juan Perez -  October 14, 2013 - 5:49 am

    Hey to everyone, the history is that Christopher was running away from the Queen of Spain, he was jewish, and in that time, muslims and jewish were running away, or being kill, the firsts to be at the side of Canada, or the States, were Russians, and also Nordic people, the first time that Colombus arrived was into the Dominican Republic, and afther that, he make in total 3 more trips, he just was running away, when the spanish and english and portugueses were making invassions, they were sent by the crown of his sites, that was an invasion, but Columbus, was running away. America like was mentioned is from Alaska, Canada, until Chile, and Argentina, Tierra del Fuego, Ushuaia.

    Reply
  40. baseboardman -  October 14, 2013 - 5:25 am

    There’s the United States of America shortened to America & the United States of Mexico shortened to Mexico. Granted probably should have been United States of North America, then we’d be called North Americans (which is how my friends in LatinAmerica identify us).

    Reply
  41. escocesrojo -  October 14, 2013 - 5:09 am

    Strange North American place names, spellings, and pronunciations must include “Cuyahoga” (pronounced kigh uh HOH gah), the northern Ohio county which includes Cleveland. There are, to my knowledge, no other words in English that begin with the letters “cuy.”

    Reply
  42. escocesrojo -  October 14, 2013 - 5:04 am

    People often say, “I know this Spanish guy . . . ” when all they really mean is a guy from Mexico or perhaps Puerto Rico, not a guy from Spain. Such a statement would be analogous to someone strangely saying “I know this English guy” not for a person from England but for a North American who merely speaks English.

    Reply
  43. HiHo -  October 14, 2013 - 3:14 am

    @Maya, Carlitos: Your posts exude the same sort of blanket racism that you accuse the “terrible” white man of. Is it true that Columbus was a murdering, greedy, child rapist? Absolutely. And yes, there were Europeans who sought to pillage whatever resources they could from the New World. But are you trying to imply that there were no wars, thievery, greed, and murder in the New World before the European contact? If I recall not all Native Americans were peaceful and certainly not the waring city-states of Meso-America. I mean they did sacrifice eachother to a snake god by cutting the hearts out of the sacrifice or throw virgins into a cenote to get their crops to grow. The fact is that all throughout history, in every civilization, there are those who will prey upon others for personal gain. Those with the power destroy those who do not have any. It still happens today, everywhere. So please, when refering to something terrible that a few people were responsible for leave the racist generalizations out of it.

    Reply
  44. Russ -  October 13, 2013 - 9:30 pm

    I went to parochial school in the 1960′s. They taught us about Amerigo Vespucci.

    Reply
  45. guest -  October 13, 2013 - 8:56 pm

    I already knew that. I learned about it in 5th grade. I guessed the person before even reading the passage.

    Reply
  46. Kat -  October 13, 2013 - 8:04 pm

    “When you said “Why aren’t the continents of North and South America…” You implied that there are at least two American continents. I have two questions to this: What happened with central America? Is it also a continent or what? And, how many continents are there?

    I was taught (in Colombia, proud of being the only country in America that keeps Columbus’ name) that there were 5 continents, Africa, Europe, Asia, Oceania (Australia) and America. America the continent, is divided in three parts: South, Central and North.”

    Just thought I’d mention: Central America is not a continent, it is a section of North America. There are seven continents: North America, South America, Europe, Asia, Africa, Oceania (Australia), and Antarctica. And why would you be proud to be named after Columbus?

    Reply
  47. Ray -  October 13, 2013 - 7:13 pm

    I figured the capitol city of Connecticut should have been Glutibreaker…

    “Glutibreaker, Connecticut.” (hehehehehe…)

    I sort of always did like living in Sandy Ego, California…

    Reply
  48. Curious -  October 13, 2013 - 6:35 pm

    For the people above who insist that discovery is a legitimate term for Columbus’s bumbling onto this continent because he was the second European to arrive here, it takes a lot of arrogance to claim something is “discovered” only when your race finally comes across it. The appropriate thing would be to say Columbus discovered it for Europeans only because they were about the only people who came to know of it after Columbus. By that logic, the first African to step on these shores would have discovered it for Africans, the first Asian for Asians and so forth.
    .
    Whether you like it or not, Native Americans were the original discoverers of this continent and should get some credit for it instead of being (usually) overlooked because some people of Euro descent can’t comprehend anyone else discovering something not known to them.

    Also, the Noble Savage myth was created by Europeans and is used today to debunk Native Americans because they didn’t live up to some other group’s stereotypes. Still doesn’t excuse all the injustice that was piled upon them.

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  49. Billy Bob -  October 13, 2013 - 5:39 pm

    Sounds like some of us have an axe to grind. Try not to blame others for your poor self image. Your value is not based in your circumstances nor in the way people have treated you and/or your family.

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  50. Linda p -  October 13, 2013 - 5:39 pm

    When I went to school in the 70′s a man named americus, Christopher coumbus named the land he saw in 1492 America. Am I correct? I know that’s what I learned. Thank you, Linda.

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  51. aaa -  October 13, 2013 - 2:39 pm

    people remember these things happened a long time ago so calm yourselfs

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  52. Mrs Mallo -  October 13, 2013 - 11:45 am

    *Donations are taken up from individual people, also, to build schools, homes and fund orphanages in Haiti, Russia, Ethiopia, more. The building has been done by hand, by people of all beliefs, from the US and in the country itself. The full spectrum of what human beings need: physically, emotionally, materially, and spiritually are addressed. White people at work with others…wink.

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  53. Mrs Mallo -  October 13, 2013 - 11:24 am

    @Linda (from the Caribbean) – I love your entire comment! You made my day. What you said is true, positive, and so very American, in the spirit of love and brother/sisterhood! You are sunshine after the rain. Bless you.

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  54. Mrs Mallo -  October 13, 2013 - 11:20 am

    *is the USA’s oyster (oops!)

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  55. Mrs Mallo -  October 13, 2013 - 11:13 am

    “These are things that could have been learned from the native people of the new world if the white man wasn’t so vain, pompous, and egotistical.”

    You know, the “white man” does not exist. Every white person is an individual. Don’t other races consider themselves as individuals? Truly, what a racist term. And to label us ALL as vain, pompous, rapists, greedy, etc. etc. is racist and defamatory. Perhaps people are jealous of some great men’s and women’s achievements. Many others in the world are vain, arrogant, pompous, murderous, and all the things we are accused of. There are people in the US with those qualities. Out of 400 million people, of course there are! I am leaving Central and South America alone because I don’t feel I should drag them into an argument. My favorite country is Argentina, so what can I say. I appreciate North and all of Central and South America. I will just make one positive claim for the “white” man and woman. How about the…computer? And so much more technology. White dudes invented computers, software, and hardware. We are a people of invention, exploration and ideas. That is also why white folks developed a rocket that went to the moon. Now, we have people from all countries up there, in an amazing space station, orbiting the earth. We make trips there to replenish their supplies with Russian and other rockets. US white people (and other countries) have sent aid to almost every country on earth…sending it to every country, and all at one time, and for generations. Perhaps we have created a co-dependent relationship. It is natural for the needy to come to hate their helpers, at some point. We should empower with education and so much more – not just dollars. But at our church, alone, I have seen donations taken up and church buildings being built in Eastern Europe, Haiti and Mexico. What is ironic is that I agree about white people. Gah, we really do have a sense of entitlement, a stunning ignorance of other countries/cultures, no understanding so often of world geography (which is outrageous), and yes, we think the entire world in the USA’s oyster. It’s true. However…as bad as we can be…you must consider all the generosity, the kindness, the decency, the love of family, the respect that is our societal glue, and the openness we have to other countries in terms of legal immigration and foreign visitors. We are good-hearted despite our ancestors’ wicked pasts. We are loving people. The news may not show this. But, we are loving people and most of us would give a stranger in need our last dollar and the very shirt off of our backs. That is the truth! The US does have terrible sins in our past. But, looking at today, we are loving people who appreciate the different cultures and countries that we are made of. I hope some can agree. It is true. In love…

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  56. WVN777 -  October 13, 2013 - 11:11 am

    The Firesign Theatre said it in 1968 on their album called Waiting for the Electrician or Someone Like Him: “God Bless Vespucci-land.”

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  57. ZatanX -  October 13, 2013 - 10:34 am

    About the venerable Columbus and his celebrated discovery of America let me quote from the talk show Jimmy Kimmel live!:

    “Christopher Columbus gets too much credit. First he thought he was coming to India. Secondly, what did he discover? There were already people here. It’s like crashing your car through the door of a Starbucks and then saying you discovered coffee.”

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  58. Mrs Mallo -  October 13, 2013 - 10:19 am

    If the Vespucci version is true, we should celebrate “Vespucci Day”, rather than Columbus Day…eh? What is most puzzling, to us, is why we Americans don’t acknowledge that Native Americans already lived here; and had “settled” and named the land. Geez. Also, the French and others had already come here, before Columbus. Nothing against Columbus…but historically he is an usurper to the title of Mr. “Discovered America.” Anyone agree? All the best, folks! :)

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  59. Mikeztarp -  October 13, 2013 - 9:47 am

    Urmahbich, despite his name, is right: Colombus was late by about five centuries, as Leif Eriksson, son of Erik Thorvaldsson, more famously known as Erik the Red, discovered and settled in what is now Newfoundland in 1000 or 1001.

    If you really want to nitpick, Greenland is geographically part of America and was discovered by accident more than a century earlier by Gunnbjörn Ulfsson, who saw it but did not make landfall; another man named Snøbjörn Galti tried to start a settlement on Greenland in 978 but failed and was killed, which is why Erik the Red, the first man to actually settle permanently on Greenland (in 986), is popularly believed to have discovered it.

    My point is that Colombus and Vespucci are both irrelevant, and that if we wanted to be accurate it should be called Gunnbjarnarsker.

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  60. Victor Monterroso -  October 13, 2013 - 8:41 am

    Sinseramente todos estan equivocados porque Cristobal Colon le llamo America a este continente para darle el honor a Americo vespucio, el dijo cuando la descubrio, Americo busco por mucho tiempo esta tierra, llamesmosle America. su primer paso lo dio. En palo de hornos. Chile.

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  61. Katie -  October 13, 2013 - 8:29 am

    I often enjoy Blogchi’s stream of consciousness postings – why ban anyone, as long as it’s not demeaning to others or foul?

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  62. yeloon -  October 13, 2013 - 7:02 am

    america was named after erica I am erica remove i and no space for the am and erica america

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  63. Jake Holmes -  October 13, 2013 - 5:50 am

    Wow that is well cool

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  64. Zafer -  October 13, 2013 - 4:44 am

    America is a country thats caled america. Sry. Tha didnt mak sence. Im only 7. So i dont wat happend. Thanks

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  65. Yehuda -  October 13, 2013 - 1:12 am

    You seem to have forgotten about the fact that Columbus never actually set foot in what is now the US. He only got as far as Jamaica. Vespucci on the other hand, did.

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  66. matt deering -  September 10, 2013 - 11:30 am

    should the north america and south america be called a new world

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  67. Bryan -  November 22, 2012 - 5:42 pm

    “The Asian guy / Chinese guy who founded the Americas”:
    I have read that book by Gavin Menzies called 1421. It was a Chinese Muslim eunuch by the name of Zheng He (鄭和 in Chinese), originally named Ma He(馬和), who was also known as “Sanbao”( 三保 = which is homophonous with 三寶 meaning “Three jewels” in Chinese, in reference to the castration process of being a eunuch) who was a great advisor to the emperor who started this journey. These voyages were commissioned by Emperor Yongle (3rd emperor of the Ming dynasty. Ming dynasty = 1368 -1644.). According to my calculations extended by Joseph Needham’s comments, in Menzies’ book, on the Chinese almanac used by Zheng He, the year that he started his first voyage was in 1405, but later it was said that the funding for these voyages depleted the national treasury, due to the money used to make those large vessels, so they (the court officials who headed the national treasury of Yongle’s reign) made a decision and forced a close to the maritime navigation, his last and seventh voyage, which somehow ended by 1433. So should the USA be called The United States of Zheng (He was more famous in the Chinese court than Columbus ever was in the Spanish court!)?

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  68. Sheluyang Peng -  October 12, 2012 - 4:01 pm

    Whoever wrote this is wrong. America was named after Richard Ameryk, NOT vespucci. You can read about it in The Book of General Ignorance. after all, stuff is named after the last name, not the first.

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  69. Serene -  October 8, 2012 - 11:35 pm

    Archon, Sean and Peter, your sane comments are great…loved Peter’s question! It’s clear that no one on this forum has read “1421 The Year China Discovered the World” by Gavin Menzies………just to throw a few more cats among the pigeons!

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  70. Chris Zizzo -  October 8, 2012 - 11:05 pm

    God Bless Vespucciland!

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  71. JoshSan -  October 8, 2012 - 9:06 pm

    Disappointing. This reiterates various Columbus myths since disproved.

    For example: Columbus totally knew he was in America, and that he did not “discover” anything.

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  72. brian -  October 8, 2012 - 7:34 pm

    The Americas to be technically correct was not discovered by Columbus or Amerigo first, it was discovered by the Asians who crossed over to America using the land bridge that was there at the time.

