Africa (n.) Look up Africa at
Latin Africa (terra) "African land, Libya, the Carthaginian territory," fem. of adjective Africus, from Afer "an African," a word of uncertain origin. The Latin word originally was used only in reference to the region around modern Tunisia; it gradually was extended to the whole continent. Derivation from Arabic afar "dust, earth" is tempting, but the early date seems to argue against it. The Middle English word was Affrike.