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34
votes
2answers
4k views

If the plural of ‘man’ is ‘men,’ shouldn’t the plural of ‘German’ be ‘Germen’?

What makes these two words so different that 'man' is changed to 'men', but 'German' is changed to 'Germans'?
13
votes
11answers
17k views

What would you call a person from India?

My guess would be Indian, but that sounds like a guy with a feather on his head who hunts buffalo. Is there a better name?
13
votes
7answers
2k views

Is “Canuck” offensive?

I was criticized the other day for using this word. It never occurred to me that it was offensive, but Wikipedia says it "may" be derogatory. Given Vancouver's hockey team, I tend to think it's ...
11
votes
4answers
949 views

Inhabitants of Vatican City would be referred to as ____

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 ...
11
votes
2answers
1k views

Are there any rules governing what we call people from different countries?

people from China = Chinese people from Japan = Japanese people from Australia = Australian people from Lebanon = Lebanese people from Sweden = Swedish Are there any rules that ...
7
votes
4answers
1k views

Is there a difference between “Frenchmen” and “French men”?

I was just reading a news article about a couple of French men and was wondering what (if any) the difference between that and Frenchmen is?
7
votes
1answer
508 views

How does one capitalize words like “un-American”?

Google's dictionary lists it as "un-American" or "unAmerican" (which looks clumsy to me). Since American is a "demonym," I would usually capitalize it, so I feel compelled to capitalize "un-American" ...
7
votes
4answers
324 views

Are there any terms equivalent to 'Americana' for other cultures?

Given the available definition of Americana as pertaining to "artifacts, or a collection of artifacts, related to the history, geography, folklore and cultural heritage of the United States", are ...
5
votes
9answers
3k views

Usage of “East Indian” to distinguish from “Native American”

I know someone who uses the term "East Indian" to refer to people from India, or whose ancestors are from India, lest they be misunderstood to mean Native American. This struck me as unusual and ...
5
votes
3answers
11k views

Is there a difference between “Grecian” and “Greek”?

As far as I can tell, "Grecian" and "Greek" both mean "of or pertaining to Greece." Is there any difference at all between them?
5
votes
3answers
172 views

How should one properly construct compound nationalities?

Chinese American or American Chinese? Indian Briton or British Indian? In practice, I've come across both forms and I would love to know whether this is a matter of personal preference or whether ...
5
votes
1answer
291 views

Why do we use “the” in “the British” but not before “Canadians”? [closed]

Why do we use the definite article before most nationalities such as "the British" but we say "Canadians" without the? Specifically, why is it that, for example,... Canadians like maple syrup. ...
5
votes
1answer
306 views

Why don't Americans refer to Indians (and others from the subcontinent) as Asians?

I know there is a related question here, but I am not seeing an answer to "Why is there a difference?" Merely that an explanation of what is used in each country. I am a speaker of American English, ...
4
votes
3answers
287 views

Why is this show called “Singapore Idol”, not “Singaporean Idol”?

In other cases, a [country] Idol show titles use the demonym: American Idol, Malaysian Idol or Indonesian Idol. Why is this show called Singapore Idol, not Singaporean Idol?
4
votes
4answers
884 views

Adjective or noun when referring to plural citizenship

What is the right form to use when talking about plural citizenship? "We are Italian" or "we are Italians"? (or American, Or German or any other ending with "*an") Same issue for "Saudi" or "Saudies", ...
4
votes
3answers
487 views

Englishman and British man

Why is it Englishman, Frenchman, etc. (one word) but British man (two words)?
4
votes
1answer
225 views

Why do only a few English demonyms indicate gender?

A friend recently pondered why Latino/Latina inflects according to gender. I suggested that it's because Latino is a loanword from a language with grammatical gender, but he found it odd that other ...
4
votes
1answer
1k views

Rules for forming demonyms

Are there specific rules / conventions at play when creating demonyms? Or are they merely formed organically over time - the most popular winning out? There are many suffixes to choose from, but I ...
3
votes
2answers
239 views

What is the proper demonym for someone from Shreveport?

