WORD FOR THE WISE
For the next month, the giant South American country will be centre of the universe as it hosts the World Cup, the biggest sporting carnival on the globe. Australia will be there, but its sojourn may be brief. There are a couple of theories on how Brazil received its name. One postulates that it derives from a Gaelic legend about an island that only appears once every seven years and which according to one story was called Hy-Brazil. But the more popular theory goes back to Portugal’s colonisation of the country in the 1500s. Initially the area was known as Land of the True Cross, but as it developed as a trading post its main export was a tree called the pau-brasil. It was a wood that produced a bright red dye. So red it was like an ember. And Latin for ember is brasa.