One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1A landmass in the western hemisphere that consists of the continents of North and South America joined by the Isthmus of Panama. The continent was originally inhabited by North American Indians and Inuits. The northeast coastline of North America was visited by Norse seamen in the 8th or 9th century, but for the modern world the continent was first reached by Christopher Columbus in 1492.
- 1.1 Used as a name for the United States.
The name America dates from the early 16th century and is believed to derive from the Latin form ( Americus) of the name of Amerigo Vespucci, who sailed along the west coast of South America in 1501.
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