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User Name Thread Name Subject Posted
AKS BS: countries that named themselves (69* d) RE: BS: countries that named themselves 07 May 02

Sorry to be slow, was interrupted more than once ...

To MudGuard: nemec < nemoj, dumb, mute, ie one who can not speak 'our' language.

Finland certainly is a name given by foreigners; the Roman historian Tacitus (1st century) was the first to write on Fenniae (unless he confuses the Fenians here;-) and their strange habits. We ourselves (and the Estonians) call our country Suomi (s-oo-oh-m-ee). It originally has denoted the province around Turku in South West of F. only, but nobody knows for certain whether the name really means (or has meant) anything at all. Etymologically it is often connected to saami 'Lapp', some say it must mean 'land of swamp/bog' (suo = bog, marsh, swamp), but that's not probable. Although it sounds great, Misophist, there's no 'free people' connotation in 'suomi'. In fact it would suit fine, mind you, there's never been feudalism here!

I am quite convinced that if you ask any Russian person about their country's (Rus' / Rossija) or nation's (russkije) name, they'd claim them to be of old Russian origin. But the source lies in Sweden (Svearike); the vikings (varyags) who founded Kievskaja Rus along the Dnepr river (the first Russian state) came mainly from Roslagen, the coastal area north of Stockholm, that in turn had got its name from rodslag, 'a crew of oarsmen'. Funny thing is that the original home of these ancient rowers is remembered only by Finns and Estonians; we call Sverige 'Ruotsi / Rootsi'. The rest of the world seems to know their creation only :-).

A minor correction, guest mr happy: a Hungarian (magyar) who speaks in Hungarian (magyarul) calls his/her country Magyarország ('magyar land', /gy/ is one letter, pronounced soft (palatalized) d, /sz/ stands for s).

Have to run now, got an apple tree to plant (or would 'set' be the correct verb?)!


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