In the Name of Spain

Spain has gone through several interesting name changes in its long history. When the area was first settled by immigrants from the desert around 3000 B.C., they were impressed by the vast amount of flowing water they found and named it “Iberia”, from “iber”, their word for river.

The Greeks, arriving in 600 B.C., had other ideas. They named the area “Hesperia”, meaning “land of the setting sun”. It’s current name, Spain, comes from the next group of settlers, the Carthaginians, who arrived in 300 B.C. and were apparently impressed by the number of rabbits in the area and called it “Ispania”, meaning “land of the rabbits”. They even went so far as to put rabbits on their currency.

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By English: UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs (OCHA) (original map), Crystallizedcarbon (derivative) [CC BY 3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons