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Old 10-16-2019, 08:41 AM
Jim B. is offline
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Why was America named after Amerigo Vespucci?


Re: Why was America named after Amerigo Vespucci? I have another fact, I would like to submit.

The article also talks about the Latin (or other) origin of the name. And I recall reading some place the English name 'Emery' has the same origin. I wish I knew where I read that, because then I could provide a cite. Also, I did look up 'America' in my dictionary. And it says it probably derives from the name of a mountain range in Nicaragua, whose origins are Amerindian.

Cecil never included any of this info in his article. So I thought I would. No problem though. I am sure if columnist included every bit of information, the article would just become unwieldy.

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Old 10-16-2019, 09:40 AM
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Wait, your dictionary says that Amerigo Vespucci was named after a mountain range in Nicaragua?
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Old 10-16-2019, 10:02 AM
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Wait, your dictionary says that Amerigo Vespucci was named after a mountain range in Nicaragua?
No.
Emery Vespucci was named after a mountain range in Nicaragua.
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Old 10-16-2019, 06:49 PM
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Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
Re: [URL="http://www.straightdope.com/columns/read/951/why-was-america-named-after-amerigo-vespucci/"]...And I recall reading some place the English name 'Emery' has the same origin. I wish I knew where I read that, because then I could provide a cite...
Amerigo & Emery are both descendants of Emmerich.
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Old 10-16-2019, 07:53 PM
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I can’t find this Nicaraguan hypothesis anywhere. The OED3, in particular, has nothing to say about it.
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Old 10-16-2019, 11:08 PM
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Why the name? Because "God bless Vespucciland" doesn't sound right. Meanwhile, did descendants of Amerigo drop the 'Ves' from the front of their name?
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Old 10-17-2019, 09:46 PM
Jim B. is offline
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I can’t find this Nicaraguan hypothesis anywhere. The OED3, in particular, has nothing to say about it.
FWIW I found it in Webster's New World College Dictionary ISBN 0-02-860333-8. Also it was published in 1996, if that helps.

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Last edited by Jim B.; 10-17-2019 at 09:47 PM. Reason: Typo.
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Old 10-20-2019, 10:40 PM
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Had any Europeans explored Nicaragua and reported on its mountain ranges before 1507?
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Old 10-20-2019, 11:08 PM
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No Spanish, aside from Columbus exploring the coast on his fourth voyage.

John Cabot, however, mentions the Amerisque mountains on a 1497 map. But I do not know of any evidence that Martin Waldseemüller had any access to that map.
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Old 10-30-2019, 12:16 PM
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Were there any serious rivals in the race or did other early mapmakers simply fall in line? One would imagine that Columbia would have been a contender for instance.
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Old 11-02-2019, 04:31 AM
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Were there any serious rivals in the race or did other early mapmakers simply fall in line?
A good question and one I don't really have an answer to. The good recentish thorough book (and edition) on the Waldseemüller's map is John W. Hessler's The Naming of America (Library of Congress/Giles, 2008). Yet it doesn't discuss the reception of the map. Indeed what it tends to emphasise is the rarity of the map's survival and how long it took for historians to notice the significance of the key specimen.* None of which however says anything at all to how contemporaries reacted to the map.

*One of the central figures in recognising the importance was the major cartographic historian and Jesuit priest Father Joseph Fischer, who is now probably best known for having been fingered as the forger of the Vinland Map in Kirsten Seaver's Maps. Myths and Men (Stanford, 2004). A book I like, without quite being convinced by that driving thesis.
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Old 11-10-2019, 10:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jim B. View Post
Re: Why was America named after Amerigo Vespucci? I have another fact, I would like to submit.

The article also talks about the Latin (or other) origin of the name. And I recall reading some place the English name 'Emery' has the same origin. I wish I knew where I read that, because then I could provide a cite. Also, I did look up 'America' in my dictionary. And it says it probably derives from the name of a mountain range in Nicaragua, whose origins are Amerindian.

Cecil never included any of this info in his article. So I thought I would. No problem though. I am sure if columnist included every bit of information, the article would just become unwieldy.

Re: the mountain range in Nicaragua, that theory has largely been discarded by academics. The range you refer to is the Amerrisque, named after an indigenous people who have all but vanished. There's an exhaustive article on the topic of possible indigenous origins here. The author concludes

Quote:
In conclusion, there is really no solid evidence to support the American toponym hypothesis—that the name America comes from the Amerrique Mts. in Nicaragua; nor that it is connected with the myriad of linguistic homonymic variants, such as Amaraca, Maracaibo, Cax-Amarca, etc. Although, it’s fun to think about, just because a word(s) is found in several languages, especially those separated by time and space, that doesn’t necessarily mean a connection exists between them.
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