CANADIAN DEMONYMS.

I’m quite fond of demonyms (I have dictionaries of them for Spanish and Russian, and my Petit Larousse gives them for French), so I was pleased to find a list of them for Canadian localites (linked at Wordorigins.org). Most of them are fairly bland (a person from Aylmer is an Aylmerite, one from Baddeck is a Baddecker), but there are pleasing exceptions: someone from Arviat is an Arviarmiut, and an inhabitant of Barkmere is a Bark Laker. (I note without comment that someone from Bolton-Est, Quebec, is said to be an East Boltoner.)

Comments

  1. Someone from Dumfries (Scotland) is said to be a Doonhamer, but whether the said saying occurs outside the pages of collections of such things is unknown to me.

  2. Marc Leavitt says:

    Two I’ve always enjoyed are: Sandy-egger (San Diego) and Michigander Michigan).

  3. Paul Clapham says:

    Well, -miut is simply the affix which means “people” in Inuktitut. Here’s another example of that: http://oxforddictionaries.com/definition/Nunavummiut. The singular should be -mik if my guess is right; when you google “Nunavummik” you do get a lot of links, but they are all in Inuktitut.
    And here’s a link which tells you what people in Igloolik are called: http://www.comeexplorecanada.com/nunavut/igloolik/.

  4. Townie for someone from Ville Mont-Royal, Quebec sounds kinda like a joke to me.

  5. What’s sauce for the mishigas is sauce for the Michigander.

  6. What’s sauce for the mishigas is sauce for the Michigander.

  7. Barry Alpher says:

    The French, I am told, are Ouiouimiut.

  8. Apparently not everyone is happy about the list – some groups of NFLD Townies seem to be fighting for the demonym. I saw a St. Johnser (who wishes to be called a Townie) tweet about it just the other day.
    Nice to see it picked up here.

  9. The least intuitive one that ever applied to me (not presently) is “Haligonian” for an inhabitant of Halifax, Nova Scotia. named after a similar place in England. No data on what inhabitants of the English place call themselves.

  10. I’ve run across some interesting demonyms in and around New Orleans. People from Chalmette, just outside of New Orleans, are often known as Chalmatians. Residents of Violet, Louisiana, somewhat farther out, are sometimes referred to as Violations.

  11. @Bruce – The somewhat forced demonym for the good people of Halifax, West Yorkshire is “Halifaxian” which probably has just as much merit and as facetious as my own comical suggestion of “Halifaxi”. To be honest you’d just designate an inhabitant of Halifax as a Yorkshireman or woman, most of these demonyms seem pretty fallacious; apparently according to some website I’m a “North Anglian” …hmmm, yeah h’okay?

  12. A Cork native is a Corkonian whether he comes from city or county, but the word Dubliner refers to urbanites only. In any case, the inhabitants of Dublin are divided into Northsiders and Southsiders.

  13. @Paul Clapham: True, -miut is plural. But for the singular, I’ve seen either -miutaq or -miuq.
    (-mik is a case form, sometimes called “accusative”. Many of the hits for “Nunavummik” are actually Greenlandic, another dialect or form of the Inuit language. Some forms of the language termed “Inuktitut” use “Nunavunmik” instead.)
    @Barry Alpher: So that’s where it came from! Quite likely – I’ve found both “uiviititut” and “uiguititut” for the French language, and the Inuktitut Living Dictionary has “uiguit” or “uiguirmiuq” for “the French” and “French [presumably as in 'Frenchman', singular]“, respectively.

  14. I read once about the occasionally strange demonyms used in France. Since marie-lucie hasn’t chipped in, I will boldly make a clueless contribution. “Demonyms” are called gentilés or noms ethniques. I found a site with 36752 (!) noms des habitants des communes françaises. Unfortunately, the peculiar ones are buried beneath the communal masses.

  15. What I love about “Michigander”, having grown up in Michigan myself, is that it’s a reclaimed insult. (See http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Michigander for the history.)

  16. I just read that people from Barbados are Bajan, not Barbadian.

  17. The only ones for the area around Seattle I have heard are inteneded as jokes, starting with Seattleite.
    Auburn – Auburnaut
    Kent – Kentling
    Redmond – Redman
    Tukwila – Mockingbird
    Tacoma – Taco man, Taco mama

  18. Here on Haida Guaii (west of Canada) those of us who aren’t Haida are Guaiians (sp. in flux), in other words Islanders. The third name of this archipelago, the Misty Isles (as they have been for several days now) hasn’t yielded an demonym yet. Mistyislan? Hardly. Anyway, we’re only Canadian when they want our vote or taxes.

  19. People from Massachusetts are jocularly termed ‘Massholes’. And I’ve frequently heard the term ‘Mainerd’ for residents of Maine. In Alaska and apparently also in Oregon and Washington, the deprecatory term for residents of California is ‘Californicator’.
    Southeast Alaskans are sometimes called ‘Southeasterners’. I’ve also heard the term ‘Amphibian’ used, which is just making fun of the wet weather: “Though most of the state votes Republican, the Amphibian vote is tilted toward the other end of the spectrum.” Cordova and Valdez are equally wet, so this is somewhat unfair. BTW, Valdez is /vælˈdiz/, not /vælˈdɛz/, which the world learned about after the oil spill.
    People from Wrangell are Wrangellites, and the condition of living in Wrangell is called ‘Wrangellitis’.
    The -er suffix is particularly productive for Southeast Alaskan towns. ‘Ketchikaner’, ‘Petersburger’, ‘Klawocker’, ‘Klukwaner’, ‘Angooner’, ‘Pelicaner’, ‘Yakutater’, ‘Hydaburger’, etc. Sitka people are ‘Sitkans’, Hoonah people are ‘Hoonahns’, and Juneau people are the rather disappointing ‘Juneauites’. Unrelatedly, the joke name for the Tlingit village of Hoonah is ‘Hoonahlulu’. (Hoonah is from Tlingit Xunaa, itself from xoon-niyaa ‘north.wind-direction’.)

