SQ772 From Singapore, joined Nov 2001, 1792 posts, RR: 5 Reply 5, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 21 hours ago) and read 3686 times:
Interesting that this question came just after my Business Chinese lesson.
Yes, Cathay means China. In ancient times, before Marco Polo even went ot China, the Eastern Europeans and parts of Europe refer to China as Cathay. In fact, some Eastern Europeans still call China Cathay to this day.
Kaitak From Ireland, joined Aug 1999, 12176 posts, RR: 35 Reply 6, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 3623 times:
Yes, people often speak of "old Cathay". Personally, I think it's a great name. I remember, before I really became interested in planes, that there were certain great names in aviation that I had heard of - KLM, Qantas, Pan Am, SAS . . . and Cathay Pacific. It's a very evocative name, suggesting the mystery of the orient, adventure, mystique, the romance of travel . . .
(okay, barf bags out . . . )
There is a hotel in Manila called, quite imaginatively, the Manila Hotel. It's one of Asia's swankiest hotels and in that hotel is a bar called the Tropicana. Legend has it that in this bar sometime in early 1946, Time and Newsweek journalists, among others, were chatting to Roy Farrell and Syd de Kantzow about possible names for an airline and one came up with Cathay Pacific. Kind of adds to the legend, wouldn't you say!
Senliture From Australia, joined May 2000, 430 posts, RR: 0 Reply 8, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 12 hours ago) and read 3481 times:
Cathay Pacific is named after a hotel in Shanghai, which the founders (forgotten how many people there) were talking about starting a new airlines. The name of the hotel appears in a movie, which talks about an English boy's life in Shanghai during WW2.
Dynkrisolo From United States of America, joined Feb 2001, 1845 posts, RR: 8 Reply 12, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 3279 times:
No, Cathay is not of Portuguese origin. Cathay is of Central Asian origin. Obviously, Marco Polo had to go through Central Asia to get to China. So, it's not surprising that he used a name similar to what the Central Asians called China. I believe people in Central Asia still call China using a variation of Cathay.
Senliture From Australia, joined May 2000, 430 posts, RR: 0 Reply 13, posted (11 years 3 months 3 weeks 5 days 19 hours ago) and read 3212 times:
the word 'cathay' was first appeared (in my mind) in Marco Polo's book, 'the jounary to the east', he mentioned China was called as 'Cathy' (yes, without 'a'). Actually, the word 'Cathy' doesn't really means the place where modern China is at, it means the northern part of China and modern Mogolian and even up to Turks (east of Turkey). It was because the Great Khan conqured most of the land of Asia and even up to Europe, and the people thought that the are the same (Turks=Chinese).
Maybe that's why Cathay Pacific use Marco Polo as their frequent flyer program title.