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  73. Daniel -  October 8, 2012 - 7:07 pm

    On another note, as someone pointed out, the name should be “Columbia,” not “Columbusia,” “-us” being a common Latin suffix that can be easily replaced. And while there is a country called Colombia, Columbia also exists. It’s a poetic name for the US, as well as the name for the feminine personification of America (kind of like Germania). That’s why we have the District of Columbia, and Columbia University, and other stuff like Columbia Pictures. Just an extra FYI that the article didn’t mention.

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  74. Daniel -  October 8, 2012 - 7:04 pm

    For all these people arguing about “American,” first of all, the continents together are the Americas, not America. Individually they are North America and South America.

    Next, “America” by itself is unambiguously the short form for the USA. Yes, the full name is the United States OF America. However, there are also many other full names. The United Kingdom OF Great Britain (Great Britain or even just Britain for short), the People’s Republic OF China, the Federal Republic OF Germany, the Islamic Republic OF Iran.

    Of course the US is slightly different than those because we often go by the United States as well. In that case, the UK is the closest comparison, as they often go by the UK, similarly as they go by Britain. And I feel like this is the root of the problem — because we have different names to go by, it causes confusion with the name in language, especially since we have continents that share the name. Regardless, it’s unambiguous.

    Furthermore, the demonym “American” is even MORE unambiguously meant for a citizen of the US. For the English language, this is the only word that makes sense. This applies for pretty much every language except for Spanish (and maybe Portuguese?) because of their presence on the Americas.

    Does this mean it’s offensive to the other people of the western hemisphere to use “American” in this sense? Not really. One, never in my life have I ever needed to refer to someone that hails from either of the continents like I do for Asians, Africans, Europeans, or even more broadly, Eurasians, due to the lack of common culture throughout the WHOLE western hemisphere. If I do in the rare instance, “people from the Americas/western hemisphere” or “North and South Americans” would suffice. More often we have groups like North Americans (unambiguous), South Americans (unambiguous), Latin Americans (more culturally complete, unambiguous), and Native Americans.

    So in short, Canadians are not Americans. They’re North Americans though. Mexicans are not Americans either (in the national sense — you can have Mexican-Americans in the ethnic sense, but I digress), but they are also North Americans, Central Americans, and Latin Americans.

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  75. robert taylor -  October 8, 2012 - 7:00 pm

    America was not named after Vespucci but after a man from Bristol called Americk -simple as that.

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  76. Nazmul Bhuiyan -  October 8, 2012 - 5:59 pm

    haha i just finished a chapter on this

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  77. Wow! -  October 8, 2012 - 5:25 pm

    The question to the answer would be Columbus didn’t discover America, it’s a disgrace to the history of the United States if you fail to realize the truth. The fact that we even celebrate Columbus day is no better than celebrating for Hitler.

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  78. Mr -  October 8, 2012 - 5:09 pm

    Reading through these comments, I have come to find that there are many harsh feelings that when the word “America” is mentioned, thoughts immediately turn to the U.S.A. Let’s look at some things:
    1) U.S.A. is short for the United States of America, and it is simply that: a group of united states located in America
    2) As the early settlers from Europe came to America (the whole continent), they would simply say that they were going to America, not the specific place in America. Since the popular place was to go to the U.S.A. portion of the land, to say that you were going to America started to become synonymous with going to the U.S.A. portion, thus the first thought for the word of America is the U.S.A.
    3) Finally, over the course of world history, America has become the superpower in the Americas. The U.S.A. was established before many other current countries in the Americas existed as independent and separate countries from their mother land (for example Mexico separating for Spain, etc.). By America’s separation from England, it helped to spark other countries separation from Europe. Later on, during America’s imperialist stage, the U.S.A. began claiming countries in the Americas as territories of the U.S. So, because of America’s large presence in the continent, people are reminded of the large U.S. influence.
    Additionally, America has been the large superpower of the area. What other country in the Americas has had such a large impact on national history and news over the course of 200 years? Even since the birth of America, the U.S. was a major topic in politics in Europe and the world. Today, America still plays a large role in global politics due to the still large impact and influence that the U.S. has had on the world. If we look at World War II, a global event where almost everywhere was impacted, a large amount of driving force to win against the Germans was dependent upon the U.S., so this recognition of the U.S. from people that are still living is another reason. Similarily, we constantly hear the U.S.A. in world news, whereas we here less about countries like Cuba and Mexico, so we are constantly reminded of America.

    4) After looking at the history of the country, we must look at the nomenclature and name America itself. In the Americas, other countries have names like Cuba, Canada, Brazil, etc. where we can add a couple of letters at the end of the country name to identify where you are from. For example, we say Cuban, Canadian, and Brazilian for those countries. Now look at the U.S.A.: the United States of America. It does not work to say “I’m United”, nor “Statian”, nor “United Statian”, nor “Americanese”. “United American” and “Statian America” are both not really pleasing to the ear. Since we want a name that is associated with the country name, the only thing left in the name of U.S.A. is America, so we say American. Try it yourself, see if you can find a better name.
    Furthermore, countries in America, like Cuba and Canada, wouldn’t want to say “I’m American” even if it wasn’t thought automatically to be the U.S.A. It’s not specific to their country and is certaintly not direct enough conversationally. You would always have to answer the next question: what part. Since other countries follow their name, like Canadian for Canada, and the U.S.A. has no real other pleasing choice, American seems to be the only real candidate.

    So, America is associated with the U.S.A. because of the early popular saying of going to America, because of the large influence over the world, from its birth to today, of the U.S. over the world, and because names other than American, which still retain a refrence to the country name, are not pleasing to the ear. Don’t be mad at society or America for this, it’s not really their fault. If you read this, than thanks for reading, and I hope it answers the question.

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  79. Ryan Vigilante -  October 8, 2012 - 4:34 pm

    Well… they did call D.C. the “District of Columbia,” but they didn’t call America “Columbia.” Tell me why.

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  80. yrosi -  October 8, 2012 - 4:30 pm

    i think America is better than clumbusis or whatever. :)

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  81. Steeeeeeeeeeeeeeve -  October 8, 2012 - 3:03 pm

    Hey Jordan and everyone else too. He did not discover America. Some Chinese dude did!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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  82. I.Wonder -  October 8, 2012 - 1:28 pm

    The question I would like to see addressed on this site is why native Americans are called “Indians”. I understand that Columbus called them that because he thought he was in India, but I wonder why the name stuck. By the time any Europeans settled in the Americas, they knew it was not India, so why did that name continue to be used?

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  83. J -  October 8, 2012 - 12:15 pm

    This comment comes long after other discussion is underway.
    The United States of America is a COUNTRY. America is a Continent. The citizens of the USA are not the only Americans that exist. Canadians and Mexicans are also Americans.

    We should not make it difficult for continential citizens to tour different parts of the continent. Passports do not need to be presented to cross from Manhattan to Brooklyn, from Nevada to Utah.

    Yes, the relevance of this comment is neligiable. But this does make a contribution to the discussion.

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  84. bc -  October 8, 2012 - 12:10 pm

    Well, if it were up to me, I’d rather call it Leifland before calling it Columbusia. If we’re going to give credit where it’s due, it’ll go to the Vikings.

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  85. Joe -  October 8, 2012 - 12:03 pm

    Oh come on guys Columbus didn’t ‘discover’ America, there were already many natives already there. I think that he may have ‘destroyed’ America at the time, might have fit in better. But anyway the name thing yeah that sounds about right.

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  86. Mackenzie -  October 8, 2012 - 11:55 am

    uh….Connor……

    I think it was named after Vespucci, because his first name was Amerigo. (Get it, Amerigo, America?) But imagine how it would be to live in the United States of Vespuccia……lol ;)

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  87. Connor -  October 8, 2012 - 10:47 am

    Tony was 100% correct

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  88. Connor -  October 8, 2012 - 10:39 am

    Wrong, it is not named after Vespucci, if it was named after him it would be called Vespuccia or something. Lands discovered by someone are never, never named after someone’s first name – take the Cook Islands (Captain James Cook) or Tasmania (Abel Tasman).
    It was discovered by an explorer named Giovanni Caboto (or John Cabot)on a ship named Matthew, who was funded by a rich merchant from Bristol named Richard Ameryk in 1497, two years before Vespucci. (Caboto’s voyages later went on to lay the foundations for Canada and America.) Obviously, Ameryk would have wanted the land to be named after, since he funded Caboto he would have expected that in his name.
    Furthermore, Vespucci visited South America (which came from Ameryk’s America not Amerigo’s) not North America. Waldseemüller would have come across the name America and assumed, not knowing much about Caboto’s funding or Vespucci’s travels, that a logical solution would be Vespucci’s first name’s latin translation, also America was a term used only in Bristol – a place where Waldseemüller was unlikely to visit.
    There is an entry in the Bristol calendar for that year which quotes “on St. John the Baptist’s day, the land of America was founded by the marchants of Bristowe [Old English for Bristol], in a ship of Bristowe called the Matthew.”
    Therefore, it was not discovered by Vespucci, but Giovanni Caboto who was funded by Richard Ameryk.

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  89. Creed -  October 8, 2012 - 9:09 am

    Columbus didn’t discover america smart ones he simply landed there because there was already Native Americans there and 500 years before Columbus there were the Vikings on the land.

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  90. Mary -  October 8, 2012 - 7:50 am

    The United States is, I believe, the only country in “America” to include America in its official name. It is the United States of America. Other names are not given as Canada of America, Mexico of America, Peru of America, or any other OF America. That is why we are referred to as Americans, while others are referred to as Canadians, Mexicans, etc.

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  91. Miranda -  October 8, 2012 - 5:42 am

    How did the “turkey” get its name?

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  92. Yankiemog -  October 8, 2012 - 12:38 am

    It would be nice if Dictionary had taken the trouble to find out that John Cabot has always been credited with the discovery of mainland continental America.
    Vikings were the first to go there but the medieval world could not know that.
    Columbus bumped into the islands in the Carribean, south of Florida and called it the ‘Indies’ because he thought it was India. We now call it the ‘West Indies’ No one disputes that Vespucci gave it the name but JOHN CABOT discovered America. This does not denigrate Columbus’ achievement

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  93. Bartu -  October 8, 2012 - 12:15 am

    I recon America should have been called columbusia.

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  94. JamesC -  May 28, 2012 - 9:09 pm

    The USA is called America for short because at the time of its Declaration of Independence in 1776, it was the only sovereign state in either North or South America that was not subject to a European power. There was no Mexico or Peru or Colombia or Canada or Brazil. There was Spain, Portugal and Britain France and the United States of America.

    The USA did not start referring to itself as a way of putting down any other country in the Americas since there were no other American countries then just the subjects of European powers. Every square inch outside the borders of the USA was claimed by some King or Queen in Europe. The USA was just saying we are not beholden to Europe. There was no other country at the time that could do that. That did not change for several decades.

    The First Nations did not form countries and did not call the area America and did not care what the new Republic’s citizens called themselves. They already had their own identity.

    There is no one stopping any other nation’s citizens from calling themselves Americans. If you want to do that cool.

    From my perspective the Mexicans are making an even bolder statement than the USA since Mexico is named not after a European label (America being given to the New World by Europe) but after the Nauhatl people–the Mexica–otherwise known as Aztec and the symbol on the flag is straight from the founding mythology of the Aztec people. It looks like they rejected any label put on them by Europeans and claimed their own identity. (It sucks if you are one of the Natives groups who were oppressed and sacrificed on the alter by the Aztecs before the Spanish arrived.)

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  95. Ryan -  February 26, 2012 - 10:29 pm

    wow…for all i know now America could have been named after peanut butter jelly sandwhiches, just rumours…..

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  96. Anonymous -  February 24, 2012 - 3:25 pm

    I once heard that America was named after (by extension) a Hungarian king. King Imre was canonised, and the English version of his name was Emeric. Since his mother was a Catholic, she wanted to name her son after a saint. Emeric was then Italian-ised to make Amerigo. Then it was changed to America by the cartographers.

    This is just an interesting rumour I heard and I’m afraid I can’t find anything to back it up with, so don’t take it as a gospel truth.

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  97. Anastasia -  February 11, 2012 - 2:42 am

    In my history book, the name “America” was thought that Amerigo Vespucci but he was an Italian and sailed for Spain and Portugal and he went to South America and realised that it was not Asia. So Amerigo might not be the name of America.

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  98. CerealKiller -  February 3, 2012 - 1:48 pm

    I think “Columbia” fits better

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  99. Malik -  October 31, 2011 - 6:01 am

    This is the last comment.

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  100. Malik -  October 20, 2011 - 12:39 pm

    If you read this, click on my name and type flabbergast in the comment below.

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  101. Grandma Judy -  October 17, 2011 - 11:58 pm

    Did Columbus call the natives Indians? Or did someone else do that? It did have to be someone believing the island Columbus accidentally bumped into was part of India.

    Most of us know Columbus was no hero, but all those Italians who celebrate Columbus Day as one of their greatest holidays love him. Let them celebrate the person who means so much to them. It shouldn’t affect the rest of us. It means nothing to us, except maybe sale prices on furniture and mattress sets.

    It’s probably not worth it to say, black natives of Africa captured and sold other black natives of Africa to be taken away as slaves to various places in the world. Eventually, some countries voted slavery out, while some countries still practice slavery.

    In our country, the union of states that voted against slavery, under the directions of our white Republican President, Abraham Lincoln, went to war to end slavery in the rest of the states. Approximately 2.2 million white soldiers joined the Union Army to free the black slaves when the politicians couldn’t manage to get it done peacefully. Of those, about 360,000 died and 280,000 were wounded. That’s over 28%. And yet, so many descendants of those freed slaves hate the descendants of those Union soldiers to this very day. If asked for their nationality, do they call themselves Americans, Africans, or African Americans?

