Why Hungary?

Going right along with the “Why Germany?” topic below, I have been wondering for a long time why we call them “Hungarians” when they call themselves “Magyars”. Does this have anything to do with Huns? The Magyars are supposed to have originated on the other side of the Urals, after all. Has Cecil covered this, too?

neuro-trash grrrl (is that the right number of "r"s?) asks:

“Hun” has nothing to do directly with “Hungarian” (although I suppose the same goyische kop that associated “Tatar” with “Tartarus” and “Mongol” with “Magog” may have confused the issue). Actually, “Hungary” is related to Slavic Ugre and *Og’rin, meaning a speaker of a Finno-Ugrian (get it?) language, instead of an Indo-European one (**Og’rin’*, incidentally, appears to be Altaic, not Finno-Ugrian. The vulgate Laws of Thermodynamics seem appropriate here).

“Kings die, and leave their crowns to their sons. Shmuel HaKatan took all the treasures in the world, and went away.”

I think the Huns and the Magyars are related. The Magyars are said to have settled Hungary in the 10th Century AD; Atilla was king of the Huns in the 5th Century AD.

Atilla’s kingdom was centered on modern Hungary. The best explanation I heard for the association between Huns and Hungary is


Both Huns and Magyars originated in Central Asia. The Magyar language is in the Uralic family; the Uralic languages have theoretical connections to the Altaic languages which include Turkish and Mongolian. What language the Huns spoke, I suppose we will never know, but they are pretty commonly thought to be of Mongolian stock, so I would hazard the guess that they spoke an Altaic language.

Two separate waves of Central Asians settling the same area seems like quite a coincidence. My own little theory, inspired by http://www.hungary.com/hungq/no142/p126.html, is that the two separate waves of Asian horse people both chose the Great Hungarian Plane because it is the part of Europe most like Central Asia. It wouldn’t do to try to ride pell-mell through the black forest or the Alps, after all.

Hey, if you can get a herd of elephants across the Alps, why not horses?

And isn’t ‘Hungry’ one of those ‘-gry’ words?


People are often a given a name by their neighbors. When you ask a person what they call themselves, you’ll get a word that translates to “the people”.

Note these:
“German” deutsch
“Japanese” Nihon go

A Japanese person is a nihon-jin. Nihon-go means Japanese language.

Armenia=Hayeretz? Is it coincidence that this resembles “ha’eretz” which if I recall correctly is “the land” in Hebrew? If not coincidence, what is relation between Armenia and ancient tribes of Israel, if any?