Several Latin names of modern countries end in -landia if the corresponding English name ends in -land: Islandia, Nederlandia, Irlandia, Thailandia, Finlandia (also Finnia). England has a much older Latin name, and it is different: Anglia. I do not know of any region name ending in -landia in antiquity.

Where does the -landia suffix come from? Is it related to Latin? My impression is that it is the Germanic word land used in names of countries and regions, adapted to Latin by adding -ia. Is there an alternative for -landia in more classical Latin style?

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    Is this any different from 'Heliopolis,' or Hierusalem' ? – Hugh Oct 10 '16 at 17:23
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    @Hugh, I'm not sure I understand your comment. Do you mean that there was something comparable to -landia in antiquity? – Joonas Ilmavirta Oct 10 '16 at 17:37
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    Just that, although -opolis is a convenient 3rd decl. ending, its not very Latin, And there are several foreign names which are simply accepted as indeclinable Latin nouns. – Hugh Oct 10 '16 at 17:46

The suffix -landia is definitely derived from Germanic land. It has no clear cognates outside the Germanic languages and there are some hypotheses that it is a loan from some pre-indogermanic European language and/or that there is a connection to the Basque language.

I see no better Latin alternatives for Islandia or Nederlandia, but Finnia is definitely good, and why not Thaiia with an -ia suffix? And wasn't Hibernia used for Ireland (the island) earlier?

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    Good to know that there are no known Italic cognates of land. Using the Latin terra would probably be silly: Isterra, Nederterra, Thaiterra. – Joonas Ilmavirta Oct 10 '16 at 12:05
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    According to Philippa (2003-2009), there are cognates in Slavic and Celtic languages: etymologiebank.nl/trefwoord/land (They do not mention that those languages should have borrowed the word from Germanic.) They do agree that its ultimate root is quite possibly pre-Indo-European. – Cerberus Oct 10 '16 at 19:29
  • @Cerberus: Interesting. Grimm (see: woerterbuchnetz.de/cgi-bin/WBNetz/… ) explicitly discards the Celtic forms because of a different meaning, and says nothing about the Balto-Slavic ones. – jk - Reinstate Monica Oct 11 '16 at 13:42
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    Regarding my previous comment, I just remembered that England in Italian is "Inghilterra". Perhaps it's not that silly, after all. (Anyhow, I accepted the answer. Other answers are still welcome!) – Joonas Ilmavirta Oct 11 '16 at 14:46

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