When Christopher Columbus first spotted this island in 1493 and he named it “Saint Christopher” as years passed on, the name got trimmed to “Saint Kitts” and again to “St Kitts” and then again finally to “SKN” referring to St Kitts and Nevis. This is why you see both names Saint Christopher (St Kitts) printed in the passport and in the constitution.
Saint Kitts was first inhabited some 3000 years ago. Saint Kitts was named “Liamuiga”, which roughly translates as “fertile land”, by the Kalinago who originally inhabited the island.
The island was well documented as “San Cristóbal” by the 17th century. The first English colonists kept the English translation of this name, and dubbed it “St. Christopher’s Island”. In the 17th century, a common nickname for Christopher was Kit(t), hence the island came to be informally referred to as “Saint Kitt’s Island”, later further shortened to “Saint Kitts”.
The island of Nevis, upon first British settlement, was referred to as “Dulcina”, a name meaning ‘sweet one’ in Spanish. Eventually, the original Spanish name was restored and used in the shortened form, “Nevis”.
Today the Constitution refers to the state as both “Saint Kitts and Nevis” and “Saint Christopher and Nevis”, but the former is the one most commonly used.
Today SKN with just a population of 50,000 is one of the richest islands in the Caribbean in terms of GDP per capita. The twin island federation is often touted as the birthplace of citizenship by investment program in the World since 1984, running for over 35 years.
The International ISO two letter code for St Kitts and Nevis is KN, while a domain name is .kn
Saint Kitts and Nevis were among the first islands in the Caribbean to be colonized by Europeans. Saint Kitts was home to the first British and French colonies in the Caribbean, and thus has also been titled “The Mother Colony of the West Indies”.
It is also the most recent British territory in the Caribbean to become independent, gaining independence in 1983. SKN is still a commonwealth country, with Elizabeth II as Queen and head of state.