China–The Middle Kingdom

The concept of The Middle Kingdom is interesting, I think (and, since this is my blog, what I think matters (here, at least)). Read on for the explanation. You realize that every country has its own name for itself — The Germans don’t call Germany “Germany” they call it Deutschland, and they do it in German (well, in Deutsch, actually) and the same kind of thing happens all over the world. Now, I know you know that, but I’m not as quick. Well, the name for China isn’t China, even in Chinese…and Chinese isn’t Chinese either. Translated into English, the word for the country we know as China is Middle Kingdom, or Central Kingdom, on the order of The Center of Everything which kinda tells you how these folks viewed themselves from waayyyy back. Well, think about it; you wouldn’t expect a group of people to name themselves The Insignificant Others now would you? ‘course not. My sources tell me there was another contributing reason for the name having to do with geography — known peoples to the North and South gave rise to the thought of being in the middle — but the center of the universe idea seems to be the more commonly held reason even today. And just so you know, the Chinese name for the USA is The Beautiful Kingdom. (How did they figure that out?)