11 Best Country Nicknames in The World
Have you ever wondered why countries have nicknames and how did they get them? Some come from ancient history, others from geographical features, while others still are simply stereotypes. Here are 11 of the most beautiful nicknames for countries the world over, to brighten up your next travel destination!
1/ South Africa: the Rainbow Nation
This name was given by Desmond Tutu, when he described his dream for a post-apartheid South Africa in which all groups could live peacefully together.
2/ Japan: The Land of the Rising Sun
The origin of this phrase goes back to a message from Japanese Prince Shotoku, addressed to his Chinese counterpart more than 1500 years ago: “From the sovereign of the land of the rising sun to the sovereign of the land of the setting sun” (as China is situated to the west of Japan).
3/ Australia: Oz
Oz, or the Land of Oz, comes quite simply from shortening the word Australia. Phonetically, Aus = Oz. In addition, we can make the flattering link between the country and Frank L. Baum’s “Marvellous Land of Oz”.
4/ Armenia: The Land of Noah
The ‘remains’ of Noah’s Ark can be found in Armenia, visible only to those who really want to see them…
5/ China: Celestial Empire
If China is also referred to as The Middle Kingdom, it is often rechristened The Celestial Empire, an expression used by the Chinese population to refer to the world, or all that is earthly. It could be interpreted as “everything that can be found under the heavens”.
6/ Cyprus: the Island of Love
Legend has it that the beautiful Aphrodite emerged nude from the waves that crash on the shore in Cyprus.
7/ Korea: the Land of the Morning Calm
This refers to a translation for the old name for Korea, Choson, literally meaning ‘morning freshness’, allegedly in reference to their relations with China during the Ming dynasty, while it was the Yi dynasty that reigned in Korea.
8/ France: the Hexagon
A name for Metropolitan France because of its characteristic shape. Nothing more complicated than that!
9/ Spain & Portugal: the Iberian Peninsula
The name refers to a mountain region associated with Spain & Portugal.
10/ Finland: the Land of a Thousand Lakes
There are apparently 187,888 lakes in Finland.
11/ Ireland: the Emerald Isle or Green Island
The Green Island is a nickname that well reflects the countrysides in Ireland, which is more poetically known as “the Emerald Isle”.
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