    And why don’t people in Mexico want to be called Mexicans or Native Americans? If I had ancestors from Mexico, I’d much rather be thought of as Native American than Spanish. And as a Native American, I would expect the right to go back and forth across the Mexican-American border at will. Native Americans shouldn’t have reservations or political boundaries. They should be free to travel the entire length and breadth of all of the Americas because no one ever had the legal right to take that privilege away from them.

    Can a DNA test tell if a person is mostly Native American? I’m just asking. I don’t know anything.

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  102. Shaun -  October 14, 2011 - 5:26 pm

    I didn’t read all the way through the comments so this may have been addressed, but as to why the USA is referred to as just America, it’s just a shortening of United States of America, just as the People’s Republic of China is just referred to as China.

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  103. Dave Thomas -  October 14, 2011 - 2:46 pm

    So after about the tenth comment that repeated itself, I stopped reading, so someone may have beat me to this, but the name “America” is unlikely to have come from Vespucci. As far back as the 12th century, Templars wrote of a land across the ocean called “Merica,” and seem to refer to it as a rather well known fact among certain circles. I’m fairly certain I’ve come across the name from other sources in writings far predating Vespucci, as well, but I can’t recall where at the moment. Much like Columbus discovering the Americas, which is pretty much a silly idea with what we know of history now, (in fact, there’s little reason to think the upper tier of educated peoples in Europe and Asia hadn’t known of the Americas for a VERY long time,) the pairing of Vespucci with the name “America” is just a very poor attempt at propping up certain cultural heroes and to take credit for the works of others. Sadly, propagating such nonsense tends to stifle the growth of true knowledge. :/

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  104. tamru -  October 13, 2011 - 4:08 pm

    @Carlitos

    I am glad you admit your bias. Nevertheless, it is a pitiful attempt at semantics. You could just as easily have said the white colonists, but you chose not to. Your racism reveals itself yet again, and you continue to generalize white people in nearly every post. The only sort of politicizing you do is the kind where you rail against whites, while promoting a fantasy view of “Native” utopia. Faced with any kind of fact you turn to disparaging science and sidelining history. How come?

    Sorry, incoherent New Age ramblings about nature and “wise old natives” make rather poor arguments (ctrl+F and search his posts for evidence).

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  105. leigh -  October 13, 2011 - 2:20 pm

    @Archon

    - thank you for the correct explanation of how Canada came by its name.

    As a Canadian, I am not at all offended that the people of the United States of America are referred to as ‘American’, though we are all ‘North Americans’. I don’t know any Canadians who are offended by this.

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  106. preethijeevi -  October 12, 2011 - 11:29 pm

    Wikimedia*Santoshrs5**me@wiki*

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  107. Carlitos -  October 12, 2011 - 1:06 am

    @Svenjamin on October 11, 2011 at 12:40 pm
    Hey “Builder”, thanks for sticking up for “Blogchi” I always think that his/her commentary IS relevant and appropriate, whereas merely bashing someone is more than useless especially if you fail to comment on the actual topic.
    Here is some food for thought concerning conquering new lands (thank you Neil Young for being so provocative and meaningful in your poetry):

    “Pocahontas”

    -Rock on! A true artist is Neil Young.

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  108. Carlitos -  October 12, 2011 - 1:01 am

    @tamru on October 11, 2011 at 10:02 am
    “What’s with the censorship? I’m just telling the truth.

    Carlitos is a closet racist. Just follow his posts around this blog. He tries to politicize everything, on a blog about words. Insecure much?

    No one today will argue that Columbus was the first human to discover the Americas, but to people who’ve never known it was there, that’s what it seemed like. Humans finding new land and settling that land (even if it was inhabited) is a phenomenon seen around the world, across many cultures. To say that all white people are “vain, pompous, and egotistical” because of this is a rather hateful generalization, and reveals Carlitos’ inherent bias.”

    -I did not say ‘all white people’, I said “white man” which is a generalized term used by Native Americans to describe who they feel are criminal perpetrators against their nation and people. So it was within that context, and should not classify me as a rascist. Biased? Yes, sure. I’ll give you that.

    In a world of omnipresent injustice and intolerance; plagued with cruelty of many types and lacking in understanding and compassion, populated by a race of “intelligent” beings arrogant and wrong to believe they are the only ones in the universe and created by a divine being – you bet I politicize. And I will as long as I feel it is a way to sound the alarm and keep peoples’ eyes open and unblind to the imbalance.

    Reply
  109. Carlitos -  October 12, 2011 - 12:50 am

    @Paul Trombley on October 11, 2011 at 9:01 am

    -Hey Trombley, you’re obviously smart but you don’t listen. You have a bad understanding of what these Occupy protests are all about. I encourage you to open your eyes, your ears, and quiet your mind for awhile.

    Reply
  110. Carlitos -  October 12, 2011 - 12:27 am

    @Bevan on October 11, 2011 at 1:46 am
    “Carlitos sympathisers, please consider what has already been mentioned yet you’ve seemingly failed to grasp. You can only discover what already exists. If it does not exist, you cannot discover it. To take that a step further; discovery can only occur for those who do not know something is there. Since the rest of the developing world didn’t know America existed, and were obviously interested in mapping the world, this was indeed a discovery. To say it was not, because some other people were already living there, is absurd. Discovery is always from the point of view of the discoverer and holidays tend to be celebrated due to their relevance, and relevance is determined by many things but in this case it would be the population majority who descend from the discoverers. Duh! To every primitive culture romanticising, white man hating moron out there I have this to say. The world was coming, mankind was expanding its capabilities and knowledge. The land known today as the Americas (among others e.g. Australia, New Zealand etc.) joining the rest of the world was inevitable. Your views and grievances are an over simplification of the world, mankind and life. Had the primitive cultures had the technology and knowledge of the developing world then they would have done exactly the same as those who did possess the technology. Perhaps they’d have been even more brutal about it, which is likely given the savage and cannibalistic nature of many. This is the nature of man; to learn, discover, expand and conquer. NO culture or race is exempt! Read a history book or two. Nothing has changed under the sun. Native Americans are no different from those all over the world over thousands of years who have preceded them either by being conquered or conquering. Did you really expect the world to just stand by and leave you alone just because you were there first? Are you just naive or stupid?! Perhaps if the primitive cultures hadn’t been so primitive they wouldn’t have been pushed around so much. But instead their cultures, beliefs and superstitions kept them in technological darkness and they were overtaken. Some cultures became so pathetic they lost the art of making fire. Please understand that this is a disgusting regression for any human existence! Be thankful you live in a democratic country where your ignorant voice is tolerated. It could have just as easily gone another way. Historically and statistically it should have gone another way. Nevertheless, the world came; it just happened to be white. It wasn’t perfect, but thank God it was democratic. All in all, what is done is done and was unavoidable. Get over it!”

    -Bevan, I like your logic, but it doesn’t end there. Please see Carol’s comment. The white man is still coming. For you and your democracy. Take warning! The white man is still coming, and coming FOR YOU!

    Reply
  111. Carlitos -  October 12, 2011 - 12:23 am

    @Carol on October 11, 2011 at 12:34 am
    “@ Kingsepp
    Some clarity on the word Discovery in the context of who was claiming discovery. People are not what, but rather who. The naming of this act as a discovery was an air of superiority – claiming the land was for the taking and its inhabitants thought of as “less than human” because the indigenous were seen as inferior. Today’s understanding of the word “discover” is used more broadly. Make no mistake, in the days of Columbus, discovered land was a means of claiming ownership of the land. Discovering the land, what, without acknowledging the inhabitants, who, was plainly a means of serving self and demeaning others in ways that destroy all.”

    -VERY well said.

    Reply
  112. Carlitos -  October 12, 2011 - 12:19 am

    @justaman on October 10, 2011 at 6:41 pm
    “@carlitos…..true, although we can’t go back. Materialism is the curse of mankind. All cultures have embraced it. A survey of all cultures will disclose this.

    We have to work within the system we have…….remember……no entrepreneurs…..no businesses…….no jobs, whether you work in the public or private sector……nothing. Public sector jobs are paid by tax dollars, no businesses to provide jobs, no tax revenue. Everything stops…..sound familiar? How about the current economic environment?

    Will we all revert to life a-la 1832? I don’t think so. People like technology and the creature comforts afforded by the advances present in modern day living.”

    -Of course. We might return to that world someday. Nature may make it so just as some wise old Natives know. Sun spots rendering all integrated circuits useless, magnetic field reversal, ecological catastrophe. Those who are connected to the Earth and can listen to her may survive. Those who can’t definitely will not.

    Reply
  113. Carlitos -  October 12, 2011 - 12:16 am

    @Walter on October 10, 2011 at 6:37 pm
    Of course the early explorers “discovered” America.

    “Are you seriously going to say that if NASA goes to another world where there is life that the astronauts cannot write, tweet or radio back to the rest of us here on planet Earth that they have discovered life in case in some ridiculously politically correct world of the future the aliens might say that we couldn’t have “found” them because they were not lost, or we couldn’t have “discovered” them because they already knew that they were there?

    Just as those astronauts will be human beings relating their findings to other human beings, the early explorers were Europeans writing for a European audience in books that were going onto European shelves to be read by Europeans.

    The native Americans could equally have written their own accounts of how they discovered these white strangers on their beaches or found them roaming their plains and they could have placed such tomes on their native American library shelves or bookshops for other native Americans to read. I hope they did.”

    -That’s a bad analogy. We’re all humans on this Earth. Nothing was discovered other than that humans had already migrated to North America. What was recorded in the history books we read is basically “science”. But you’ll note that every once in a while, we have to re-write those books as our understanding evolves. Just as Pluto is no longer a proper planet, Columbus did not discover the New World. It was already discovered, with thousands of years of rich history.

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  114. Maya -  October 11, 2011 - 6:12 pm

    @Ryan:

    ► We are named Latinos because we speak a “romance language”, which means our language is a mix of Sermo Vulgaris Or Latin Vulgaris -Or simply Latin- with a few other dialects. The Romance languages (sometimes referred to as Romanic languages, Latin languages or Neo-Latin languages) is the origin of portuguese, italiano, spanish, french and many many other languages. ◄

    @SegioCatalan:

    ►No se de donde seas, pero tu español es muy bueno. Te felicito. =) ◄

    Reply
  115. avg -  October 11, 2011 - 5:25 pm

    “european settlements in the 18th-19th century” of course also refer to american settlements.

    Reply
  116. Pinki -  October 11, 2011 - 5:19 pm

    I agree with Carlitos- Columbus didn’t “discover” America, there were Native Americans already living there. In my opinion, America should NOT be named after Columbus (no offense). He did so many things that were just so wrong!

    Reply
  117. avg -  October 11, 2011 - 5:19 pm

    @carlitos
    As others have mentioned, the Native Americans (or Indians, as we call them in my mother tongue) had their fair share of rivalries, brutality, and nature exploitation before european settlers and conquerors showed up. They did not have the european diseases because they didn’t have much contact with animals. They did not domesticate animals.

    The Native American culture and peoples were not morally superior to the europeans regarding their treatment of people and natural resources, before and after the white men arrived. As evidenced, for example, by their horrific human sacrifice rituals, and mass hunting of buffaloes (“before the introduction of horses, bison were herded into large chutes made of rocks and willow branches and then stampeded over cliffs.” – taken from wikipedia) before the arrival of white men, and also their vicious hunting of the beaver populations, almost to the brink of extinction, for trading with white colonials for metal implements and tools and, lo and behold, especially for modern weapons, such as guns and rifles. They were also known for their absolutely horrifying raids on secluded european settlements during the 18th-19th century. They were never morally superior, simply technologically inferior.

    I said that the Native Americans had a wide network of commerce and political intrigues with white men to emphasize the fact that their relation to european settlers was not a simple run-of-the-mill victim-victimizer dynamics, and the Native American populace were not better in any way then the europeans.

    By the way, I don’t care one bit about Columbus Day, since I’m not from the USA. I do think that columbus was a rather nasty greedy individual, and should not have a day named after him, but I also think he should be judged by the moral standards and attitudes of his time (which were pretty bad when it came to non-white and/or non-christian populations) and I cannot deny the importance of his arrival to the American shorelines in the European collective historical perspective.

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  118. sean -  October 11, 2011 - 2:42 pm

    The fact that people call the United States of America ‘America’ is not down to stupidity or ignorance, but rather convention. It is a convention that was common to both English and Spanish before the independence of the Spanish American colonies. Before the emergence of independent nations in America Europeans said that they were going to ‘America’ or ‘Las Americas’, wherever it happened to be in the continent. As Spanish America split up into Mexico, Peru, Argentina, etc. it no longer made sense to just say ‘Juan is going to America’ and for obvious reasons they started saying ‘Juan is going to Mexico, Pero, Argentina etc.’ Since Anglo-Saxon America didn’t ultimately break up into lots of different countries (just the US and Canada) people continued to say ‘John is going to America’, when referring to the former 13 colonies or the big land mass which developed into the current US – there was no overwhelming reason to change that usage, so the convention stuck. If Spanish America had developed into one or two large entities I’m sure Spanish speakers would still say ‘Juan va a America/Las Americas’.

