Quick: Paris is the capital of which country?
You probably said, “France.”
However, technically, it’s “the French Republic.” But who says that? Only a petulant Frenchman.
Now try this: what’s the name of the country that drinks more beer per capita than any other country?
If you’re feeling petulant, it’s the Czech Republic. If you want to be cool, it’s Czechia.
Peruse the CIA’s Factbook and you’ll find that most countries have a long-form name and a short-form name. The People’s Republic of China is the long-form name, while China is its short-form name. The United States of America is also a mouthful, which is why there are popular alternatives: America (which many Latin Americans object to), the USA, the US, the States or Gringoland.
For the last 100 years, the Czechs have been unable to come up with an easy name for English speakers to call their country. In 1918, when they first formed their country, the Czechs called their country Czechoslovakia. That tongue-twister was ridiculed by National Geographic, which called the new country’s name “awful” and an “unfair handicap for the young state.”
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