I am looking for a noun meaning 'having 300 thousand inhabitants' so that I could say for example 'a 300-thousand city' instead of 'a city in which 300 thousand people live' or 'a city inhabited by 300 thousand people' etc. can I use the former form, and if not, is it possible to use another noun to do so?

  • English doesn't have a word corresponding to lahk. The standard way to phrase this in English is to say "A city with a population of 300,000".
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 23, 2014 at 12:07

1 Answer 1


Simple answer: no.

While I’m sure you could employ Latin or Greek numerals to somehow conjure up an adjective (which is what you’re looking for, by the way—not a noun) that means ‘having 300,000’, doing so would be fairly pointless, because it would probably be a behemoth of a word, and nobody would understand it anyway.

The pithiest way I can think of to express ‘a city with 300,000 inhabitants’ is to simply call it a city of 300,000. That should be understood in most contexts, even though it’s perhaps not always the most stylistically elegant phrasing.

The construction you suggest, a 300,000 city, is ungrammatical. It is possible to use numeral + noun as an adjunct, and in some cases this sounds perfectly natural and is elegant enough: a five-dollar bill or a three-page letter are both fine, and one-man army and 8/16/32-bit colour are fixed phrases that would never be expressed differently.

But this construction absolutely requires that the thing counted be mentioned. Moreover, it is not a very ‘scaleable’ construction: it works fine with smaller numbers and simple nouns, but it becomes very inelegant and unidiomatic very quickly. A 300,000-inhabitant city is quite far beyond the limit of what this construction can handle—it is unidiomatic and cumbersome to the point of being quite difficult to understand in speech.

  • 1
    +1 for the simplification to the minimal, elegant "A city of 300,000".
    – Dan Bron
    Aug 23, 2014 at 12:08
  • "Absolutely requires" is wrong; a ten-thousand strong army is perfectly idiomatic, not to say time-honoured. Not sure about a million-strong city, though. Aug 23, 2014 at 12:50
  • @TimLymington Strong in that case acts as the thing being counted; I would consider it a nominalised adjective. Aug 23, 2014 at 12:55

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