There's actually an alternative explanation of the origins of 'America'
which holds that it is derived from the surname Ameryk (ap Meryk), after an
English businessman of recent Welsh heritage who funded some kind of
transatlantic voyage. I don't know how much credence this theory is given,
though. Just thought I'd put that out there.
On Fri, Jan 20, 2012 at 13:46, David Stifter <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
> I have to re-iterate the sentiment expressed here, there is nothing
> obvious in the alleged similarity between "Ar(e)morica" and
> "America". Even though in some variants of English the sound /r/ has
> disappeared in syllable-final position, this by no means says
> anything about other languages like the Romance ones, where /r/ is
> still a very vibrant (in the literal sense) sound in this position.
> And America was first named in Romance languages, not in English.
> As for the etymology of Amerigo, this is entirely irrelevant to the
> etymology of America. Whenever something (a thing, person, place,...)
> is secondarily called after the individual name of a person, the
> ultimate origin of that name adds nothing to the understanding of the
> newly named entity (unless the secondary naming process was
> specifically undertaken in order to reflect the original meaning, but
> such cases are exceedingly rare).
> So for the name America it suffices to say that it is artificially
> derived from Amerigo - whatever that is (probably "person belonging
> to Ameria = Amelia").
> On 20 Jan 2012 at 14:57, Marion Gunn wrote:
> > I am not conversant with its etymology. I understand that it was called
> > after the surname Amerigo, whose etymology, in turn, I do not know — in
> > fact, I didn't even know that was a surname from Italy, rather than from
> > Portugal. Perhaps "superficial" would have been a better adjective for
> > me to use than "obvious". Either way, if this is a non-runner, please
> > forget it and resume normal discussion here.
> > mg
"As I would not be a slave, so I would not be a master."