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Somalia: A republic in eastern Africa bounded by the Gulf of Aden and the Indian Ocean. Its capital is Mogadishu. In 1960 it was constituted as an independent republic by the union of British Somaliland with the Trust Territory of Somalia (formerly Italian Somaliland), both flourishing in the 19th century. Many derivations are posed for its name taken from the indigenous people: from a Cushitic word meaning dark or black with reference to their skin; from soo mal, a local phrase meaning go and milk with reference to the hospitable people offering milk to guests; from the name of a tribal chieftain; or from the Arabic zamla, cattle, with reference to the many herds there. (From Webster's New Geographical Dictionary, 1988, p1130 & Room, Brewer's Dictionary of Names, 1992, p512).
Source: MeSH 2007
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