The Czech Republic Wants Us To Call It "Czechia"

By James O Malley on at

It turns out that we've been calling the Czech Republic the wrong name all along.

According to The Guardian in a joint statement the President, Prime Minister and other senior officials from the central European country are officially asking the United Nations to update its database with the name they prefer for their country: Czechia.

The name Czechia has actually been around much longer - dating back far into the region's complex history. Even since the Republic's divorce in 1993 from Slovakia (when the two used to be together as Czechoslovakia), the government has only recommended the full two-word official name for use on official documents. For everything else, they've wanted to be Czechia.

Officials hope that the 'new' name will reduce confusion and misspellings - though we're not sure the Russian province of Chechnya will agree. (And we're pretty sure the Australian and Austrian embassies might also point out potential pitfalls to the Czech government). The formal name is also thought to be too long - with the Czech government arguing that the counter examples of "United Kingdom" and "United States" both have obvious, less unwieldy acronyms to use instead.

The hope is that everyone will have got used to the new name by the time the Olympics takes place this summer. To support the new push, they have also launched a slightly passive aggressive new website to bust various "myths" about why the new name shouldn't be used. [The Guardian]