The word Asian is defined as:
of, belonging to, or characteristic of Asia or its inhabitants.
a native or inhabitant of Asia, or a person of Asian descent.
But typically when we use the word Asian we don’t use it to refer countries in the Middle Eastern, such as Israel and Jordan but associate it with East Asians or South East Asians such as Indians, Koreans etc.
My research says this:
Asian is the most commonly used term referring to people in or from Asia, especially East Asia.
In American English, Oriental as a noun or adjective applied to people is outdated and has become a sensitive term to be avoided. It is associated with a bygone era in which Asians had subordinate status and their culture was perceived as strange and exotic. Also, the origin of the term Oriental represents a Eurocentric view of geography, since the Orient, or East, is east of Europe. However, Oriental is a neutral, inoffensive term when used as an adjective describing Asian culture or things from Asia.
Similarly, the term Asiatic is usually offensive when referring to people, but neutral when referring to Asian culture, animals, etc. Though Asian is an acceptable ethnic designation in most contexts, it is best to be as specific as possible, rather than to group all Asians into a single cultural identity.
In general, people of South, Southeast, and East Asian origin prefer to be identified by their country of origin: for example, Indian, Pakistani, Indonesian, Korean, Japanese, or Chinese. The people of the Middle or Near East and Polynesia are not referred to as Asian.
In early Classical times, the Greeks started using the term "Asia" to refer to the whole region known today as Anatolia (the peninsula which forms the Asian portion of present-day Turkey). The Roman Empire referred to the entire Lydian region of what is now northeastern Turkey as the province of Asia. Eventually, however, the name had been stretched progressively further east, until it came to encompass the much larger land area with which we associate it today, while the Anatolian Peninsula started being called "Asia Minor" or "The Lesser Asia" instead.
- How did the meaning of “asian” denoting a country or being a resident of a country in the continent in Asia merge to mean that of “oriental” and “asiatic” as above?
- Is there a “correct” definition?
- I want etymological-based answers here.
- Is there a linguistic term for when a single word borrows meanings from other words, like in this case?