From an interview of Chris Jericho in the UK Guardian.
Q: We see you’re currently the WWE’s Intercontinental champion. What exactly is intercontinental about that title?
JERICHO: That means I am the champion of all of the continents. As far as the water and skies go I don’t have any jurisdiction, but if it’s on land then I’m pretty much in charge.
Q: Right, so what’s left for the actual WWE champion?
JERICHO: Well the WWE champion’s in charge of boats and planes and stuff like that. If you’re a pirate, the WWE champion is pretty much in charge. If a pirate comes up to me I really can’t do anything about it.