A small island in the South Pacific that recently became famous for it's gTLD, .to, which enabled people to construct all sorts of funny URLs, like http://come.to/me. The island makes a lot of money off of this silliness.

A group (170 total; 36 inhabited) of small islands in the Pacific Ocean about two-thirds of the way from Hawaii to New Zealand. Formerly called the Friendly Islands, they became independent from being a United Kingdom protectorate in 1970.

According to Polynesian Mythology, Tonga was the name of the first woman on the island of "Tonga" and is, hence, the island's name also.

Tonga also means "South" and has come to refer to the entire group of islands which make up the southern portions of central Polynesia. Tradition has it that the Maori tribe sailed from Tonga to New Zealand, following Venus. The Tongan language is, in fact, a very old form of Polynesian.

Finally, Tonga refers to the South-West Wind that blows through the South Pacific. It was the fourth and final wind brought under control by the god Maui.

Tonga was unified in 1845 by Taufa'ahau, who had become chief of the island of Ha'apai in 1820. He was christianized in 1831 and founded the present dynasty. The country was a British protectorate from 1900 to 1970.

  1. George Tupou I 1820-1893
  2. George Tupou II 1893-1918
    great-grandson of the previous
  3. Queen Salote Tupou III 1918-1965
  4. Taufa'ahau Tupou IV 1965-
The islands were visited by the Dutch Felix Schouten and Jacob le Maire in 1616, by Abel Tasman in 1643, and the first Englishman to land was Wallis in 1767, a few years before Captain Cook.

The capital is Nuku'alofa, the currency is 100 seniti = 1 pa'anga. The Tongan language belongs to the Polynesian family.

Ton"ga (?), n. (Med.)

A drug useful in neuralgia, derived from a Fijian plant supposed to be of the aroid genus Epipremnum.


© Webster 1913

Ton"ga (?), n. [Hind. tAngA, Skr. tama&ndot;gaka.]

A kind of light two-wheeled vehicle, usually for four persons, drawn by ponies or bullocks. [India]


© Webster 1913

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