America used to be referred to as Columbia, named after Christopher Columbus.
Therefore, British Columbia is the name given to the British part of America (ie Columbia), and it was British because Canada was a British colony. So British Columbia means “British America” (but America as a continent, even though the word DOES have very strong ties to the USA).
The Columbia River is what the area is named for, and it goes through both Canada and the US, hence British Columbia is the area of the Columbia river that is in Canada (British territory). The Columbia river is named that because America was Columbia.
OKAY. NEXT PROBLEM.
Colombia vs Columbia.
If my friend is anything to go off of, haha, then people from Colombia are very adamant that they are Colombian and not Columbian. It’s not called Columbia.
Both names are derived from Christopher Columbus.
So really, they’re basically the same thing.
Except that the name Columbus is from Greek kolumbos (κόλυμβος) so I’m thinking that both are off, since the Us are more like the english “oo” sound. So English made it a U and Spanish made it a O, but both are kinda off from the Greek.
In Spanish, Columbia sounds like “coloombia” because that’s how they pronounce the U.
But even though that would have been closer to the transliteration from Greek, both Italian and Spanish use Colombia instead of Columbia.
So why does Italian use Colombo instead of Columbo, when the word in Latin was “Columbe”, for dove?
I don’t think there’s an answer for that one, lol. Some italian guy decided that’s how it was going to be spelled.
and that one guy, hundreds and hundreds of years ago, is the entire reason Colombia is called Colombia and not Columbia, and thus the entire reason why Spanish and Colombian people are butthurt about English-speakers misspelling Colombia as Columbia.