Call it Czechia! UK Body Recommends Axing ‘Czech Republic’

The UK’s Permanent Committee on Geographical Names has advised using the short-form Czechia in all contexts to replace the longer name

Dave Park

Written by Dave Park Published on 23.09.2016 11:59:30 (updated on 23.09.2016) Reading time: 1 minute

Czech Republic or Czechia? The debate rages on.

While some repulse at the mere mention of Czechia, by this point many accept the term for use as a short-form version of the Czech Republic when the longer name may not be necessary or appropriate.

But now, one official English-language geographical body has recommended that ‘Czech Republic’ be replaced in all contexts by the shorter ‘Czechia’.  

The UK’s Permanent Committee on Geographical Names, or PCGN, has advised the British government on “policies and procedures for the proper writing of geographical names for places and features outside the UK” since 1919.

By following world developments and name changes, the committee approves official English-language names for use in government documents.

And while ‘Czechia’ has been entered alongside ‘Czech Republic’ in the official UN Database of Geographical Names as an acceptable short-form version, the PCGN is now advising that the longer name be dropped entirely.

“PCGN would henceforth recommend that Czechia be used as the country name,” the body declared in an information paper produced yesterday, “although initially it may be deemed helpful to include reference to the state title Czech Republic e.g. Czechia (Czech Republic).

“The name Czechia has been added as the sole form of the country name to PCGN’s list of country names.”

The PCGN is made up of members from the BBC Monitoring Service, the Royal Geographical Society, Defence Intelligence, and other official bodies.

What does their recommendation entail?

Official UK government documents may now use Czechia in all contexts as a replacement for Czech Republic, and the new name is likely to filter down through UK media.

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