I have checked on the NOAD, but I didn't find the origin of Americana; it's reported that it means things associated with the culture and history of America, especially the United States, but not the origin of the word.

I have a hypothesis, but it doesn't explain why Americana is a plural noun. Does anybody know the origin of the word?

  • 1
    Americana is the feminine form of Americano. It sounds to be an Italian form of the word America which is a name for inhabitant or the native of the land. In Italian the plural form is Americane. In Spanish the plural form is Americanas. – Manoochehr Feb 4 '11 at 9:37
  • In Italian, americana is both adjective and noun; it is not the plural form, differently from Americana. – kiamlaluno Feb 4 '11 at 9:55
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    @Manoochehr: No, Americana is not the feminine form of Americano (in English). "Americana" does not refer to a female native of America in English. – ShreevatsaR Feb 4 '11 at 11:32
  • I think it's more possibly from Spanish, which anyway is the same word and meaning than in Italian, meaning American. – Petruza Feb 4 '11 at 13:38
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    @Manoochehr: Yes, that's what I said "in English" (twice). The page you linked to gives your derivation for Italian and Spanish, but those are irrelevant for English. For the English meaning see FX_'s answer or en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Americana – ShreevatsaR Feb 4 '11 at 16:54

It comes from America and the suffix -ana, of which the NOAD says:

(forming plural nouns) denoting things associated with a person, place, or field of interest: Americana | Victoriana.

Origin: from the neuter plural of the Latin adjectival ending -anus

I don't have any examples in mind other than those above: Americana and Victoriana.

  • 4
    There are plenty of other examples, though they're mostly fairly obscure - fittingly, "arcana" (items of obscure knowledge), but also: "Africana"; "Arthuriana" (items related to King Arthur); "Australiana" - and that's just for the letter A :-) – psmears Feb 4 '11 at 10:30

protected by user140086 Mar 6 '16 at 6:02

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