A tweet popped up in my feed recently that posed a really good question. On first blush I thought "Oh, I can answer this!" then upon further reflection I realized I can't. In the case of "New ...
3
votes
1answer
2k views

When to use -Ites / Ians / Ish / An / Ni / Ese / Elsh / Er [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are there any rules governing what we call people from different countries? I have some confusion regarding usage of suffixes such as -ites / -ians / -ish. For example: ...
3
votes
2answers
190 views

Concise term for Native Americans of California

I'm trying to figure out what the concise, non-offensive term is for Native Americans from the area that became California (like Ohlone or Chumash people). California Natives doesn't work, since it ...
2
votes
2answers
258 views

Referring to people from different parts of United Kingdom

I see four people in front of me. One is from Wales, one is from Scotland, one is from England and one is from Northern Ireland. I can say about each one "He is Scottish/Welsh/English". But, how do I ...
2
votes
3answers
1k views

What do you call a Swiss man?

So we call a French male "Frenchman", an English male "Englishman", and a Dutch male "Dutchman". what do we call Swiss males? "Swissman" comes to mind, but it sounds like a cheesy version of ...
1
vote
2answers
264 views

Is it unidiomatic to say “an Australian person” or “an Aussie person”?

As mentioned in For people, can you say "a British" like you can say "an Australian"?, you can use "an Australian" to talk about an Australian person. But is it also ok to use "an ...
1
vote
2answers
495 views

What is the demonym for Norfolk, Virginia?

According to this Fritinancy entry, the demonym for Norfolk, England is "North Anglian," rather than "Norfolker" or "Norfolkite," for historical reasons. What about Norfolk, Virginia, in the United ...
1
vote
1answer
71 views

How can I refer to the population of a town keeping the name of the town? [duplicate]

There are words like New Yorkers, Londoners, etc.: (1) they keep the name of the city/town; (2) they refer to the people living in it. How do I fulfill both conditions for a small town called ...
1
vote
2answers
101 views

Politically correct way to refer to a French individual

What is currently accepted as the proper title for a person from France? Is it still the gender-specific Frenchman/Frenchwoman, or is Frenchperson the new term? (I use French as just an example, ...
1
vote
1answer
102 views

What is the correct way to form a demonym from an acronym?

For instance, what is the equivalent of New Yorker when using the acronym (NY or N.Y. instead of New York)?
1
vote
1answer
71 views

Which is the proper usage: a city name or its demonym?

Which is the correct usage? Oh c'mon New York ... how difficult is it to stay in your traffic lane? or Oh c'mon New Yorkers ... how difficult is it to stay in your traffic lane?
1
vote
1answer
187 views

What are the rules that govern the attribute given to someone as a result of where they come from? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are there any rules governing what we call people from different countries? For example someone from London might be said to be a Londoner. However someone from America ...
0
votes
5answers
577 views

“I'm Spanish” or “I'm a Spanish”?

Which one is correct? I am quite sure about "I'm Spanish", but is it wrong if I add an "a" before "Spanish"?
0
votes
2answers
73 views

Does one capitalize “Portuguese” when used in a hyphenated adjective? [closed]

When Portuguese is used as part of a hyphenated adjective, does it take an initial capital letter? Just checking on this while proofreading an article. Examples: portuguese-speaking college ...
0
votes
3answers
105 views

How to unambiguously refer to someone from India [duplicate]

One can refer to an American Indian as a Native American, but I cannot come up with an unambiguous term for an Indian from the Indian subcontinent. How can I refer to someone who is from the country ...
0
votes
1answer
911 views

Is there a rule to what ending you use when you construct the nationality adjective? Or where did the various endings come from? [duplicate]

Possible Duplicate: Are there any rules governing what we call people from different countries? In the English language, you have several endings used when you construct an adjective out of ...
0
votes
2answers
99 views

Is the word language in this context a proper noun?

My phrase is "Spanish language TV spend" with respect to advertising on Spanish language TV ads. In this context, should the l in language be capitalized?
-2
votes
2answers
405 views

“Indian-born Chinese” vs. “Chinese-born Indian”

I'm confused about these phrases. Does "Indian-born Chinese" mean that you live in India, and were born in China? Does "Chinese-born Indian" mean that you live in China, and were born in India?