In 711 CE, Umayyads from North Africa conquered the Iberian peninsula and ruled large chunks Spain and Portugal for almost eight more centuries. These Muslims in particular were known as Moors, a word which comes from a French apellation, more. More occasionally took the form of maure, and it comes from Latin Maurus, which described anyone from the North African region of Mauritania- that's also where the word Mauritania comes from. Beyond that, maurus is from Greek mauros, which most likely meant "black", but we're not a hundred percent sure. Time for some fun facts! This interpretation of moor has nothing to do with the "fasten" or "uncultivated land" definitions (those are Germanic), and the Latin name Maurus actually covered parts of modern-day Algeria and Morocco, but not the current country of Mauritania.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.