Learning - General Knowledge | 3-15 yrs

6 Countries That Changed Their Names


When you think of a country, the first thing that comes to the mind is its name. And this name is set in stone. But, can a country have one name today and a new one tomorrow? Well, for some countries, that's literally what happened.

Over the years, quite a few countries have taken the serious step of officially changing their names. Some countries have changed their names when they gained independence, others for political reasons and one has even done it for branding purposes.

Find out who they are and share these interesting trivia with your child. 



In 1989, the military junta that had seized control of Burma officially changed the country's name to Myanmar. At the same time, the name of the capital Rangoon was changed to Yangon. The change in name was recognised by the United Nations but not...


The country to change it's name most recently is eSwatini. You may be more familiar with it's previous name Swaziland because that's what it was called until April 2018. The change was made by it's King Mswati III on the country's 50th Independenc...


The south-east Asian nation of Cambodia has had a number of names over the years. Initially it is believed to have been called Kampuchea. When the French took over they named it Combodge or Cambodia. In 1970, the country named itself the Khmer Rep...

Czech Republic

Until 1993, the Czech Republic and Slovakia were one country. Collectively they were called Czechoslovakia. However, the Czech Republic's leaders are not happy with the current name as they feel like it's too wrong. They propose to change the name...


Did you know that the former name of Thailand was Siam? You'd be forgiven if you didn't for the name was changed way back in 1939. In 1938, a dictator named Phibun took charge of the country. He changed the name to Thailand in a move to inspire na...

Sri Lanka

The name 'Lanka' has been around for millenia which is evident from references to it in texts such as the Ramayana. However, when the British colonised the island they named it Ceylon. In 1972, the country became an independent republic and change...

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