Supposedly the Greeks came up with these names.

Anyone know what they mean?

Europe was probably named after Europa, but why?

I seem to recall the root “Asia” means “East,” but I could be imagining it.

I have not seen any source for “Africa.”

I have heard that “Africa” comes from the Greek meaning “not cold.”

I saw a PBS show which claimed “Asia” meant “that land over there.” But it was hosted by Michael Wood, so I’m dubious.

I too have wondered why Europa rates a continent.

And any minute now, someone will find the link to Cecil’s column…

Asia and Africa were the names of Roman provinces in modern Turkey and Libya, respectively. “Libya” was what the greeks called Africa, the continent. I don’t know what they called Europe and Asia.

And yes, Cecil did cover this. I believe that it’s in his first book.


Read the OP very carefully. The questions I axed were not addressed in Cecil’s series. He did address Europe/Asia/continent/region questions–but not mineses (pronounced “mine-zizz,” Southern for “mine”).

EB to the rescue:

Still working on Europe…

“The world ends when I die. And as far as I’m concerned, the rest of the universe might as well call it a day too.” – Matt Groening

Not that I’ve seriously looked into this, but I though “Africa” was derived from the arabic “Ifriquya”.