    As far as not having a word for United Statesians is concerned it seems to be a characteristic or weakness of English rather than a historical plot – consider the United Kingdom; despite its being the cradle of the English language there is no accurate word in English to describe the nationality of someone from that country – British is the default word, but not strictly accurate because the UK is made up of Britain and Northern Ireland.

    As far as all the nasty thieving, raping, murdering Europeans are concerned, the majority of their descendents are obviously living in the Americas, not in Europe, and are often the wealthy who have managed to maintain their priveleges over the centuries. So if you are going to get angry about all that and start pointing fingers you better be of the indigenous population, because if not then you are talking about your ancestors and should be pointing the finger at yourself, not at somebody whose ancestors never set foot in America.

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  119. LaNao -  October 11, 2011 - 2:10 pm

    I have heard in the past that calling our country America or calling yourself an American is offensive to other people who live on North, Central, or South America because they can technically be considered Americans too. So I’ve always tried to say United States and USA and stuff like that.

    Sometimes we take political correctness too far. I realized this is one of those areas. Here’s why:

    We call it Brazil. Real name: Federative Republic of Brazil
    We call it the UK, Britain, England, etc. Real name: United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
    We call it Bulgaria. Real name: Republic of Bulgaria
    We call it Iran. Real name: Islamic Republic of Iran
    We call it Mexico. Real name: United Mexican States
    We call it Spain. Real name: Kingdom of Spain
    We call it Greece. Real name: Hellenic Republic
    We call it Laos. Real name: Lao People’s Democratic Republic

    My country’s official name is the United States of America. But I think precedent and popular opinion show that it is not only acceptable but also expected to drop all the formalities and just say America/American.

    Reply
  120. SergioCatalan -  October 11, 2011 - 2:03 pm

    sea como sea, Colon al momento de venir abrio la puerta a la colonizacion lo que trajo el gran anvance en tecnologia que impulso el comienzo de nuestro tiempo, nadie mas tuvo el valor de crusar todo el oceano con reos de tripulacion para colonizar toda esta tierra. Otra cosa, America es “TODA AMERICA” no solo los USA, en mi trabajo llaman personas solicitando hablar con alguien “americano” lol, alguien de mexico, guatemala, el salvador, nicaragua, honduras, panama, costa rica, cuba, colombia, chile, peru, argentina, belice, las guyanas, brazil, ecuador, uruguay, paraguay… (falto alguno) buen dia.

    Try to learn another language, like me.

    Reply
  121. Peter -  October 11, 2011 - 1:58 pm

    Who discovered Africa?

    Reply
  122. madmex -  October 11, 2011 - 1:45 pm

    America is a continent not a country, btw it is a Spanish name.
    All of us who were born in this continent from Alaska to Chile are americans.

    Reply
  123. Vikhaari -  October 11, 2011 - 1:20 pm

    Mixed, for discovering something and calling it a new world..
    As usual learned a lot.
    Thank you.

    Reply
  124. Anonymous -  October 11, 2011 - 12:47 pm

    Columbus……….1492……………America, im gettin these notes down….

    Reply
  125. Svenjamin -  October 11, 2011 - 12:40 pm

    Hey “Builder”, thanks for sticking up for “Blogchi” I always think that his/her commentary IS relevant and appropriate, whereas merely bashing someone is more than useless especially if you fail to comment on the actual topic.
    Here is some food for thought concerning conquering new lands (thank you Neil Young for being so provocative and meaningful in your poetry):

    “Pocahontas”

    Aurora borealis
    The icy sky at night
    Paddles cut the water
    In a long and hurried flight
    From the white man
    to the fields of green
    And the homeland
    we’ve never seen.

    They killed us in our tepee
    And they cut our women down
    They might have left some babies
    Cryin’ on the ground
    But the firesticks
    and the wagons come
    And the night falls
    on the setting sun.

    They massacred the buffalo
    Kitty corner from the bank
    The taxis run across my feet
    And my eyes have turned to blanks
    In my little box
    at the top of the stairs
    With my Indian rug
    and a pipe to share.

    I wish a was a trapper
    I would give thousand pelts
    To sleep with Pocahontas
    And find out how she felt
    In the mornin’
    on the fields of green
    In the homeland
    we’ve never seen.

    And maybe Marlon Brando
    Will be there by the fire
    We’ll sit and talk of Hollywood
    And the good things there for hire
    And the Astrodome
    and the first tepee
    Marlon Brando, Pocahontas and me
    Marlon Brando, Pocahontas and me
    Pocahontas.

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  126. Mylene -  October 11, 2011 - 11:56 am

    If you want to get technical, migrating Eurasian people discovered the continent about 12,000 years ago when they crossed the Beringia, the land bridge which joined present-day Alaska and eastern Siberia during the ice age, and settled there.

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  127. ahmed -  October 11, 2011 - 11:53 am

    america is good country, but I don,t know where that name came from originaly, but I heard one of the finders that country his name was america.

    Reply
  128. Bork McGork -  October 11, 2011 - 11:48 am

    Hey guys,

    “Comprised of” is a grammatical construct people use when trying to sound smart. “Comprising” or “composed of” are the viable alternatives.

    Reply
  129. Solomon Spalding -  October 11, 2011 - 11:39 am

    @ Marcela:
    “It is wrong to refer to the US as America.” According to who? A logical abbreviation certainly would not make it wrong according to reason. United States of America, America for short. That really does not seem that offensive. What would you have us call our country? Just “the United States”?

    In line with your reasoning, I had a Spanish teacher in middle school who insisted Americans would be reviled in foreign countries if we introduced ourselves as Americans versus North Americans. I have traveled extensively since middle school and have found this to be untrue, in my experience. Further, the distinction does not make sense. I am from the country with “America” in its name. For better or worse, I am an American. My friend is from Colombia; she is a Colombian. I have never heard anyone self identify with reference to their continent.

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  130. ryan -  October 11, 2011 - 11:29 am

    For those Latinos who like to complain about the USA being referred to as “America”….it’s erroneous for you to be labeled “Latin”–you’re not Roman/Italian nor do you speak Latin. It’s not “Latin” America either. Mexico is named after the Mexica Indians but they weren’t the only people in what’s now Mexico and most Mexicans are mixed Spanish-Indian (Aztec, Maya, etc.)

    Reply
  131. ellia -  October 11, 2011 - 11:17 am

    such a conversation this inspired. I think there is room for BLOGCHI…
    I hope I find time to read through more of the entries/blogs—getting a big picture.

    Reply
  132. James Pedrotti -  October 11, 2011 - 11:09 am

    History is a story. We all have our perceptions of it. The only thing that should be said is that those with a narrow view display their ignorance on a shelf. We are all ignorant of many things, but please take the time to be aware of your ignorance. It seems that only those who display a broader view of history understand it at all. The historian’s fallacy states that those who lived before us didn’t have the knowledge that we have today and thusly we shouldn’t judge them based on today’s norms.

    Reply
  133. Ian Shay -  October 11, 2011 - 10:37 am

    Carlitos and friends – the book 1491 clarifies a lot about the peoples of the Americas before the arrival of Columbus, avoiding the romanticization of the Indians, but giving proper credit to how populous, advanced, and old their civilizations were. The Europeans did not stumble upon a primordial wilderness unmarked by the hand of man, but rather a continent deeply shaped by the peoples who were living there. It’s a good read, check it out.

    Reply
  134. mhood1 -  October 11, 2011 - 10:17 am

    Marcela is right, “America” really means everything from Alaska to Argentina, not just the USA. TheTurgidOne is also right; “American” is the easiest term to use in English; furthermore the USA is the only country to have “America” in its official name. Too bad English lacks a word like the Spanish “Estadounidense”, meaning someone from the USA.

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  135. nick -  October 11, 2011 - 10:15 am

    The Amerigo Vespucci theory is flawed. Why would you name a place using somebodies first name (unless of royal ilk)? You’d be hard pressed to find any such example in the whole world i would imagine. If it WERE named for him, it would have been called Vespuccia or something.

    I read somewhere (I forget now) that it was named for a Welsh land owner or something like that.

    Reply
  136. MSB -  October 11, 2011 - 10:11 am

    Native American. I really don’t like that phrase. I’m a Native American. I was born in the USA! That makes me native alright. I’m also an African American. My ancestors just migrated north a few … dozen … millenia before other families.

    I don’t mind “discovery” being credited to some folks and not others. Heck, I’m making discoveries everyday. They’re new to me anyway. Doesn’t matter from my perspective if someone else first discovered it centuries ago.

    You go, Amerigo. Even if you weren’t the first, or even if that wasn’t your real name (a pen name maybe?) It works. Besides, the etymology of a word is pointless. That sound (e.g. America) is equated with an object now. The etymologists only go back so far. They give Greek and Latin roots. But where did the Greeks and Romans get the words?

    Somewhere, back in prehistoric times, Gronk the caveman discoverd fire and gave it a name. Despite the fact it was already discovered and named by Clurg the coast dweller and Fratisha wife of Brorg. Thus ensued the very first world war. But that’s another story :)

    Reply
  137. tamru -  October 11, 2011 - 10:02 am

    What’s with the censorship? I’m just telling the truth.

    Carlitos is a closet racist. Just follow his posts around this blog. He tries to politicize everything, on a blog about words. Insecure much?

    No one today will argue that Columbus was the first human to discover the Americas, but to people who’ve never known it was there, that’s what it seemed like. Humans finding new land and settling that land (even if it was inhabited) is a phenomenon seen around the world, across many cultures. To say that all white people are “vain, pompous, and egotistical” because of this is a rather hateful generalization, and reveals Carlitos’ inherent bias.

    Reply
  138. Milos -  October 11, 2011 - 9:52 am

    Jim Kingsepp makes a good observation. I would just like to add to what he wrote that: If the Indians came to Europe we would definitely say that they have discovered the “Old World” which would in that case be the “New World” because their observation point would have to be considered for that too. ;0)

    This is really a question of who goes where. Or even wider: who performs the action, and who is an object of this action.
    For example if Martians come to Earth, we could say that they discovered Earth and Earhlings – and if we went to Mars and found them, we could say that we discovered Mars and Martians.

    And to drive this point all the way, let me also add that just naming something is not enough, but you also need to put it in writting so others can use it too.
    So if somebody is offended by Europeans coming to a certain continent and calling it a “discovery”, and putting their names on things that already had names, just remember that it’s a bit like patent right: If came up with it first – you make the rules. If the native Americans were so kind to draw a map and put their names on it, most probably Europeans would have used it as it is. Instead Europeans had to draw their own map and naturally put names of senile British monarchs to show how good subjects they are instead of using their own names for their own discoveries.

    And this is, when you think about it, so pathetic and lame that Native Americans really have nothing to complain about.
    Let’s say you discovered a new chemical element or an island or something like that: i could understand if you would name it after yourself or your father/mother/girlfriend, but if you name it Obamium or Victorium – that’s slave mentality. Think about it: Every such name around the map is another monument to lack of selfesteem to the man who named it. ;0)

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  139. Tony -  October 11, 2011 - 9:52 am

    I’ve always understood that it’s unlikely that America was named after Vespucci because only royals had their first names used when naming places. If it had been named after Vespucci, it would probably have been called Vespuccia.

    I don’t know whether it’s true, but someone once suggested it was named after a 15th Century Welsh merchant, Richard ap Meryk (usually anglicised as Americk or Amerike), who financed John Cabot’s voyage to the New World in 1497. This does seem more likely, but there is no strong evidence to support this theory (although there isn’t any for Vespucci either!)

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  140. Elise -  October 11, 2011 - 9:48 am

    interesting but it Americans should not call their country America, as America refers to a continent and on that continent there are three countries, Canada, United States OF America and Mexico. It is almost as if for some Americans there are no other countries on that continent or that they think of themselves so important that their country has swallowed the other other ones. Americans who refer to their country as United States of America deserve much more respect in other countries.

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  141. TheTurgidOne -  October 11, 2011 - 9:47 am

    “America” technically refers to North, Central and South America, or so my Quebec-separatist friends would have me believe, and I agree with them (and Marcela, above). I don’t believe U.S. citizens co-opted the word “Americans” deliberately — it was just a way-easier reference vs. those “United Statesians”.

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  142. adpadill -  October 11, 2011 - 9:18 am

    The continent as a whole was named America, not only the U.S.

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  143. SpatialK -  October 11, 2011 - 9:17 am

    What I would like to know, is why has the U.S.A. become known as “America” when both North and South America together should be known as that. Is it just laziness that make people for get the “of” part of what U.S.A. stands for? The U.S.A. is just one of many countries in “America”.

    Reply
  144. Paul Trombley -  October 11, 2011 - 9:01 am

    “…if the white man wasn’t so vain, pompous, and egotistical.”

    -Carlitos

    This ignorant bigot, Carlitos, also offered the generalization that “what he [Columbus] really did was pave the way for the conquest of already inhabited lands by Europeans, greedy for wealth and power.”

    Let’s recall how few “vain, pompous, and egotistical” Europeans were invovled in this “conquest”. In fact, not only was only a tiny minority of all Europeans involved but also the involved Europeans were frequently sponsored by a government. (Anyone ever hear of Ferdinand and Isabella?)

    We can say without hyperbole that Columbus Day celebrates the arrival in the western hemisphere of a particular type of European collectivism, not to mention of Israelitic superstition. But neither collectivism, a root of which is always greed, nor superstition were alien to the western hemisphere, although of course not all the residents found there by Europeans had been collectivized.

