Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Keep that blank clean. No religious flaming.

What I mean is this: inhabitants of America are Americans, inhabitants of Ohio are Ohioans, and inhabitants of Cincinnati are Cincinnatians. But what demonym would you use or have you seen used to refer to a resident of Vatican City? This site doesn't have one in its list, and the example for Sioux City, Iowa, found on this Wikipedia page would seem to suggest that maybe it's Vatican Citian, which just sounds awful.

Maybe it's one of those places that has never had a demonym. After all, "demon" does appear in the word…

share|improve this question
My first impulse is "Vat", which on second thought sounds like a horrible experiment. –  mmyers Apr 6 '11 at 14:55
I would suggest Roman Catholics. –  Robusto Apr 6 '11 at 14:59
"Catholics" ::rimshot:: I'll be here all week. –  dmckee Apr 6 '11 at 15:00
Would anyone misunderstand if they were just refered to as Vaticans? And is it absolutely certain all of the few hundred that live there [permanently?] are (and must be) Catholics? –  FumbleFingers Apr 6 '11 at 17:21
@FumbleFingers Vatican citizenship is given by appointment instead of birth. Nearly 75% of the population is clergy. The other quarter includes the Papal Swiss Guard, which I can nominally assume is Catholic, and "other laypersons" whose religious affiliation is unclear. Regardless, Vatican sounds like a nice compromise. –  HaL Apr 6 '11 at 18:10

3 Answers 3

up vote 11 down vote accepted

According to the CIA World Factbook, there is no official demonym for the Vatican City. I think I have seen Citizen of the Holy See used in print, although I can't remember where.

share|improve this answer
Holy Seers, perhaps? ;) –  gnovice Apr 6 '11 at 15:27
@gnovice, careful how you say that. It might sound like an expletive. –  Kevin Apr 6 '11 at 15:52
Demonym! What a wonderful word! –  PSU Apr 6 '11 at 17:50
How about Vaticanos? –  Benjol Apr 7 '11 at 8:18
@Benjol I believe the plural would be Vaticani in Italian. –  HaL Apr 7 '11 at 15:31

I don't know the answer to this, but there are some sites with fairly comprehensive lists of countries and their demonyms, and they all list VC as 'none'.

Here is one of those sites.

Also, this response seems fairly authoritative.

share|improve this answer
N.B.: Just realised my first link has only the same info as yours. –  Karl Apr 6 '11 at 14:51

Vaticanese, maybe? I've always asked that question myself and just came to that conclusion.

share|improve this answer
We already have an answer that says there is no word for them. –  Matt Эллен May 10 '12 at 9:11

Your Answer


By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.