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What does the word "Occidental" mean?

You may sometimes hear this word Occidental and you might even wonder what it means. It sounds a bit like "Accidental" but it's nothing to do with that.

What does "Occidental" mean? It's a word like "Oriental". Whereas "Oriental" refers to the East, "Occidental" refers to the West. These are quite old words, and so all of Europe is regarded as Occidental. All of the Americas are Occidental.

The word "Oriental" is much more commonly known, and The Orient is well known to be The East. Most notably Japan, China, Thailand, the Far East, as well as the Near East which includes Turkey. The Orient Express was originally a railway which ran between Paris and Istanbul/Constantinople. Istanbul in Turkey is far enough East to be "oriental" for this.

The Occident is anywhere West enough, starting with Eastern Europe and continuing West to include the Americas. (The Americas includes South America, Central America, and North America (which includes the United States of America)).

The word "occidental" appears in the names of some travel-related companies, for example Occidental Hotels