    Anyhow, it’s ironic that a number of other collectivists, mostly European in descent and all of them radically arrogant, celebrated Columbus Day of 2011 by holding mass rallies and marches for socialism in many places of the USA. The ones in Chicago, for example, angrily denounced corporate greed (but failed to call for abolition of incorporation, which no free market would have), angrily demanded more funding for communistic education (but failed to explain why it’s prudent to subsidize a failed and inefficient system), cried out “Tax The Rich” (but failed to explain how to end the corruption through which some superwealthy people get that way), and postured as peaceful demonstrators (but failed to explain how any of their agenda could be implemented without governmental aggression and violence).

    Well, I hope that Columbus Day in 2012, on Monday, Oct. 8., will be a happy one for all Delawarians, Pennsylvanians, New Jerseyans, and so forth. Of course, Columbus arrived on Oct. 12, which suggests another celebration on Friday if not also fun throughout the week, too.

    P.S. to Jim Kingsepp: Columbus didn’t discover any hemisphere or continent that hadn’t been uncovered prior to his arrival. On the other hand, there is the irony of the discovery that Columbus was confused about where he’d been and what he’d done.

    Reply
  145. Mafalda -  October 11, 2011 - 8:59 am

    Columbus doesn´t deserve anything, he came looking for a land that his Queen could invade and steal everything. They killed our native people.

    Reply
  146. Cristian Huidobro -  October 11, 2011 - 8:48 am

    Good piece of history, but it didn’t answer the question: Why is the U.S.A. (and while you’re at it, it’s inhabitants) called America?

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  147. mysti -  October 11, 2011 - 8:23 am

    “Why is the USA called America?”
    Becuase people are too lazy or incompetant to know that USA is merely one country in the continant of America.

    Reply
  148. scramblirr -  October 11, 2011 - 8:02 am

    America is NOT named after amerigo vespucci. We know this simply by the fact that it would have to be taken from his first name. Only royalty could name a place using their first name (victoria in australia, jamestown, georgetown etc) if the place is named after the person who found it then it must take their surname (falkland islands, cook islands, hudson river, straits of magellan etc) The most likely source for the name of America is Richard Americ. He was a welshman on a british ship sailing to the newly discovered world. please email me with an responses as i dont frequent the website often GIGATHANATOTHERIUM@HOTMAIL.CO.UK

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  149. luke -  October 11, 2011 - 7:55 am

    I agree with Carlitos.

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  150. Howard -  October 11, 2011 - 7:54 am

    The 1497 voyage by John Cabot to the Labrador coast of Newfoundland constitutes yet another discovery of the American mainland, which led to an early 20th-century account of the naming of America, recently revived, that claims the New World was named after an Englishman (Welshman, actually) called Richard Amerike.

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  151. Jonathan Jose Jackson III -  October 11, 2011 - 7:53 am

    I am a United Statesian as far as my nationality is concerned, I am also an American as far as my continentality is concerned. Only in the USA are its citizens claiming to be the singular source of citizenship for the continent. A Chilean realizes he is also an American as does a Jamaican, Costa Rican, Canadian, Cuban et al. Elsewhere a Spainiard knows he is also a European etc, A Nigerian knows he is an African et al The name of the 50 states union is the United States OF America, not the United States IS America The hijacking of American is another example of the bully the US has been since its origins, stealing land from the indigeneous, Mexico, Monroe Doctrine, Platt Amendment, the taking of the ithmus of Panama from Columbia are just a few examples

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  152. *TEDY* -  October 11, 2011 - 7:46 am

    Could you please come up with some other “Did You Know” stuff in the quote section. The old ones that you alternate between are getting veeeery boring.

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  153. Dave -  October 11, 2011 - 7:41 am

    It is highly unlikely that America was named after Amerigo Vespucci, since no other place is named for the first name of a person unless they are royalty (Exs. Jamestown, Cape Ann, Carolina), . America would be the ONLY time this exception was made. I think it is much more likely America was named for the Welsh explorer John ApMerick.

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  154. Ken -  October 11, 2011 - 7:28 am

    Cristobal Colon was the Spanish name for Christopher Columbus. What he achieved, as a mariner in his time, was akin to the USA putting a man on the moon. It was an expensive and risky enterprise fraught with unknowns, regardless of the motives of those who bore the cost and risk.

    Related to the “noble savage myth”, native American (don’t know what the natives called this great land) tribes often savaged each other, notably the oppressive Aztec empire towards its neighboring non-Aztec tribes. Man’s fallen nature is universal.

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  155. Gruffy Jones -  October 11, 2011 - 7:24 am

    America comes from the Welsh ‘ap Meurig’.

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  156. J -  October 11, 2011 - 7:06 am

    I don’t get the angst and anger over the “invasion” (discovery, because in the discoverer’s context it was a discovery. Just like if I find a new hole-in-the-wall restaurant I like, I would say that I “discovered” it.

    About the “atrocities”, its not like the natives were all peaceful vegans. They were mostly warring, conquering, blood-sporting, just like everyone else. So apparently it is only something to be indignant over if white people do it.

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  157. Twamgle -  October 11, 2011 - 6:51 am

    Interesting, although I thought this had now been atributed to Richard Amerike, a Bristol business man who patronised trips to the Americas and featured stars and stripes on his family crest.

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  158. matunde drama -  October 11, 2011 - 5:04 am

    what is this for and about. why because am confused

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  159. MARCELO -  October 11, 2011 - 4:31 am

    What is interesting in the entire article is that nothing has been mentioned why Europe had to find a new root to Asia. To me it seems like one of that documentaries made by CNN that never tells a lie. But hide parts of the truth making up their story.

    After the taxes to cross to the Indian Ocean rocketed up, it was almost impossible for the West of Europe, most powerful land in the world at the time, pass to Asia via North Africa. Also to go around would be to dangeous and as expensive. So why not send an stunt called Colombo – a fishman from the people who lived in a monastery – to check it out.

    Then the racing begun between England, France, Spain and Spain allied Portugal. Spain and Portugal for example had documents sharing any land from east to west almost 10 years before any other country step one of their feet anywhere close to what we now call Americas.

    Carlito, congratulations for your point. It was an invasion. But I also have to agree that the natives were killing one another in order to become stronger among other aspects.

    Marcela, very good point. It is geographically wrong to call a person who was born in the USA American, as american is anyone who are born between North of Alasca to South Chile.

    Thanks.

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  160. Chuck -  October 11, 2011 - 4:29 am

    I you read a biography of Columbus, you find out he was not well liked (to say the least). So why do we still celebrate Columbus Day? Because government employees work to hard, and need an extra day off.

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  161. Rupes -  October 11, 2011 - 3:55 am

    LT has already made the point, but seems to have been largely ignored, that if the US had been named after Amerigo Vespucci it would have been called Vespuccia. First names are only used when places are named after royalty. It is interesting that despite the comparatively recent name there is still no consensus on its origin. One theory is that it was named after Richard Amerike (Richard ap Meryk), a Welshman who financed one of John Cabot’s trips to the New World but it seems highly unlikely that Vespucci is the key to all this. On a seperate note, despite sympathising to a degree with Carlitos’ point, he is suggesting that all white people are stupid and all Native Americans lived in peace and harmony and that i’m afraid is stupid in the extreme.

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  162. my new name is Adam -  October 11, 2011 - 3:20 am

    Is Central and/or South America not worth a mention? The whole article forgets that there is anything south of the Rio Grande.

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  163. Linda -  October 11, 2011 - 3:05 am

    Hi All,
    I am very pleased about this article. Now it is clear to every reader that America is a continent and not a country. Coming from the Caribbean islands, the so called West Indies (that is also an interesting story), I am also an American.
    We all are. That is the only thing we all have in common, this wonderful continent, America. Check its diversity and riches. We are all blessed on this land wherever we come/came from. We need to understand the past, learn from it and leave it behind and work together for a better America as a whole.
    OK, ok, don’t be afraid. I am not into politics.
    I just want us all, to see each others as Americans sharing the land God has fashioned. ;-)

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  164. Leon -  October 11, 2011 - 2:54 am

    Ok so another question comes up if Amerigo Vespucci was the person who uncovered or Discovered the americas why are we still today supposally celebrating Christopher Columbus instead of Amerigo Vespucci??? … America is full of Pussies people are scared of everything and do what ever society says do.. it sucks

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  165. Jezza -  October 11, 2011 - 2:43 am

    @ Marcela that is why it is not called America rather the United States (of America) – travel a bit noone calls it America ‘cept Africanas and Indians. Most of the world btw is asian in case you were wondering.
    @ Carlitos, nilonz, Atrain, … I bet you don’t tell people that you get a $5000.00 deposit to your bank account every month just for being natives to America. Of course you are required to have a primary residence on a reservation. Hope you are not roughing it out there. (most are not) You have technology that you are currently using, a means of defense from a country you constantly bastardize, and windge for no apparent reason that holds any weight other than spouting vocalizations from your parents and perhaps grandparents. (not likely your grandparents as they were likely Pro-U.S.. Natives live on their own land. In their own territories. Want a different name? Get the tribe together and vote for it. Oh, democracy was there before Europeans were – don’t fool yourself. Democracy is the doorway to many freedoms and an equal amount of terrors. It depends on who the leader is! Nothing More!
    Oh, and grow up – learn to read – etc. In fact Vikings were visiting the Americas long before good ole Columbus. They are your ancestors. As were the French (unfortunately).
    Natives are decent people btw. Quit giving them a bad name.

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  166. Steve -  October 11, 2011 - 2:03 am

    @Bubba: Your Canada thing is too funny, specially when one speaks Spanish… Ca NADA…The “ca” would actually be the word “aca” which means over there or there(but usually pronounced without the first A by Native Spanish speakers…) and Nada which means nothing… SO I think that your Dad was right?

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  167. Bevan -  October 11, 2011 - 1:46 am

    Carlitos sympathisers, please consider what has already been mentioned yet you’ve seemingly failed to grasp. You can only discover what already exists. If it does not exist, you cannot discover it. To take that a step further; discovery can only occur for those who do not know something is there. Since the rest of the developing world didn’t know America existed, and were obviously interested in mapping the world, this was indeed a discovery. To say it was not, because some other people were already living there, is absurd. Discovery is always from the point of view of the discoverer and holidays tend to be celebrated due to their relevance, and relevance is determined by many things but in this case it would be the population majority who descend from the discoverers. Duh! To every primitive culture romanticising, white man hating moron out there I have this to say. The world was coming, mankind was expanding its capabilities and knowledge. The land known today as the Americas (among others e.g. Australia, New Zealand etc.) joining the rest of the world was inevitable. Your views and grievances are an over simplification of the world, mankind and life. Had the primitive cultures had the technology and knowledge of the developing world then they would have done exactly the same as those who did possess the technology. Perhaps they’d have been even more brutal about it, which is likely given the savage and cannibalistic nature of many. This is the nature of man; to learn, discover, expand and conquer. NO culture or race is exempt! Read a history book or two. Nothing has changed under the sun. Native Americans are no different from those all over the world over thousands of years who have preceded them either by being conquered or conquering. Did you really expect the world to just stand by and leave you alone just because you were there first? Are you just naive or stupid?! Perhaps if the primitive cultures hadn’t been so primitive they wouldn’t have been pushed around so much. But instead their cultures, beliefs and superstitions kept them in technological darkness and they were overtaken. Some cultures became so pathetic they lost the art of making fire. Please understand that this is a disgusting regression for any human existence! Be thankful you live in a democratic country where your ignorant voice is tolerated. It could have just as easily gone another way. Historically and statistically it should have gone another way. Nevertheless, the world came; it just happened to be white. It wasn’t perfect, but thank God it was democratic. All in all, what is done is done and was unavoidable. Get over it!

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  168. sean -  October 11, 2011 - 1:33 am

    ‘I just discovered a cool new web site’. What am I saying there? I found something that I didn’t know existed. Of course, the web site already existed and my discovery of it could not be called a moment of discovery for the web site, although it would acknowledge that I had discovered it for me, not for them. So the finding, or rather bumping into, of the continent that was later called America was a European discovery or a discovery from a European perspective. In fact I can’t think of a better word for it; it wasn’t just a ‘going to’, it was finding something you didn’t know existed. Perhaps ‘The discovery of America’ should be changed to ‘The discovery of America for Europeans’. Other words that have been suggested or are related ‘invasion, occupation, settlement etc.’ are only related to what came later, after the ‘discovery’.

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  169. Dan Koski -  October 11, 2011 - 1:20 am

    How fascinating it is to think that I and 300 million others could just as easily go through life as Vespuccians.

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  170. JF -  October 11, 2011 - 12:44 am

    America??? What? I don’t get it why can’t just be called Colombia.

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  171. Sam McFisher -  October 11, 2011 - 12:41 am

    Christopher Colombus real Name is Christo Colon, and he is Also Italian more precisly Latin, there was no Italy at his time, so why they call colombia and Columbia these names and why are they British ??

    In America (US) they have lots of city names like Alexandria, Cairo, Memphis, Mineapolis, philadelphia, Pheonix, Rhode Island, Atlanta, Rome, Athens, Naples… etc..

    SO They don’t have enough creativity they decided to steal the Egyptian/Greek/Roman Civilisations and relate it to them ” the Founding Fathers ” , who are of English/British origins, and some are of Dutch I think hence Brooklyn ..am I right ???

