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The country of Belgium derives its name from Gallia Belgica, the Roman province. This led to "België" in Dutch, "Belgique" in French, and "Belgium" in English.

Why was the Latin word Anglicized this way? I know of no other "-ium" countries, but plenty of "-a" and "-ia" countries. So why wasn't "Belgica" left as-is for the new country's English name? It's a perfectly comfortable pronunciation for English-speakers. Or why not "Belgia" or "Belgicia," to match the common "-ia" pattern?

Wiktionary gives Belgium as the proper declension of Belgae, the tribe for whom the province was named. This makes sense, but it would seem to be the only example in all the world. Were no other countries named for tribes known to the Romans? Or were they all Anglicized by a different pattern?

One can speculate that it was a juvenile suggestion by some starhopping truant in 1830, the word "Belgium" being terribly offensive in the rest of the galaxy.

closed as off-topic by Pieter Geerkens, Comintern, Semaphore, CGCampbell, KillingTime Mar 20 '16 at 17:50

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    Belgium is a Latin synonym for Belgica; "proper declension" isn't a real thing. It was "anglicised" "as-is" from that form. And it is certainly not the "only" -ium place name. I can think of (1) The City of the World's Desires: Byzantium, (2) Homeland of the Latins: Latium, (3) The Isle of the Blest: Elysium, and (4) Londonium. They were simply less common than -a ending proper nouns to begin with and hence much fewer survived. – Semaphore Mar 20 '16 at 16:55
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    But none of those are in current English use for a real place. – user4139 Mar 20 '16 at 16:57
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    Not a history question this is a linguistic question. – Pieter Geerkens Mar 20 '16 at 17:02
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    No, that is very wrong. 1830 was when Belgium became an independent state, not when it was named. And the word is directly adopted from a Latin word, just like many other place names even today. I don't know why you expect Latin-literate writers to deliberately misspell the word, even if no other -ium proper nouns were in currency at the time. – Semaphore Mar 20 '16 at 17:24
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    You don't seem to understand that "Belgium" was an entirely proper Latin name. The Union of Utrecht in 1579 called itself the "Belgium Foederatum", and writers used that exact same name in English. Just like Byzantium became Byzantium in English. There is nothing unique about it at all. It simply wasn't "Anglicised". – Semaphore Mar 20 '16 at 17:48