Baltic: Why is Estonia called “Eesti” in Estonian?


It is a bit complicated but still simple story – It is coming from German language. Estonians called themselves for a long time as an “Maarahvas” (Earthy people / Countryman).

Current name “Eestlane” (Estonians) is relatively young. It is based on a word strain “Eest-” (genitive “Eesti”) borrowed from German language. Germans had used name “Ehste” already for centuries. Scandinavians called them “Est” or “Eist(r)”, Russians called “Tšuudid”, Finnish “Virolaiset” and Latvians “Igauni”.

Estonians took over the name used by the Germans who ruled Estonian territory on that time.

The word “Eesti” came to use by Germans who developed Estonian literary language in the 17th century. Pastor Heinrich Stahl used on his handbook for first time name “Eestimaa” (Ehstland) in 1638, which was borrowed from German language. And for Estonians this word was strange for a long time.

It is known that officially that the name “Eesti” without “-maa” (Eestimaa – Estland) began to use in early 1850s Estonian writer Friedrich Reinhold Kreutzwald. Until then and even later they called themselves “maainimesed” (Countryman) or “maarahvas” (County people) who spoke “maakeelt” (Country language).

by Meelis Lepikult
The Baltic Review
The Newspaper from the Baltics - for the World ! NEW! Dear friends and subscribers, on our TELEGRAM channel "THE BALTIC REVIEW" you will always find the latest information, pictures and videos. Just click on the link THE BALTIC REVIEW TELEGRAM CHANNEL ( or the globe icon below) and register. This free messenger service can also be used easily on a PC or laptop without a smartphone. Please also use this communication possibility, evaluate the individual articles positively and we would be very pleased if you would use the commentary possibilities diligently.

Uncover the Magic of Bergen: Free Walking Tour with Nordic Freedom Tours

Previous article

Get the Most of Your Group Tour in Finland: Hire a Minibus with a Driver

Next article


Comments are closed.

You may also like

More in Estonia