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  172. Carol -  October 11, 2011 - 12:34 am

    @ Kingsepp
    Some clarity on the word Discovery in the context of who was claiming discovery. People are not what, but rather who. The naming of this act as a discovery was an air of superiority – claiming the land was for the taking and its inhabitants thought of as “less than human” because the indigenous were seen as inferior. Today’s understanding of the word “discover” is used more broadly. Make no mistake, in the days of Columbus, discovered land was a means of claiming ownership of the land. Discovering the land, what, without acknowledging the inhabitants, who, was plainly a means of serving self and demeaning others in ways that destroy all.

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  173. Jordan -  October 11, 2011 - 12:28 am

    Columbus did discover the American continents for Europe. As far as the people in the old world were concerned, it was a discovery. That is, it was a discovery to them. That’s a real discovery. If we were to send astronauts on a mission to uncharted space and they came back reporting a new habitable planet that was indeed already inhabited by some alien people, we would rightly call their find a discovery because it was discovered to us, regardless of the fact that some other sentient beings happened to be aware of it before we arrived.

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  174. saramoses -  October 10, 2011 - 11:52 pm

    Everybody wants to be first…..whether it’s true or not. Whether it’s wrong or right. And there’s BLOGchi who just wants to be noticed.

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  175. Billy -  October 10, 2011 - 11:29 pm

    @Carlito: We like to pretend that the native american’s were at peace with nature and natural resources. Read “Gun’s Germs and Steel” sometime. The native’s did damaget their land, over irrigate, and this lead to the collapse to some of their nation’s. The primary killer and main ingredient to the colonization of the america’s was our germs knocking out significant amounts of their populations. However, I do entirely believe that we could have learned a lot from the natives, especially one’s like the Mayan’s who were obviously brilliant astronomer’s.

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  176. Alex -  October 10, 2011 - 10:41 pm

    It would be good for North Americans to read this. I learnt this at School when I was 5, but most of the US thinks is the name of their country.

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  177. Gonzalo -  October 10, 2011 - 9:56 pm

    AMERICA IS A CONTINENT

    Divided in:

    North of America : Alaska, Canada , United Stated and Mexico

    Center of America: Nicaragua, EL Salvador, Costa Rica, Puerto Rico, Cuba, Guatemala, Honduras just like other Islands called “Antillas”.

    South of America : Ecuador, Colombia, Venezuela, Brasil, Peru, Argentina, Chile, Uruguay, Paraguay, Bolivia.

    Is is a “terrible misuse” of the adjetive AMERICAN only to make reference to people borned in USA like Americans, they are North Americans.

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  178. Ari -  October 10, 2011 - 9:27 pm

    Why wasn’t it called the United States of Vespuccia?

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  179. K-T -  October 10, 2011 - 8:27 pm

    A better question would be, “Why is the U.S. referred to as “America,” the Americas consist of North America, Central America and South America? I am a translator, and I try to avoid referring to the U.S. as America. The problem lies in identifying the country’s inhabitants by means other than “Americans”… I’d love to hear people’s suggestions!

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  180. Vanessa -  October 10, 2011 - 8:20 pm

    Happy Columbus Day to you too Amerigo Vespucci :)

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  181. Elaine -  October 10, 2011 - 8:14 pm

    thats good for them. Columbus is a cheater and retard anyway/ STUPID

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  182. Victor Felipe -  October 10, 2011 - 8:03 pm

    Hello all,

    Building upon the already posted justifications for ‘America.’

    The sixth heading, titled ‘Serpents of the Americas.’ Enjoy.

    http://www.bibliotecapleyades.net/biggestsecret/matrix/matrix07.htm

    NB: A pervasive modern English linguistic deficiency presents itself in the articles heading, that is ‘Why is the U.S.A. named “America.”‘

    From experience, such generalisation can present as racial superiority. Especially when talking to Latin Americans, who are, and, do consider themselves American. The same issue seldom arises with Canadians because, even though they too are American, they culturally disassociate from the word ‘America,’ associating instead with Canada.

    Now, the reason why I label such generalisation as linguistically deficient, and potentially racist is because:

    1) Every other major European language adapts a word to identify “A person/citizen/subject of the USA.”

    -Italian = Statounitense
    -Spanish = Estadounidense
    -French = Etasunien (apostrophe on 1st E)
    -Portuguese = Estadounidense

    Even German distinguishes between Amerikanischen for US-people, and Amerikaner for Americans. This is why equating USA to America is a linguistic deficiency.

    We, English speakers, need to develop our language, much like Shakespeare evolved it for us, many years ago.

    2) There are three stereotypical types of Americans. That is, ‘Native,’ ‘Latin,’ and ‘Anglo’ Americans. Leaving little room for other denominations like ‘African’ Americans.

    From this simple categorisation Latin America only exists, as distinct from, as separate to, Anglo America, otherwise ALL America would be Latin or Anglo, without the need to distinguish.

    So, either all Americans are American, or non at all, because there is only one America.

    Furthermore, the linguistic refuge of ‘north American’ is also incorrect because when America is divided, under geographic parameters, into North and South, PARTS of Ecuador, Columbia, and Brazil, and ALL of Venezuela, Guyana, Surinam, Guiana, Panama, Costa Rica, Nicaragua, El Salvador, Honduras, Guatemala, Belize, Mexico, Cuba, Haiti, Dominican Rep., Puerto Rico, Antigua and Barbuda, Bahamas, Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Jamaica, Saint Kitts and Nevis, Saint Lucia, Saint Vincent and Grenadines, Trinidad and Tabago, and many Dutch, English, French and USA territories… are discovered to be constituent parts of NORTH AMERICA.

    Thus, to think North America = Anglo America is once again, an error.

    Thank you

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  183. Debra -  October 10, 2011 - 8:01 pm

    Regarding why the USA calls itself the ‘United States of America’.

    It’s because the union of separate states like N. Carolina, Georgia, and Massachusetts gave rise to a federal government. It’s the same with United States of Mexico which includes Michoacan, Chihuahua, Chiapas, etc.

    If you are asking why the USA are called “Americans” when there are 2 continents whose people are also American, it’s probably because the British colonists called themselves American, and the U.S. was the first recognized independent nation here. As it happened, by the time the other colonies were independent, Europeans were already accustomed to “American” to refer to the U.S. and its people, and no later country incorporated the word “America” in its official name.

    http://answers.yahoo.com/question/index?qid=20110926221950AAIW9Ec

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  184. Joseph L. -  October 10, 2011 - 7:59 pm

    The author wrote, “history of nation’s favorite bird.” You forgot the definite article “the.”

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  185. Jason -  October 10, 2011 - 7:38 pm

    Carlosito,

    One of the spoils of war is writing the history.

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  186. justaman -  October 10, 2011 - 6:41 pm

    @carlitos…..true, although we can’t go back. Materialism is the curse of mankind. All cultures have embraced it. A survey of all cultures will disclose this.

    We have to work within the system we have…….remember……no entrepreneurs…..no businesses…….no jobs, whether you work in the public or private sector……nothing. Public sector jobs are paid by tax dollars, no businesses to provide jobs, no tax revenue. Everything stops…..sound familiar? How about the current economic environment?

    Will we all revert to life a-la 1832? I don’t think so. People like technology and the creature comforts afforded by the advances present in modern day living.

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  187. Walter -  October 10, 2011 - 6:37 pm

    Of course the early explorers “discovered” America.

    Are you seriously going to say that if NASA goes to another world where there is life that the astronauts cannot write, tweet or radio back to the rest of us here on planet Earth that they have discovered life in case in some ridiculously politically correct world of the future the aliens might say that we couldn’t have “found” them because they were not lost, or we couldn’t have “discovered” them because they already knew that they were there?

    Just as those astronauts will be human beings relating their findings to other human beings, the early explorers were Europeans writing for a European audience in books that were going onto European shelves to be read by Europeans.

    The native Americans could equally have written their own accounts of how they discovered these white strangers on their beaches or found them roaming their plains and they could have placed such tomes on their native American library shelves or bookshops for other native Americans to read. I hope they did.

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  188. Hailey -  October 10, 2011 - 6:31 pm

    Actually, ‘Amerigo Vespucci’ was the first to discover NORTH America.

    Columbus was in the Bahamas somewhere.

    So it should be Vespucci day. Not Columbus day.

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  189. Tobias Mook -  October 10, 2011 - 6:16 pm

    I don’t celebrate Columbus day, but I do celebrate the meeting of the 2 worlds. In the Berkeley area it’s Native People Day. Food for thought

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  190. Dylan Myatt -  October 10, 2011 - 6:15 pm

    It’s actually from a wealthy Welsh patron whose last name was Ameryk. He funded the exploration of Canada.

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  191. Here'sMycommentDealWithIt :) -  October 10, 2011 - 6:02 pm

    All that info and blah blah, my teacher just told me Americas were named after Amerigo Vespucci. (AmeriGO…AmeriCA)See how easy that was? No too much info, just one simple connection. It’s that simple.No need to bore people out with info on the Greek and the Latin and the-omg, am i turning into a nerd?? no, i can’t be!!

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  192. The youth -  October 10, 2011 - 5:47 pm

    Since we were young, we were taught that Columbus was a wonderful man that founded America, and that is why we celebrate him. We should not celebrate the raping of our women, pillaging of our lands and genocide of our ancestors. This is why today (or Oct. 12th) we celebrate Indigenous Resistance/El Dia de la Raza. What will you celebrate? I urge you to Reconsider Columbus Day!!

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  193. Iam copycat -  October 10, 2011 - 5:47 pm

    I think Columbus day should be re-evaluated. Not only were his “discoveries” unrecognized by him for what they really were, but what he really did was pave the way for the conquest of already inhabited lands by Europeans, greedy for wealth and power. There was no discovery- only invasion. Unfortunately, the Europeans knew little about how to live in harmony with the environment and how to respect natural resources, so they were always out to conquer new lands and people and always looking for more to consume. These are things that could have been learned from the native people of the new world if the white man wasn’t so vain, pompous, and egotistical.

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  194. Paula -  October 10, 2011 - 5:46 pm

    I get that when they say the Americas were “discovered,” they’re referring the European perspective. It just irks me that it’s the only perspective anyone seems to care about.

    Happy belated Leif Eriksson day, everyone!

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  195. Carlitos -  October 10, 2011 - 5:19 pm

    @avg on October 10, 2011 at 7:43 am
    Carlitos,
    You’ve fallen into the noble savage myth. The Indians did not live harmoniously with nature, and had a wide netowrk of commerce and political intrigues with different white men colonies.

    Avg, first of all to call them Indians is inaccurate. The Native Americans, in general, did live harmoniously within their environment as relative to how Europe and much of the rest of the “civilized” world was living. The Native Americans did not have the Black Plague, for instance. They did not have Measles, or Chicken Pox, etc. This is because they did not overstretch their use of resources. They did not create industry and associated waste and pollution. They did not leave their trash in the street and wallow in their own shit. They lived with a connection to the Earth and the land, evidenced by their very lifestyles, to say nothing of their recorded and oralized histories and mythologies.

    And you’re telling me they had a “wide netowrk of commerce and political intrigues with different white men colonies” before white men even arrived? How does that work?

    I’ll give you that there were savage tribes and some horrific and “barbaric” practices and rituals. But to claim that these equate to the crimes and horrors that white man has introduced to the world is ignorant and insanely biased.

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  196. grwfedsre -  October 10, 2011 - 5:12 pm

    just learned this in APEC…

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  197. What -  October 10, 2011 - 5:04 pm

    i like learning about things like this, it’s cool! thanks! :)

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  198. Jess -  October 10, 2011 - 5:03 pm

    Avg makes a good point, Carlitos does not do indigenous populations any favours by portraying them as simplistic caricatures rather than complex and sophisticated societies

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  199. xeneize -  October 10, 2011 - 4:54 pm

    Columbus didn’t discover anything. He only brought his white stupid men to make our people slaves, rape our women and destroy our monuments, to bury our gods and to steal steal steal as much as they could. Our gold, our land, our culture… If it wasn’t for them, we would still be a very rich civilization…. That’s why Latin America is nowadays the 2nd poorest continent.
    Oh and just FYI America is the whole continent, all the way from Alaska To La Patagonia (Argentina). I hate to hear people from the USA call their country America… It’s not just you guys, there are more countries in this planet.

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  200. Kirsten -  October 10, 2011 - 4:48 pm

    Amerigo Vespucci is the one who figured out that Columbus didn’t find the water route to Asia so he claimed the Americas as a New Land.But the paragraphs above have very good and useful information.

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  201. Joy -  October 10, 2011 - 4:23 pm

    I think it doubtful the name America, came from the cartographers name Amerigo. He wrote America on maps he drew of the coastlines of North America. Did he; an educated man; not know how to spell his name?

    It is interesting that Amaraka (all the letters a with the sound as in mama), means The Land of the Serpent People. The Serpent Peoples included several nations of which some were on the east coast at the time,such as the Iroquois and Cherokee. I think Amaraka is a lot closer to the sound of America than is Amerigo.

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  202. Urmom -  October 10, 2011 - 4:19 pm

    And i also agree with Carlitos, Columbus’ first official action was shooting a native to show his power.

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  203. LALALALLALA -  October 10, 2011 - 4:14 pm

    Columbusia doesn’t make any sense, Columbia would fit better.

    Also, America is a CONTINENT, Columbus discovered El Salvador.

