Regional place names that sound like names of nations

Delmarva Peninsula – Source:


Below is my list of regions whose name sounds more like a nation’s name. Some of these are geographic regions while others are political. In some cases they correspond with the boundaries of a state, multiple states, and/or province(s).

Lapland – Source:

I am not sure if there is any significance in the fact that many of the places listed tend to be more remote, whether they are islands, peninsulas, mountainous areas, or another type of distant or edge landform. My unscientific guess is that these more remote places may have developed their own cultural identity before becoming part of a larger society, thus, that identity still remains strong. That certainly is true for Tibet, Sicily, and Lapland to name a few.

  • Anatolia – several regions (Central, East, and Southeast) of Turkey
  • Andalusia – region in southern Spain
  • Appalachia – mountainous region in the eastern USA
  • Atacama – desert region of northern Chile
  • Barataria – lowland regions south of New Orleans, USA
  • Bavaria – mountainous region of southern Germany
  • Borneo – island that consists of parts of Indonesia and Malaysia, as well as all of Brunei
  • Burgundy – region of SE France
  • Catalonia – region of NE Spain centered around Barcelona – an independence movement is strong here
  • Corsica – French island in the Mediterranean Sea
  • Crimea – peninsula in the Black Sea disputed by Ukraine and Russia
  • Delmarva – peninsula located between Chesapeake and Delaware Bays in the eastern USA – name is an acronym of DELaware/MARyland/VirginiA.
  • Iberia – peninsula consisting of Portugal and Spain
  • Jutland – Danish peninsula between the North and Baltic Seas
  • Katanga – former breakaway nation from the Democratic Republic of the Congo – located in SE corner of the country
  • Lapland – northern parts of Scandanavia along the Arctic Circle
  • Manchuria – industrial region in NE China
  • New England – region in the NE USA made up of six (6) states
  • Normandy – French region opposite the English Channel from Great Britain
  • Patagonia – mountainous region of southern Argentina
  • Rajasthan – region of west central India near the Oakistan border
  • Riviera – resort coastal region of France, Italy, and Monaco
  • Sardinia – Italian island in the Meditertanean Sea
  • Saxony – region in SE Germany centered around Dresden
  • Siberia – enormous region of eastern Russia extending from the Ural Mountains to the Bering Sea
  • Sicily – Italian island in the Mediterranean Sea
  • Tasmania – island state off the SE coast of Australia
  • Tibet – once an independent nation, now sadly ruled by China
  • Tuscany – lovely region of cental Italy
  • Wallonia – region occupying the souther half of Belgium
  • Yucatan – Mexican peninsula between the Bay of Campeche and the Carribean Sea
This entry was posted in Africa, Asia, Europe, geography, North America, Oceania, place names, South America. Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to Regional place names that sound like names of nations

  1. I’m puzzled by the idea that these names “sound like the names of nations.” I’ve never run across this concept. I’d like to see it defined. I know that many of these names are actually proper names of geographic entities: e.g. Atacama is the name of the desert. Some of the names connected with a particular group of people are not at all remote. Wallonia, for example. Siberia should be understood as a vast region originally owned and occupied by native peoples of Asiatic ethnicity, eventually conquered and annexed by Russia for its furs. I’m sure there are many articles about each one of these places online, for those who are interested in learning more.

    Liked by 1 person

    • problogic says:

      Just meant to be a fun exercise that explores the anatomy of place names. A region called The Midwest or The Great Basin hardly sound like names that could be confused with a nation. On the other hand, Patagonia or New England sure could.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.