Friday, March 09, 2012

Happy Birthday, Amerigo Vespucci!

On this day in 1454 (or perhaps on a different day, since calendrical reform wasn't really fulfilled yet), Amerigo Vespucci was born.

Who? The guy whose name was given to the Americas (based on the Latinized version of his name - Americanus), which is why we don't call the continent(s) "Columbiana" or something similar. (Wouldn't it have been interesting to call it "Eriksonia"?)

So just what does "Amerigo" mean? Well, it's the Italian version of Emmerich. "Emmerich"? Yeah, I don't know anyone named "Emmerich", but it apparently means one of the following:
  • "Universal power"
  • "Work power"
  • "Home power"
So, "America" is a Latinized version of an Italianized version of a German name that could mean of of three things about power.

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