How Did Sardinia Get Its Name?


You must know Sardinia for its mesmerizing beaches and picturesque scenery. This large island is indeed a marvel of Nature. Present in the western side of Italy, the name of this island has an extensive and interesting history. Many people are intrigued by the different and unique name of this island, and often wonder how this place got its name. Well, we are here to answer this question for you!

Getting to Sardinia - Tharros in Sardinia

Greek Etymology 

If we dig deeper into the etymology of its name, the unique name of this island originates from the Greek word called Sardo. The people who started inhabiting this beautiful island were also called Sardines. It is often believed that the name of this island kept evolving and changing with time, which made the original form of its unique name get somewhat lost. However, the historians are convinced that this magical island was named exclusively by the Greeks, who named it as Hyknusa.

 Another popular name for Sardinia found in the history books is Ichnussa (Ιχνουσσα). It is believed that this name has its roots in the Greek word “Ichnos”. Ichnos originally means a footprint of a human foot. You must be wondering why the island was named so, and whether giants once lived on this island. But the main logic behind this name is the fact that when we look closely at the map of this island, it looks like a large footprint. Therefore we can say that the name Sardinia is somehow justified for this breath-taking Island.

Latin Etymology

However, Romans have a totally different point of view regarding this. Romans believe that this beautiful island takes its name from the Latin word called Sardinia. The Romans say that the word Sardinia has its roots and origin in the pre-Roman noun called sard. Later on, this noun was romanized and was called as sardus. Different theories are attached with this unique name. 

Romans have a firm belief that the first appearance of this name was on the Nora Stone. On the stone, the word called Šrdn was present which shows the arrival of Phoenician merchants in the region. They also believe that the word “Sardine” was a common name for a little, oily fish belonging to the family Clupeidae of fish. 

Apart from that, the term “sardine” was used in the English language in the 15th century. It is believed that the name comes from the people called sardines living there in abundance. These people ate fish as their staple food which was salted and sundried. 

Overall, the name of Sardinia indeed has an interesting history! Sardinia is indeed a fun place and is an incredibly safe place that you must check out in the Italian kingdom. The extensive coastline and huge mountain ranges make this place look heavenly and out of this world!

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