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.