America was named in honour of AMERIGO VESPUCCI (1454-1512) who was also known as Americus Vespucius, a Latinized form of his name. He was born in Florence, Italy and became a businessman involved in trading goods (perhaps that is why he became familiar with ships).
After his explorations, he was one of the first navigators to come up with the idea that the land he had visited (South America) was not part of Asia (as Columbus thought) but rather part of a "New World”. Vespucci made four voyages to the New World without ever seeing North America. (He also participated as an observer, in many voyages invited by King Manuel I of Portugal).
A contemporary mapmaker, Martin Waldesmueller, put Americus´s name on the map and it stuck. Vespucci himself preferred the name Mundus Novus, “New World”. If the latter was used our American friends would now be called MUNDUS NOVIANS. Imagine how that would have been like?