Sierra LeoneRelated entries & more
West African nation, literally "lion mountains," from Spanish sierra "mountain range" (see sierra) + leon "lion" (see lion). Attested from mid-15c. in Portuguese explorers' accounts, and a very early explanation of the name derives it from the "roaring" of thunder in the mountains. Related: Sierra Leonean.
YosemiteRelated entries & more
from Southern Sierra Miwok /yohhe'meti/ "they are killers." "[E]vidently a name given to the Indians of the valley by those outside it." [Bright]
NevadaRelated entries & more
U.S. state (organized as a territory 1861, admitted 1864), named for the Sierra Nevada mountain range on its western boundary, which are literally the "snowy mountains," from fem. of Spanish nevado "snowy" (see neve).
GranadaRelated entries & more
Moorish kingdom, after 1492 a Spanish province, named for its city, which was founded in 8c. by the Arabs on the site of Roman Illiberis. The name is said to be from Latin granatum "pomegranate," either from fruit grown in the region or from some fancied resemblance. Others connect the name to Moorish karnattah, said to mean "hill of strangers." The Roman name is said to be Iberian and represent cognates of Basque hiri "town" + berri "new," and it survives in the name of the surrounding Sierra Elvira. Related: Granadine.