The river in South America (originally called by the Spanish Rio Santa Maria de la Mar Dulce) rechristened by Francisco de Orellana, 1541, after an encounter with female warriors of the Tapuyas (or, as some say, beardless, long-haired male tribesmen). Others hold that the river name is a corruption of a native word in Tupi or Guarani meaning "wave").
"vast treeless plains of South America," 1704, from Argentine Spanish pampas, plural of pampa, from Quechua (Inca) pampa "a plain." Related: Pampean. Similar landscapes north of the Amazon are called llanos (see llano).
1590s, from Spanish El Dorado "the golden one," name given 16c. to the country or city believed to lie in the heart of the Amazon jungle, from past participle of dorar "to gild," from Latin deaurare "to gild, to gild over," from de-, here probably intensive, + aurare "to gild," from aurum "gold" (see aureate). The story originated with the early Spanish explorers, and the place was sought for down to the 18th century.
1610s, American Spanish, "prairie; treeless, level plain," especially that of South America north of the Amazon, from noun use of Spanish llano "plain, even, level, smooth," ultimately from Latin planus "smooth, flat, level" (from PIE root *pele- (2) "flat; to spread"). Hence llanero "Latin-American cowboy" (1819), literally "plainsman."
late 14c., "man-like or heroic woman, woman of extraordinary stature, strength and courage," from Latin virago "female warrior, heroine, amazon," from vir "man" (from PIE root *wi-ro- "man"). Ælfric (c. 1000), following Vulgate, used it in Genesis ii.23 as the name Adam gave to Eve (KJV = woman):
Beo hire nama Uirago, þæt is, fæmne, forðan ðe heo is of hire were genumen.