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Questions tagged [demonyms]

names of inhabitants or citizens

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When did Western newspapers stop using the term “Japs” in their publications?

There are countless examples of highly accredited publications like the New York Times that used the derogatory term “Japs” in their articles instead of “Japan/Japanese” during and after WWII. When ...
WhiskerBiscuit's user avatar
4 votes
5 answers
386 views

How to pronounce "Texian"

I am looking for the proper pronunciation of the antiquated word formerly used to describe a native of Texas. The word is "Texian." It was used mostly between 1836 and about 1860 before ...
Jeff Dunn's user avatar
6 votes
1 answer
71 views

Anyone have details on NE PA slang term “Grauner”?

My dad grew up in the Anthracite coal region of NE Pennsylvania. NEPA is known for a pretty unique accent, phonetically more Midwest than Philadelphia or New York, and a lot of vocabulary that ...
user478720's user avatar
1 vote
4 answers
986 views

When to use "the" in front of plural demonyms? "Americans" vs "the Americans" vs "the American people"?

When do you use the before plural demonymic expressions like "Americans", "British people" or "Chinese people"? Chinese people celebrate Lunar New Year on the first days ...
Vun-Hugh Vaw's user avatar
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-1 votes
1 answer
154 views

Why does the name of the UK not change to UQ during the reign of a Queen? [closed]

The term queendom implies the territory possessed by the crown and denotes the country or state ruled by a queen. Etymonline says Queendom is from c. 1600 as "country ruled by a queen," ...
TylerDurden's user avatar
5 votes
2 answers
262 views

"China balloon" vs "Chinese balloon"?

Is the phrase "China balloon" grammatically correct? I was under the impression that it must be "Chinese balloon", but I see the former used in mainstream news such as the ...
vartec's user avatar
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5 votes
2 answers
336 views

What stops demonyms like "British" or "Portuguese" being regular count nouns like "German" or "Armenian"?

In English there is a very notable asymmetry between demonyms ending in -ese and -ish and other demonyms. The latter can be used as a regular count noun, but the former are almost always restricted to ...
Vun-Hugh Vaw's user avatar
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2 votes
1 answer
628 views

What is the equivalent of a demonym, but for organizations?

For example, the demonym of 'Mexico' is 'Mexican'. What do you call the equivalent for people who are part of an organization? And do any rules apply in the formation of the name? E.g. Reddit -> ...
Tutti_Broeckoff's user avatar
5 votes
3 answers
1k views

What is the demonym for a person from Gouda?

In Dutch the demonym for a person from Gouda is Gouwenaar. What is the demonym for that person in English?
Bob516's user avatar
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1 vote
0 answers
216 views

Why does the demonym "Canadian" appear irregular?

In particular - Given that people from America are Americans, why are people from Canada not *Canadans? I'm in search of a historical and etymological answer, addressing questions such as the date and ...
Matt Gutting's user avatar
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0 votes
1 answer
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Is "place name + er" ("New Yorker") a productive morpheme? [closed]

I know a handful of cities whose denizens can be called "city+er", e.g. Londoner. But is this construction still in active use today and can new demonyms be formed by it?
Felix Dombek's user avatar
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1 answer
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What is the polite term for native islanders of the Caribbean?

What is the appropriate term to refer to the people native to the Caribbean islands? I need a general term, appropriate for use in schoolwork, similar to the term "Native American", that can ...
Village's user avatar
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1 vote
1 answer
103 views

Prior to the 20th century, what was the noun for an individual person from a country whose demonym ends in '-ese'?

As a Redditor pointed out, using a demonym that ends in '-ese' as a noun sounds incorrect or at least awkward (especially a singular noun--someone on the thread writes, 'For example you could say “I ...
kurchatovium's user avatar
30 votes
5 answers
25k views

Was the word that is now considered a slur against Japanese people ever considered simply a standard, neutral demonym?

It seems the word 'Jap' could have formed along the same lines as 'Finn' (for Finland) and 'Swede' (for Sweden). Perhaps it became more emotively charged during the war?
kurchatovium's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
95 views

Is it okay to turn adjective into a noun? [duplicate]

I am a chinese. I am a caucasian. I am an asian. I am a spaniard. I am a vulcan/vulcanee? Is there such things? By the way this question is in using adjectives as noun in general and not bound to ...
user4951's user avatar
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2 votes
0 answers
79 views

Person from xxxia: xxxian or xxxitan? [closed]

Algeria, Algerian. Bolivia, Bolivian. Canadia, Canadian, just to emphasize the preference for -ian. https://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/Category:English_words_suffixed_with_-ian has 2,269 entries, while ...
Camille Goudeseune's user avatar
4 votes
1 answer
91 views

Suffix for an adherent with person's name as root

We can refer to a particular method devised by Newton as the "Newtonian method" or a distribution attributed to Laplace might be referred to as the "Laplacian Distribution". Some colleagues were ...
bdeonovic's user avatar
  • 141
3 votes
1 answer
3k views

Is sentence "I am a Chinese" correct?

