Welsh mother, Iraqi Dad: Welsh-Iraqi / Iraqi-Welsh? Or no difference?

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    I'm sure that the Welsh would insist on the former, and Iraqis on the latter. – Mick Nov 14 '17 at 11:00
  • I agree with @Mick – Red fx Nov 14 '17 at 11:13
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    Someone will no doubt make a claim that nationalism is somehow involved, but the way these things work out is that whatever is considered to sound more mellifluous (or at least less of a mouthful) is what becomes idiomatic. Though of course habitual use lends acceptability as to how a string sounds. / Here, the compound is so unusual that neither seems to be a preferred option; perhaps 'Welsh-Iraqi' shades it in the style stakes. Perhaps because it doesn't echo Raquel Welch. – Edwin Ashworth Nov 14 '17 at 11:20
  • There's not that many of us to form a consensus, but must be a fair number of my generation - descendants of scholarship students from Iraq sent to study abroad who married uni partners in Wales. Have met some similar families. Maybe if we put our heads together we'll decide what we prefer. Even if it sounds like Raquel Welch :) – Mark E K Nov 14 '17 at 11:35
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    Welsh-Iraqi if you're living in Iraq; Iraqi-Welsh if you're living in Wales. If you're living somewhere else, you pick. How come? Well, at least here in the US, we speak of Mexican-Americans, Chinese-Americans, etc. The host country comes last. When dealing with pairings that don't involve us, we put the home country last. – Steven Littman Nov 14 '17 at 11:43

After a quick bit of googling on Irish-American, my understanding is that you can write:

  • He is an Irish American


  • He is Irish-American

In the former, "American" is a noun, and Irish is an adjective; it means an American with Irish ancestry. In the latter "Irish-American" is an adjective. But I suspect the common order of the two nationalities in the adjective follows the adjective-noun order.

As you're written "Welsh-Iraqi" and "Iraqi-Welsh" you're presumably looking for an adjective. I suggest that you need to decide whether you are talking about a Welsh person with Iraqi ancestry (which would give you Iraqi-Welsh) or an Iraqi person with Welsh ancestry (Welsh-Iraqi).

How you decide whether a person is "primarily" Welsh or Iraqi I don't know. Perhaps based on citizenship. Or perhaps, as mentioned in a comment by Steven Littman, it would be based on where ther person lives.

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