Eli5 Why is Georgia the country called Georgia instead of its own name saqartvelo? If we call it saqartvelo we shouldn’t be confused with Georgia the state right?

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Eli5 Why is Georgia the country called Georgia instead of its own name saqartvelo? If we call it saqartvelo we shouldn’t be confused with Georgia the state right?

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We don’t use a lot of autononyms(what people in the place call the place) for countries who speak other languages. [Here is why we call it Georgia.](https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Georgia_(country)#Etymology) We tend to still call things what ancient Europeans called them because English is old, and those places are older.

Most common explanation – an Italian cartographer wrote it as “Jorgia” based on the Persian name of the people of the area, “gurğān”. Some people say it comes from the fact that St. George was popular amongst the Georgian people but that’s less verifiable/more just a fan theory.

(1) The name “Georgia” for the country is a lot older than the state of Georgia. If anyone should “change” it’s the state, not the country.

(2) Georgia the country also calls itself “Georgia” (or variants of that name) when communicating in English and many other non-native languages.

(3) Lots of countries aren’t called after what their natives call the place. E.g. Germans call their country “Deutschland” which has nothing to do with the word “Germany”, and the Fins call their country “Suomi” which is unrelated to the word “Finland”. Basically, you don’t necessarily get to decide what others call you, especially if they have been calling you it for a long time. Unless there’s a reason to change it (e.g. if the name is somehow offensive, hurtful or inaccurate) you’re probably stuck with it.

(4) Lots of places have the same name as other places. The New World in particularly has historically been pretty adept at stealing names. Sometimes they had the decency to add a modifier like “New” to clarify the distinction (New York, New Hampshire, etc.), but in many cases we ended up with names like Naples, Florida; London, Canada; and perhaps most egregiously: Athens, Georgia (which is something of a double whammy, although to be fair Georgia the state wasn’t named after the country but after the King of England). And that’s not to mention all the Springfields that exist in the US (as well as other towns with identical names). If you want every place to have a unique name, you have to rename a lot more places than just Georgia.