I read from an article about this confusing sentence. since Chinese is both adj and noun,I suppose "I am a Chinese" is grammatically correct just like "I am an American"? Do native speakers prefer ...
WeiChinHsing's user avatar
-1 votes
1 answer
112 views

Does the adjective "Arabian" refer to the people or to the location? [duplicate]

Arab and Arabian are both related to people: He is an Arab. He is an Arabian. Which is used for the location of a country? Egypt is an Arab country. Egypt is an Arabian country.
Akram Al-Derwish's user avatar
0 votes
2 answers
212 views

What is the demonym of "Chaco"? [closed]

How can I say the demonym of "Chaco"? In Spanish it is "chaqueño", but I don't know what the correct word is in English.
walter's user avatar
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7 votes
1 answer
2k views

A citizen of eSwatini

eSwatini (officially the Kingdom of eSwatini) is the new name of Swaziland. What should one call a citizen of eSwatini in English? A citizen of eSwatini is called a[n] _____. I can think of the ...
Řídící's user avatar
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16 votes
3 answers
3k views

Why is it "Rhine", but "Rhenish"?

Being a native German speaker, I just came across the word "Rhenish" (as a translation of German "rheinisch", belonging to the Rhine). I am a bit confused about this, and am at a loss for the proper "...
DevSolar's user avatar
  • 801
2 votes
3 answers
330 views

How to translate Portuguese demonyms containing gender?

I can say "Brazilian company" (empresa brasileira, in Portuguese) for a company in Brazil. If the company resides in the Brazilian state of Minas Gerais, in Portuguese we say "empresa mineira", or for ...
Rodrigo's user avatar
  • 261
0 votes
1 answer
94 views

City name without demonym in "Belgrade journal Philosophia"

The apparent peculiarity of the phrase mentioned in the title is that the city name itself is used at the beginning of the phrase instead of its demonym Belgradian. Is there a rule of English grammar ...
Kaveh's user avatar
  • 561
1 vote
1 answer
226 views

Would it be i-Kiribati or I-Kiribati? [closed]

So the demonym of Kiribati is "i-Kiribati". Apart from being cool, what is the correct way of writing this? Would it be a capital "I" all the time? eg. "I'm an I-Kiribati" or would it be a small "i" ...
kiwison's user avatar
  • 11
1 vote
2 answers
162 views

What does the noun "Hawaiian" really mean in English? [closed]

Headlines this morning (Saturday 1/13/2018) proclaimed that "Hawaiians woke up to emergency alerts" on mobile phones that a missile strike might be incoming. But no local news source here in Hawaii ...
Greg Lee's user avatar
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9 votes
3 answers
792 views

Why is "man" in "Snowman" pronounced differently than in "Frenchman" or "Englishman"?

It seems that in the words Englishman, Frenchman, and Scotsman, the ‑man part is pronounced /mən/ (just like in Roman). Whereas in snowman, the ‑man part is pronounced /mæn/ (just like in no man). ...
Orange Receptacle's user avatar
1 vote
2 answers
2k views

Why the French, but the Greeks?

Why do we say the French to refer to the French people collectively, while we say the Greeks, the Russians, the Jews? Why the Chinese, but the Tibetans and the Germans? Why are some such nouns ...
J. Doe's user avatar
  • 147
1 vote
3 answers
2k views

Is 'Japanese' in 'the Japanese' (people from Japan collectively) a noun or an adjective?

Oxford Dictionaries classify 'Japanese' in 'the Japanese,' meaning people from Japan collectively, as a noun although some people I consulted insist it is an adjective. They base it on the examples '...
Sssamy's user avatar
  • 395
1 vote
1 answer
3k views

Is calling someone who resides in the country of India an "Indian" considered a racist slur? [closed]

This morning as I'm sure we all have, I was called by "Microsoft Tech Support". I wasted a half hour of their time saying I couldn't log in before they hung up. Later I had told my Dad, as he asked ...
Ashton Tanner-Goulet's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
11k views

Can I say "A Chinese" in English?

I can say "An American" or "A Frenchman", however, can I say "A Chinese" like that? Does it sound weird?
Vision Chang's user avatar
0 votes
1 answer
557 views

What would a "Down Under" citizen be called? [closed]

Today is the 26th of January, it is Australia Day. My question is about its nickname Down Under and derivatives. Q. If you had to, what would you call the citizen of a country called “Down Under”? ...
Pablo Descamisado's user avatar
1 vote
1 answer
1k views

Equivalent of Spaniard for other nationalities

In English, the term for a person of Spanish descent is (at least traditionally) a Spaniard. Its etymology is, as far as I can tell, pretty unique among modern words: c. 1400, from Old French ...
BladorthinTheGrey's user avatar
2 votes
1 answer
481 views

Austro-Hungarian or Austrian-Hungarian?

