I’d never spent much time considering the origin of the country name of Chile. To the extent that I’d ever thought about it, I assumed it had something to do with the geography and borders — on a map, it looks (to me) like a long, skinny chili pepper. But no, that’s not the source of the name. From Dictionary.com:
Despite appearances, the name of the country has nothing to do with chili peppers. In fact it gets its name from the araucano language (also known as mapuche), which is today spoken by over 300,000 people in Chile and Argentina. Many words of Araucanian origin are used in Chilean Spanish. The name Chile is Araucanian for “Land’s End”. So where does the araucano language come from? Chile was originally the home of the araucanos from the southeast of Latin America, a people known for their independence and indomitable spirit.