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  204. Archon -  October 10, 2011 - 4:13 pm

    @ Bubba

    The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation occasionally plays a “Canadian History Minute” on TV, which shows a French exploring expedition in the area of what is now Ottawa. An old indian chief comes out to meet them and invites them down the valley, into the small encampment, which he pronounces as “ka-na-ta” (accent on the second syllable). One of the Frenchmen thinks that the word merely means the small camp, but the know-it-all Catholic priest insists that they are so important that the word refers to the entire country. With the possible variation of a few details, this is why kanata became Canada. Kanata is now the name of a city which, along with one called Nepean, form a tri-city with Ottawa.

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  205. Urmom -  October 10, 2011 - 4:10 pm

    By the way LT’s comment proves my point.

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  206. Urmom -  October 10, 2011 - 4:09 pm

    It’s actually wrong if you’ve ever read the book of general ignorance you’d know it’s named after richard ameryk.

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  207. Julie McLean -  October 10, 2011 - 3:53 pm

    Canada is a name given to this great country and was derived from a native word meaning, “meeting place.”

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  208. BryanC -  October 10, 2011 - 3:47 pm

    It was named America because Americus Vaspucci discovered America and not Columbus…

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  209. Critical Thinker -  October 10, 2011 - 3:38 pm

    All I have to say is… Columbus never landed on “America” he actually landed on an island closer to Cuba and Mexico. I don’t quite remember were he landed but I do remember that he did NOT land in American and it was an Island in the south east. Also 7 years after his discovery of America (which he believed was India), he died thinking that his discovery was a major failure. It wasn’t until later that people discovered tobacco that proved to be a crop of high demand in European countries, and was the beginning to slavery and trade in America. So why name a place by someone who never even took one step in the land?

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  210. Jesse -  October 10, 2011 - 3:24 pm

    Columbus was a greedy bastard and his discovery practically destroyed an innocent civalization he should never have had a holiday in the 1st place.

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  211. Kim Midas -  October 10, 2011 - 3:24 pm

    Most of the early settlers were NOT invaders, or power hungry, or greedy. Many were outcasts, religous refugees, and political refugees. I’d hardly label them invaders.

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  212. Tara Vogler -  October 10, 2011 - 3:13 pm

    Well, Carlitos, I am part Cherokee & Choctaw on my mother’s side &she was born in the Kiamichi Mountains in Oklahoma, south of Tahlequah. My father is from Dutch & Irish origins(his surname ‘Rummerfield’ is a small town in Pennsylvania) & Mom was a little French from her mother & Irish &French & English from her dad(among many other things… along with the Native American portion from both my maternal grandparents). I believe there is German in there somewhere…. hence ‘Heinz 57′ is my ‘I Am Race’….Many Americans are from many ‘Races’….heck I may even be part Black since the Cherokee & Choctaw once owned African-Am. slaves. My Granddad’s folks were from Mississippi & part-White & Choctaw farmers. Some of Grandma’s people were Cherokee driven to OK. on the Trail of Tears. On top (or underneath) all that, I have an ancestor who came over on the Mayflower, & those who fought in The Revolutionary War for Independence, and The Civil War… I could be a member of the DAR as my great-aunt was. Your name Carlitos is from Spanish European origins so you may very well be European & ‘Indian’ or as we say now, Native ~ American (just as I & many of us are) The Cherokee developed an alphabet & written language. But would they have done so without European settler’s influence? I don’t know for sure. I’d like to think so. But while colonization of these ‘new’ lands was very brutal to some of my ancestors, other ideals like the legacy of the ‘Magna Carta’ & the evolution of many other rights-of-the-people, like ‘Religious~Liberty’ etc. arrived on these shores(w the Puritans as well as others) along with or subsequent to the “Conquistadors’ both South & North. Both Benjamin Franklin & Thomas Jefferson were influenced by the Iroquois Confederacy(6 eastern sea-board Native Nations) as the longest living example of participatory & cooperative democracy in the world… long before the Europeans came. An Onega chief was even requested/sent to the Continental Congress to speak. Look at… http://www.ratical.com/many_worlds/6Nations/ …to begin with. The legacy to the Native Peoples from America’s ‘discovery’ is overwhelmingly tragic (more died from disease than anything else). But the legacy to the whole Nation as it stands today (not as we might have wished it to be ideally)… with all the political innovations, not to mention the scientific inventions & breakthroughs is still in the positive register I would have to conclude. We can’t change history… but we can make it better going forward (P.S. …and I am one who is disturbed by American adventurism that has led to several undeclared & possibly illegal wars in this & the past century…. ‘Entangling Alliances’ & undue foreign influence & meddling… theirs & ours… that George Washington warned us against) Anyway Carlitos, it’s a mixed bag…. just like us. So rather than devolve into ‘Race-Wars’…. let’s just try to do the best with the hand we were dealt … & rather than games of chance, let’s conscientiously decide on our future from now on… Take Back The Future… so to speak …since the past is but prologue. That said… I Am proud to be American… of many ‘Races’…. wherever the term originates from.

    Reply
  213. Random -  October 10, 2011 - 3:11 pm

    America is four regions(or divisions of space, whatever) (south, central and north America and the caribbean), then what gives USA the right to call itself America. When you hear America you think of USA not of all the countries in the American continet. When you hear American you think of someone from the USA, not someone from the American continent. It would be like South Africa calling itself just Africa and when you think of africa you think of just South Africa and not of all the other countries of the African continent. I have nothing against USA but just something that seemed wrong to me.

    Reply
  214. sfssaam -  October 10, 2011 - 2:53 pm

    Realistically, it’s the nature of all those who find the new land (even though inhabited by natives) such as MAADS in old Persia when discovered by those who came from North and settled where it’s known today as a country between the Caspian Sea and the Persian Golf. It’s not discovery nor invasion, it’s a fact of life, to settle down where there is more land, more freedom and more opportunities to be taken over.

    ….. and about Canada, it’s taken from KANATA, the name of natives who lived in that land.

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  215. Benjamin -  October 10, 2011 - 2:51 pm

    Uhm….
    A) If the Americas were named after Columbus, they would be called “Columbia”, like all the other places based off of his name.

    B) Christopher Columbus DID write about his accounts of making contact with the New World contrary to the author’s statement. He had a whole diary he wrote recording his voyage over the Atlantic and first contact with the indigenous peoples. I actually had to use them as a source in a paper I wrote two weeks ago.

    C) The inhabitants living in the United States are called “Americans” because it’s in the name of the country. You know, the United States of AMERICA (the full title of the country). Just putting this out there, people from Canada do not consider themselves American, they’re content with “Canadian”. I’ve personally asked, so people shouldn’t get so bent out of shape over it.

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  216. lezza -  October 10, 2011 - 2:42 pm

    @Bubba; Ha! That’s hilarious!

    Reply
  217. Caccioli -  October 10, 2011 - 2:38 pm

    About Vespucci, he was already a famous and recognized “navigator”, much before Colombo (or Columbus) sailed to the new continent. Not only Vespucci’s records, but also his reputation could be named as the reason why during the first decades of 14th century he was named the discoverer. What sounds curious to me is why do U.S. people call themselves americans if all this denomination should actually define all american peoples and countries? (I also refer to U.S. people as american, but isn’t it quite incorrect?

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  218. Elle -  October 10, 2011 - 2:36 pm

    If you think about it, Columbus was no more than an arrogant man who was “exploring” on borrowed money that he had to beg for. Then he got lost, and stumbled onto an island part of America that he believed was actually Asia. Native Americans already lived there, so it wasnt like he was the first one to “discover” America, in fact, he wasnt even the first explorer to go there. And then, he tried to claim the island he was on as his, and made native americans do his slave labor. He was so obsessed with gold that he massacred hundreds, if not thousands of them. All people are equal. After all, we used to live as one, before we spread out across Pandora. i think we should use this day to comemorate all of the people throughout history who have been killed for their money, or simply because they got in the way. Sorry if there are any typos.

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  219. Barney Jones -  October 10, 2011 - 2:30 pm

    Research proved to me that “America” truly means “Land of the Plumed Serpants” (thus the serpant on one of the very first “American” flags! Please check it out at Fossilizedcustoms-dot-com! Thanks. P.S. “English” is from two words from different languages “Engle” from Latin meaning “Angel” and “Ish” from Hebrew meaning “Man” (“Isha” is Hebrew for “Woman”).

    Reply
  220. Brincker -  October 10, 2011 - 1:37 pm

    1. Life isn’t fare; get used to it.
    2. You don’t have to like it; you just have to understand it.
    3. Don’t get mad; get even. Just kidding; life is short make the most of it.
    4. The living will always re-write history; often thru ignorance.
    5. One bad apple don’t spoil the whole bunch.
    6. In a nutshell: As a descendant of the invading European hordes I apologize to those who were here first, and to the Africans my forefathers enslaved, for the terrible behavior of my ancestors. I should elaborate to sound more sincere but this format does not have the editorial space.

    Reply
  221. Ashleigh -  October 10, 2011 - 1:25 pm

    Canada comes from the Iroquois word for village. (kanata)

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  222. Ashleigh -  October 10, 2011 - 1:24 pm

    Bubba, Canada comes from Kanata, the word for village from the Iroquois.
    In any case, the fact that America was equated with USA is strange considering, North and South America is much larger.

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  223. rahmi niks -  October 10, 2011 - 1:09 pm

    Carlitos, you said a mouthful – Thank You – while presumably you already knew that there would be at least one dissenter in the bunch – which is fine – but it’s part of what keeps this cycle of indifference going albeit on its last leg of existence. Let’s take it several leagues deeper…this earth, The Earth~Planet Earth, has been in existence for millions of years, so beyond our Native American brothers and sisters whom I honor and am connected to/with, [reportedly] there have been many other peoples and life forms to inhabit this space, e.g., Afrikan peoples, Atlanteans, etc….so I think the best, most harmonious way we can look at our existence on this plane is to recognize and re-member that WE are all One, infinite manifestations of the THE ONE SOURCE that runs through ALL. In embracing this, many problems and suffering and other demands and deluge of the ego falls away and We then open ourselves up to the power within us ALL. Yes, sounds trippy, uh? Well, it sounds no more trippy than the trippy state that we happen to be living in at the moment…the violence, mind control, murder, manipulation, disrespect for the planet and human/animal/agricultural life – all of that is as tripped-out as it gets! Don’t you think? Try it…

    Reply
  224. Ramon -  October 10, 2011 - 12:10 pm

    What I would like to know is how all this idiots that reserve the word AMERICA for the USA,do not realize that America is much bigger than the united states of america along….

    Reply
  225. Spotted Crow -  October 10, 2011 - 11:47 am

    I think the most disturbing fact is that outside the Native circle along with those who understand and took the time to learn who Columbus really is; as opposed to blindly “celebrating” him; fail miserably in a universal and human acknowledgement of the proliferation of genocide, slavery and hegemony introduced into the western hemisphere by this individual.
    Every society and cultural group in America understands the horrors of African slavery and the Jewish holocaust.
    Would we ever have a holiday honoring John Hawkins, who brought over the first boat load of slaves in 1619? African slavery resulting in, not only the dehumanizing and degradation of millions; but even millions more who would die during the middle passage. Today in USA, the widely used maxims call slavery “A stain in our history.”-“A dark chapter in our society.”
    And although the Jewish holocaust did not happen in America, we as the citizens collectively pay honor , respect and mourn all those who suffered these brutal atrocities against humanity: not only the ripping away of life, but the attempt at complete annihilation and every trace that these people ever existed.
    These events are despicable times in history and no civilized society or anyone who respects life would ever create a holiday to honor those responsible.
    Now comes the Native American: The horrific savagery that occurred above, with the added insult of having these bestial acts committed on our own lands, as they were summarily being usurped was the plight of indigenous people everywhere.
    A lead player in the stealing of lands, slavery and murder of the Indians; that would boom into the millions was Christopher Columbus, and he gets a holiday- a Holy Day.
    Why is there not a collective outcry to end this so-called holiday across all humanity?
    This is a most troubling question that is buttressed by its own merits of apathy and unawareness. When crimes against humanity are committed a society comes together to acknowledge such vicious acts and rightly condoms them. America needs to do the same and realize this is not just a Native American issue but an issue that speaks directly to the civility, morality and social structure of our country. We all need to say once and for all- We do not celebrate murder, rape and slavery!
    Columbus certainly needs to be part of American discourse and should be earnestly studied as other explorers were. But to coronate him with a ‘holiday,’ is like celebrating a man who hangs a pregnant woman upside down from a tree, while he slits open her belly to feed his dogs.
    This is not hyperbole; this was Columbus, and what he did along with numerous other crimes against humanity. But America refuses to unfetter itself from the romanticized narrative which further perpetuates stereotypes, myths and misinformation to the detriment of Native Americans.
    As a Native American I find it appalling and offensive that my country continues to honor a murderer, slave master and usurper who would inspire many others to do the same. And it saddens me that people of all walks of life can’t come together, as it has been done in the past; to condemn this so called holiday and recognize Columbus as the offender against humanity as he was. As an American, I am embarrassed that my nation continues to cling to archaic notions that ‘celebrate’ despotism, genocide, conquest and plunder in the name of Columbus, while touting how enlightened and more advanced we are than the rest of the world.
    By, Larry Spotted Crow Mann

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  226. Amerigo Lopez -  October 10, 2011 - 11:33 am

    I wonder why America isn’t called Ameriga.