While reading on the Austro-Hungarian rule in Bosnia and Herzegovina in Wikipedia: Their goals, however, were no obstacle to economic cooperation with the Austrian-Hungarian authorities [...] ...
user avatar
2 votes
2 answers
254 views

Do demonyms largely depend upon the historical period in which they originate?

A friend of mine told me English demonyms, words that identify people from a particular place (Roman, Japanese, Dutch etc.), largely depend upon the historical period in which the term originates. ...
Johngoobenheimer's user avatar
15 votes
1 answer
2k views

Why is there a V in "Peruvian"?

I wasn't aware of any other demonyms that add a V, except the unofficial Whovian (a fan of Doctor Who). This Wikipedia page turned up a few more more: Barrow-in-Furness → Barrovian Oamaru → ...
Sam Kauffman's user avatar
1 vote
3 answers
33k views

What should I call a person from New Zealand?

The question “They are Australian” vs “They are Australians” on English Language Learners made me think of what people from New Zealand should be called. With Australian people it's quite clear, you ...
WayneEra's user avatar
  • 113
3 votes
3 answers
484 views

Demonyms - When a place ends on an "s" sound, why are its inhabitants sometimes spelled with a "t"? (e.g. Mars - Martian)

I am not natively English speaking and I was wondering about this spelling when I saw the title of the movie "The Martian". This pattern also seems to apply to other things ending on an "s" sound, ...
Stacky's user avatar
  • 657
21 votes
4 answers
6k views

What do you call someone from the Sun?

Is there a proper word that can be used to refer to someone (some living/sentient entity) that originates from the Sun? I'm guessing "solar" would not be the proper word for this.
millenseed's user avatar
4 votes
3 answers
314 views

British and Canadian but not Coloradan?

In the May 11 issue of this year's New Yorker, the ever-excellent Atul Gawande wrote (emphasis mine): Among those which caught my eye: a British case report on the first 3-D-printed hip implanted ...
Amory's user avatar
  • 1,283
-1 votes
1 answer
721 views

When is it okay to use the term "Indians" when meaning "Native Americans?" [duplicate]

It has always been a personal pet peeve of mine when Native Americans are referred to as "Indians." It has nothing to do with respect for Native Americans or political correctness; it is entirely ...
Curious Layman's user avatar
3 votes
2 answers
611 views

What's the origin of the demonym Thai?

I was curious why we called people from Thailand "Thai" and those from Taiwan "Taiwanese." The latter by itself is a bit less surprising, though. See also: Are there any rules governing what we call ...
WBT's user avatar
  • 3,544
2 votes
1 answer
2k views

Adjectives that Imply Nouns [closed]

Often we may see adjectives with nouns that are implied, but not explicitly written. I see this mostly with sports team names and demonyms. For example: The Notre Dame Fighting Irish Is "Irish" a ...
rshaq's user avatar
  • 21
12 votes
3 answers
20k views

What is the demonym for a citizen of Niger?

If a citizen of Nigeria is a Nigerian, what is a citizen of Niger referred to as? The Wikipedia article on Niger and the online Oxford Learner’s Dictionaries say that the proper term is Nigerien, as ...
user96258's user avatar
  • 331
2 votes
1 answer
12k views

United Kingdom's three-name-cities; is there a generic way to write them?

There are city names in the United Kingdom like "Stratford-upon-Avon" or "Newcastle upon Tyne". Then, I wonder: is there any general rule on how they should be written? Case: In general, I see the ...
fedorqui's user avatar
  • 1,255
1 vote
1 answer
2k views

Are there any universal rules in appropriating “_an,” “_sh,” “_es,” “_ch” for the demonyms of countries? [duplicate]

Suffixes indicating people and language of country vary by country: _an: American, German, Italian, Belgian, Australian, Russian, Ukrainian, Korean, Mexican, Brazilian, Chilean, Argentinean, ...
Yoichi Oishi's user avatar
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54 votes
5 answers
18k views

Why can we say 'an American' but not 'a British'?

I am confused with the use of an indefinite article in front of British or Chinese. To my understanding, we can place an indefinite article in front of any “countable noun”. So, we can say a cup and ...
Feng Rong's user avatar
  • 557
2 votes
1 answer
341 views

Adjective of proper noun containing "and"

A person from The Turks and Caicus Islands is known as what? Likewise with Trinidad and Tobago, St Kitts and Nevis, São Tomé and Principé, and Bosnia and Herzegovina. http://www.un.org/en/members/ I'...
Carlos's user avatar
  • 5,925
0 votes
2 answers
3k views

Does one capitalize “Portuguese” when used in a hyphenated adjective? [closed]

When Portuguese is used as part of a hyphenated adjective, does it take an initial capital letter? Just checking on this while proofreading an article. Examples: portuguese-speaking college ...
barmababy's user avatar
-1 votes
2 answers
7k views

Is the word language in this context a proper noun?

My phrase is "Spanish language TV spend" with respect to advertising on Spanish language TV ads. In this context, should the l in language be capitalized?
YPCrumble's user avatar
  • 402