Special Report

The Surprising Stories Behind 50 Country Names

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11. Liechtenstein
> Population: 38,000

Liechtenstein means “bright stone.” The nation is named after the Liechtenstein family who came from Austria.

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12. Luxembourg
> Population: 607,000

Luxembourg’s name is derived from the Germanic “lutilla” (little) and “burg” (fort, castle).

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13. Macedonia
> Population: 2.1 million

Macedonia comes from the Greek word “makedones,” and it means “highlanders” or “the tall ones.”

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14. Poland
> Population: 37.9 million

Poland’s name comes from a Slavonic tribe near what is now the city of Poznan. It means “people of the field, meadow, or plain.”

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15. Spain
> Population: 46.7 million

The word “span” or “tsepan” was the Punic word for rabbit, and apparently there were a lot of them in ancient times. It’s possible it comes from the word “spahn” or “North,” as the nation is north of Carthage. The Romans later Latinized the name to Hispania, which became the Spanish Espanya, which was anglicized to Spain.