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  227. Maya -  October 10, 2011 - 11:20 am

    I agree with Carlitos. Columbus didn’t discover anything. He only brought his white stupid men to make our people slaves, rape our women and destroy our monuments, to bury our gods and to steal steal steal as much as they could. Our gold, our land, our culture… If it wasn’t for them, we would still be a very rich civilization…. That’s why Latin America is nowadays the 2nd poorest continent.
    Oh and just FYI America is the whole continent, all the way from Alaska To La Patagonia (Argentina). I hate to hear people from the USA call their country America… It’s not just you guys, there are more countries in this planet.

    Reply
  228. Jairo -  October 10, 2011 - 11:17 am

    When you said “Why aren’t the continents of North and South America…” You implied that there are at least two American continents. I have two questions to this: What happened with central America? Is it also a continent or what? And, how many continents are there?

    I was taught (in Colombia, proud of being the only country in America that keeps Columbus’ name) that there were 5 continents, Africa, Europe, Asia, Oceania (Australia) and America. America the continent, is divided in three parts: South, Central and North.

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  229. SquareGuy -  October 10, 2011 - 11:08 am

    @Carlitos and those agreeing with his view

    As stated several times by others, Columbus and Amerigo discovered a land mass that was unknown to the people of Europe, therefore the definition of discovery is entirely accurate. Columbus perhaps less so, since he believed he had arrived in India. It was Amerigo’s realization that it was a region previously unknown to Europe that led to the mass settling of the region.

    Furthermore, the native tribes were not a bunch of peaceful nature-lovers as you people seem to think they were. When the europeans arrived, some of these tribes attacked them without provocation, others engaged in peaceful trade with the settlers, and others were killed and enslaved by settlers. Who did what to whom first is anybody’s guess, as accounts vary from region to region. Suffice to say it is unlikely that the european settlers could be held entirely responsible for inciting the wars that followed.

    Greed was not the only factor that led people to quit Europe for the newly discovered lands. Many sought to escape religious persecution and other political and social pressures prevalent in Europe at the time.

    Perhaps you should read some more in depth accounts of history before you go pointing fingers. Historical records exist on both sides of the fence. Just make sure you are reading records from the time, not some garbarge written hundreds of years later.

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  230. John M. Długosz -  October 10, 2011 - 11:02 am

    Actually, the attribution to Amerigo Vespucci is one of two apocryphal tales often related as definitive.

    The real reason is lost to time.

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  231. Derrick -  October 10, 2011 - 11:00 am

    Certainly relieved USA is not named after that entitled child rapist and torturer Columbus. He was an awful person; the least of his crimes was keeping two sets of “books” to trick his hungry crew in thinking the trip was nearly over while he feasted aplenty.

    “AVG” I don’t care if the Native Americans were noble or not, there was no excuse for the horrible treatment they suffered.

    United States of Leif Erickson!

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  232. wiseowl -  October 10, 2011 - 10:50 am

    I love the comment my nilonz (the Choctaw) regarding invasion rather than discovery.

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  233. Infinion -  October 10, 2011 - 10:47 am

    Bubba what are you doing on dictionary.com! come back to popsci

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  234. Don -  October 10, 2011 - 10:41 am

    I also agree with Carlitos. Columbus Day is nothing more that European’s egoistical way of honoring themselves. Just look at the names of schools and other institutions. It like people of European decent want to take credit for everything “good” that has happen in this country history. What a farce!!!

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  235. Guilherme -  October 10, 2011 - 10:12 am

    Why does this text consider the entire America as only the USA? I think it is a ignorant view of the world because the USA is just a part of the whole continent. Using this reference, we omit the entire continent.

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  236. tamru -  October 10, 2011 - 10:10 am

    Carlito sounds like a closet racist.

    It is true that Columbus was not the first human to “discover” the Americas, but that’s what it would seem to people that’s never known it was there. The cycle of finding new land and settling it (even if it was already populated) is a phenomenon seen throughout history, all around the world. To say that white people as a whole are “vain, pompous, and egotistical” because of this is quite the hateful generalization, and betrays deep held biases.

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  237. Holver -  October 10, 2011 - 10:01 am

    @Mauri
    The English settlers would have been called ‘Americans’ (as in ‘those American colonists’) before the USA even came about; likewise, where they were going was just called ‘America’ by the English. Not really hard to see how it came about if you think about it.

    Also, the Anglo world has never really seen the Americas(North and South) as one continent…(cause they aren’t). So just, ‘the Americas’. While not rare, it’s a bit uncommon to use just ‘America’ to refer to the New World.

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  238. Urmahbich -  October 10, 2011 - 10:00 am

    Didn’t Columbus run into the West Indies, and NOT the mainland? The Vikings, on the other hand, preceded the Europeans. Leif Erikson landed on America centuries before Columbus was a wee sperm.

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  239. Danni -  October 10, 2011 - 9:58 am

    I do not understand why it is refer to the U.S. as “America.” America the continent, not a country. Even though the U.S. is my home I think I dont agree with the celebration of the “discovery” of a man who in reality did not discover anything since there were already other people living in the American continent.

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  240. Builder -  October 10, 2011 - 9:54 am

    @ “Tammy D”:
    I find Blogchi’s rhymes interesting and provocative. He/she is a poet, and often points out concepts that I hadn’t considered. I think it’s unfair and irresponsible to suggest banning someone simply because you don’t care for their comments, or think them irrelevant.

    @ “nilonz”:
    See above. I applaud Blogchi’s efforts. Discussion should be encouraged, not quashed or ridiculed. Malicious smarmy comments and cattiness are out-of-place in this forum.

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  241. chad -  October 10, 2011 - 9:53 am

    Columbus was Genovese, and his original name was Cristophoro Colombo. There is a country in South America that bears his name: Colombia. In America, the English version gives its name to Columbia (as in British Columbia, in Canada, or the famous University in NY). So there is due homage to Columbus, at least in some places and institutions.

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  242. Wurrukatte -  October 10, 2011 - 9:06 am

    Amerigo is an Italian variation on the Germanic name ‘Amalric(or Amalrich)’ (English version is Emmerich), which means “work-ruler”.

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  243. Taylor -  October 10, 2011 - 9:04 am

    I agree with Carlitos. Native Americans were here first; it wasn’t a new world. Why is this brutal “holiday” still celebrated?

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  244. Atrain -  October 10, 2011 - 8:24 am

    ^typo(for no reason)

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  245. Atrain -  October 10, 2011 - 8:23 am

    I agree with Carlitos. Columbus didn’t discover anything, the land had been discovered and inhabited for thousands of years before Columbus and his fellow explorers arrived. All he and Amerigo did was introduce the Europeans to more land to steal and more people to kill fo no reason.

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  246. avg -  October 10, 2011 - 7:43 am

    Carlitos,
    You’ve fallen into the noble savage myth. The Indians did not live harmoniously with nature, and had a wide netowrk of commerce and political intrigues with different white men colonies.

    On another note, to learn more about why America is called America, and the history of its discovery, I suggest listening to an Interview with Toby Lester on his book “The Fourth Part of the World: The Race to the Ends of the Earth, and the Epic Story of the Map That Gave America its Name” (Free Press, 2009) In the great podcast New Books in History.
    You can find it here:
    http://newbooksinhistory.com/2010/01/07/toby-lester-the-fourth-part-of-the-world-the-race-to-the-ends-of-the-earth-and-the-epic-story-of-the-map-that-gave-america-its-name/

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  247. mhood1 -  October 10, 2011 - 7:31 am

    “Columbusia?” The name “Columbia” (or “Colombia”) (referring to the Americas) is well known. There is the country in South America, the capital city of South Carolina, the USA capital district, and the Canadian province “British Columbia”, just to name a few. “Columbus” itself is the capital of Ohio and a major city in Georgia, too.

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  248. Bubba -  October 10, 2011 - 7:15 am

    What about “CANADA”? As my dear old dad once told me “The Spanish were exploring the west coast of North America and got ‘up north’ a bit. They had a quick look around and came to the conclusion – ‘ca nada ! (nope, nothing!) and buggered off elsewhere! ” — we were living in Vancouver at the time and I repeated this to my grade 3 school teacher- Boy, oh boy, if looks could kill….. So…true? false? allegory?…anyone?

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  249. nilonz -  October 10, 2011 - 7:04 am

    @Carlitos… you tell ‘em! As a member if the Choctaw tribe, I have always wondered why it was taught in school as a “discovery” rather than invasion. I guess the winners always write the history, huh?

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  250. nilonz -  October 10, 2011 - 7:01 am

    Methinks Blogchi needs his/her meds…

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  251. Marcela -  October 10, 2011 - 6:23 am

    The whole continent is America, from Alaska to Tierra del Fuego. It is wrong to refer to the US as “America”. Interesting article, though. Love this site. Thanks.

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  252. Jim Kingsepp -  October 10, 2011 - 6:15 am

    Regardless of whether the continent was there and inhabited before Columbus one can accurately say that the continent and its inhabitants were discovered. That is the definition of discovery: the ‘uncovering’ of what was already there.

    The reason some bristle at the term ‘discovery’ is that it tells the story from the perspective of the Europeans, which is somehow inherently bad. It also could be said that the natives discovered the Old World when the Europeans landed, though this is admittedly a stretch.

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  253. muddi -  October 10, 2011 - 5:21 am

    uccha poyyandi…malli thaagandi

    Reply
  254. USA-NAMES#MORE | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  October 10, 2011 - 4:57 am

    [...] ‘US A NAMES#MORE’ than we could have imagined. — Vespucci the Cartographer and an explorer too — Amerigo took notes of where he was — Columbus didn’t have a clue. — Waldseemüller was a craftsman — United were States of Mind. — Google Earth woulda solved everything. — Ceptin there was Nuttin of Dat kind. — Democracy was another thing of which there wasn’t a clue. — Now some Corporate Behemoths try to take it away — What’s an idiot to do? –>>Rupert Likes to Rhyme This entry was posted in DEMOCRAZY, DICTCOMHOTWORD, Rupert L..T. Rhyme and tagged Democracy, RLTR, Rupert L.T.Rhyme, the HOT WORD by admin. Bookmark the permalink. [...]

    Reply
  255. Mauri -  October 10, 2011 - 3:54 am

    Well, the article is kind of misleading. By the headline, I had thought the article was going to shed some light on why English speakers equate USA with America. But the article only talks about the origin of the name America and how the name America was used to refer to the so-called “New World” that lied between Europe and Asia. That’s ok. But then the article should continue on to describe how English speakers ended up equating USA with the whole of the so-called “New World” instead of just sentencing “The rest is history.”

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  256. Joe -  October 10, 2011 - 2:33 am

    We generally have a very romantic view of the native american cultures, which is not entirely accurate. Many of them were just as greedy, power hungry, and blood-thirsty as the Europeans. It is easy to make blanket statements about the whole of this or that, but the natives were even more diverse than the europeans, many of their groups being very different from one another.

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  257. LT -  October 9, 2011 - 11:47 pm

    Oddly enough, when you are naming things, you generally name it after your surname (the Cook Islands, Faraday’s law, Hudson Bay). Only royalty names it after their first names (Prince Edward Island, Victoria, Alberta). Hell, even in the article, you name it Columbosia, not Christophersia.

    Interestingly enough, Amerigo’s actual name was Amalricho, not Amerigo. There is little evidence that America was based on Vespucci’s name, although this is the widely accepted view.

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  258. Carlitos -  October 9, 2011 - 8:49 pm

    I think Columbus day should be re-evaluated. Not only were his “discoveries” unrecognized by him for what they really were, but what he really did was pave the way for the conquest of already inhabited lands by Europeans, greedy for wealth and power. There was no discovery- only invasion. Unfortunately, the Europeans knew little about how to live in harmony with the environment and how to respect natural resources, so they were always out to conquer new lands and people and always looking for more to consume. These are things that could have been learned from the native people of the new world if the white man wasn’t so vain, pompous, and egotistical.

    Reply
  259. Tammy D -  October 9, 2011 - 6:28 pm

    I dislike Blogchi. I think he should be banned. He never says anything that is relevant to the posted content.

    Reply
  260. Mikeee -  October 9, 2011 - 2:15 pm

    Nice history! Some good stuff here. THANKS!!!

    Reply
  261. Don Roberts -  October 9, 2011 - 10:14 am

    America comes from the ATLANTEAN language (meaning,I AM RACE

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  262. JJRousseau -  October 9, 2011 - 9:19 am

    Merci Beaucoup, Oui, Lady Liberty?

    Reply
  263. AMERIC | BLOGCHI@mayopia.com -  October 9, 2011 - 7:16 am

    [...] ‘AMERIC’ — A segment of 36 Square Surface Feet of 12 Wooden Panels — and Receptive, the Country — was Feminine. — America was named. — We wonder where is ‘Waldseemüller’ hiding — other than in his work. — Columbo wore a dirty old trench Coat. — Perception of time and space changes, — even for us, — a segment of a clerk: — Always changing what is wrote, — Linking to what we see as relevant, — Holding on and Letting go. — America the Beautiful — North and South and Central — Surrounded by Seas and Oceans — And Politics just for show. –>>L.T.Rhyme This entry was posted in DEMOCRAZY, DICTCOMHOTWORD, L.T.Rhyme and tagged Democracy, LT, LTRhyme, the HOT WORD by admin. Bookmark the permalink. [...]

    Reply
  264. guest -  October 9, 2011 - 5:57 am

    Wouldn’t “Columbia” be a more likely name than “Columbusia”, considering that Columbus personally changed his name from Colombo to make it more Latin-ized?

    Reply

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