Stories We Like: Novels For Language Lovers
1550s, from Spanish/Portuguese terra de brasil "red-dye-wood land," from Spanish brasil or Italian brasile, probably connected to French braize (see braize) for resemblance of color to a glowing ember (but Old Italian form verzino suggests a possible connection with Arabic wars "saffron"). Originally the name of a type of wood from an East Indian tree, used in making dye; the name later was transferred to a similar South American species. Brazil in reference to the wood is attested in English from late 14c. Complicating matters is Hy Brasil, a name applied by 1436 to one of the larger Azores Islands, later transferred to a legendary island or rock off the west coast of Ireland (sighted in 1791 at lat. 51° 10', long. 15° 58').
Capital of Brazil, located in its central highlands.
Note: One of the newest cities in the world, Brasilia was inaugurated in 1960 to replace Rio de Janeiro as Brazil's capital. The Brazilian government moved the capital in an effort to promote development in central Brazil. In less than thirty years, its population had grown to over a million inhabitants.
Note: The largest of the Latin-American countries, Brazil occupies almost half of South America.
Note: It is the world's leading coffee exporter.
Note: The only country in South America whose history was dominated by Portugal; it is the largest Portuguese-speaking country in the world.