Etymology of Cyprus
The etymology of the Greek name Kypros is unknown. Suggestions include:
- the Greek word for the Mediterranean cypress tree (Cupressus sempervirens), κυπάρισσος (kypárissos)
- the Greek name of the henna plant (Lawsonia alba), κύπρος (kýpros)
- an Eteocypriot word for copper. Georges Dossin, for example, suggests that it has roots in the Sumerian word for copper (zubar) or for bronze (kubar), from the large deposits of copper ore found on the island.
The earliest attested reference to Cyprus is the Mycenaean Greek ku-pi-ri-jo, meaning "Cypriot", written in Linear B syllabic script.
Through overseas trade, the island has given its name to the Classical Latin word for copper through the phrase aes Cyprium, "metal of Cyprus", later shortened to Cuprum. Cyprus, more specifically the shores of Paphos, was also one of the birthplaces of Aphrodite given in Greek mythology, who was known as Kupria, since according to Phoenician mythology, Astarte, goddess of love and beauty, was later identified with Aphrodite.
The standard demonym relating to Cyprus or its people or culture is Cypriot. The terms Cypriote and Cyprian are also, less frequently, used.