Occidental: "1: relating to the countries of the West"

Oriental: "1. of, relating to, or characteristic of the Orient, or East; Eastern."

So, occidental is effectively a word that is a synonym to western, and oriental is a synonym to eastern.

Do similar words to these exist for northern and southern?

  • 1
    Can you perhaps explain what you have against "northern" and "southern"?
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 4 '19 at 1:53
  • Nothing, but I was curious. Apr 4 '19 at 4:33

We have the words "septentrional" and "meridional". "Boreal" and "austral" wouldn't be good fits as they relate to the north of the Northern Hemisphere and the southern parts of the Southern Hemisphere. Then again, "septentrional" and "meridional" can refer to the northern or southern part of any country or region respectively, irrespective of the hemisphere where they are located. Surely both words are dated and we would rather use "northern" and "southern".

Example sentences from EOD

  • "the meridional leg of the journey"

Other examples from the web:

  • "in meridional regions of the Qinghai-Xizang Plateau (China), from low latitudes to high latitudes, there is a phenomenon of oscillation of atmospheric low frequency wave with 30-40 day period."

  • "Prenatal exposure to organochlorines and heavy metals in the Arctic largely exceeds that encountered in meridional regions of the province of Quebec."

  • "By far the most disturbing event of the meridional leg of the journey was..."

The Latin word septentrional, as mentioned by Sven Yargs, would be the perfect opposite for meridional except that it is seldom used in English. It's commonly used in Romance Languages, though.

Addendum: In BrE "meridional in temperament" relates to "Southern Europe" or Mediterranean, especially the South of France.

  • 1
    But southern France is "meridional" -- not exactly the Southern Hemisphere.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 4 '19 at 1:16
  • synonyms.com/antonyms/boreal
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 4 '19 at 1:18
  • 1
    @HotLicks Can you wait until I have finished ?
    – Centaurus
    Apr 4 '19 at 1:21
  • 3
    Various websites also cite austral as an option for "southern" and "septentrional for "northern."
    – Sven Yargs
    Apr 4 '19 at 1:31
  • 2
    @HotLicks Archaically, yes. In modern parlance, of course not. In modern parlance there are no north-south counterparts to occidental and oriental at all because the broad division of the world into ‘western’ and ‘eastern’ countries – which is not based on geography, but culture – has no north-south equivalent (and also leaves out a huge part of the world). There is no such thing as ‘northern civilisation’ and ’southern civilisation’, and also no Latinate word for either. Apr 4 '19 at 12:01

The regions associated to the cardinal directions are called boreal for the north, occidental for the west, austral for the south, and oriental for the east.

  • There is the problem that "boreal", in particular, as acquired a connotation of "cold", and would normally be regarded by some people to apply to only the northern half of the northern hemisphere.
    – Hot Licks
    Apr 4 '19 at 3:09

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