The name Brazil is an abbreviated form of Terra do Brasil (Land of Brazil), a reference to the tree of Brazil. Brazil is the largest country in South America and occupies approximately half of the continent. It is one of the largest and most economically important countries in the world. The Portuguese wanted to call it Terra da Santa Cruz (Land of the Holy Cross), but the popular name given by the sailors stuck.
Some people believe that the name comes from the nut tree from Brazil, which is native to several countries, including Venezuela, Brazil, Bolivia, Peru, and Colombia. Overexploitation caused a sharp decline in the number of trees in Brazil in the 18th century, causing this economic activity to collapse. No, Brazil did not get its name from the nut, but from another tree, the wood of Brazil, which was very valuable and was found in Brazil when the Portuguese first arrived. Portuguese explorers became the first Europeans to land on the coast of present-day Brazil in 1500 AD.
The nut called Brazil nut (seed of Bertholletia excelsa) is named after Brazil, not the other way around. During this pre-colonial era, numerous indigenous groups could have used several names to refer to the region. According to some historians, this common name was adopted from the plant as the name of the country, the largest and most biodiverse country in South America. Some people claim that the first Portuguese boat captain to encounter Brazil thought he had found this legendary island.
Wood from Brazil is listed as an endangered species by the World Union for Conservation of Nature and is on Brazil's official endangered flora list. Brazil (spelled Brazil in Portuguese) was discovered in 1500 by the Portuguese explorer Pedro Álvares Cabral, who landed near the current city of Santa Cruz de Cabralia, in the state of Bahia. The first recorded name of this territory was found in letters sent by the ship's captain to Portugal. The first reference to land as Brazil dates back to between 1506 and 1509, when an explorer referred to the area as Terra do Brasil (land of Brazil).
Located near Porto Seguro, this area is believed to have hosted a large concentration of wood from Brazil, hence the name given to the river. Pau is the colloquial name for the tree (or tree), and the red sap that emanates when the trunk is cut is the color of a burning piece of charcoal (brasa in Portuguese).