  20. mollymooly says:

    A Cork native is a Corkonian whether he comes from city or county, but the word Dubliner refers to urbanites only.

    In my experience, tis mostly people from the city call themselves Corkonians. The rest are Corkmen and Corkwomen. “The Kerryman” sells an edition over the county bounds called “The Corkmen”.
    Urban Dublin takes up so much of the county there can be very few Dublinmen who’re not Dubliners.
    Someone from Wicklow is a Wicklovian, but should really be a Viclovian.
    Wikifactoid: Residents of West Kent, those living west / north of the River Medway, are called ‘Kentish Men’, as opposed to residents of East Kent, who are known as ‘Men of Kent’.

  21. Miss Language Learning says:

    Thanks a lot for this article. I just learned a new word thanks to you!

  22. Tukwila – Mockingbird
    I laughed.

  23. As a native of Minnesota, I was thought it was pretty funny when I heard a fellow Minnesotan referred to as a “Minnepoppan.”
    [For those who don't get it:
    "Minnesota" spoken sounds like"Minnesoda" and in Minnesota people say pop instead of soda, so we get "Minnepop"]

  24. Jean-Pierre Metereau says:

    The capital of Chad used to be called Fort-Lamy and the inhabitants Lamyfortains. Now that it’s Ndjamena, they are just Ndjamenois.I just love demonyms.

  25. Athel Cornish-Bowden says:

    Considering what a large number of demonyms there are in France (compared with a much smaller and blander list for England) I would have expected to see more from Quebec than there are.
    Hmm. I typed “Quebec”, which was immediately displayed as “Québec”. That’s something that drives me nuts when I find myself struggling with a Microsoft product (as rarely as I can get away with), which always thinks it knows better than I do what I want to write. However, no Microsoft products were knowingly used in preparing this comment, so the blame must lie elsewhere.

  26. No mention of ‘Baltimorons’? I have mostly heard it from people who live there and include themselves in the implied insult.

  27. “Now that it’s Ndjamena, they are just Ndjamenois.’
    There’s you some de-colonialization, right there. I suppose it beats language riots.
    “Tukwila – Mockingbird
    I laughed.”
    For you, dear, anything.
    “Minnesota” spoken sounds like “Minnesoda”
    Funny – I’ve always heard it pronounced “Mee nay sooo tah”.
    I saw a list once, that I failed to keep a copy of, that had regional nicknames for just about everry state and region in Mexico. Someone from the DF was a “Chilango” for instance. There is nothing at all derogatory about these names, and since then a place has opened here that offers “tortas chilangos”.
    I wonder what the derivation of ‘chilango” might be. Is it short maybe for “*Tenochtitlango?” Is that even a word in Nahautl?

  28. Rupert Goodwins says:

    I don’t know how people from Stockholm refer to themselves, but elsewhere in Sweden they’re called ‘noll åttas”, from the Stockholm dialling code 08.
    It isn’t complimentary.

  29. J. W. Brewer says:

    Re Bolton-Est, http://www.easterntownships.org sez “Once known as Peasley Corner, Bolton Centre and South Bolton merged in 1876 to become East Bolton. Its Francophone residents call themselves Boltonnais and English-speaking residents are known as East Boltoners!” http://www.municipalitedeboltonouest.com/ has a picture of the bilingual signage on the seat of government in “WEST BOLTON OUEST.”

  30. komfo,amonan says:

    I think my favorite demonym is Black Bitch, which is the term for a native of Linlithgow. I heard this when I lived in Edinburgh, and Google agrees/confirms.

  31. The pronunciation ‘Minnesoda’ is no surprise. Forty-odd years ago I learned that the dialect of the northern tier of States and Canada was Northern North American English. I think this designation is no longer used, or is it?

  32. Brian Daly says:

    Hehe I don’t really know why I enjoyed this one so much, but I do.
    Anyway, from Skibbereen here, so thats attarently Skibberonian.
    Cheers

  33. They left out general terms for Nunavut, Northwest Territories and Medicine Hat.
    Michiganian is the other term for people from Michigan. And people in the Lower Peninsula are sometimes called trolls because they live “below the bridge”, the very long bridge connecting the Upper and Lower Peninsulas.

  34. @me:

    “The Kerryman” sells an edition over the county bounds called “The Corkmen”.

    …called “The Corkman”, obviously.

  35. “Townie for someone from Ville Mont-Royal, Quebec sounds kinda like a joke to me.”

    Nope, just historical. Ci-devant the place was known officially as the “Town of Mount Royal”. People still call it TMR when speaking English. So Townie is logical as a demonym.

  36. I should have made clear that the Town of Mount Royal was a different political entity from the City of Montreal.

  37. Bak in 2011 I forgot to mention that the inhabitants of Smithers B. C. enjoy the name Smithereens.

    Now I see that it’s in the list linked in the post.

    By the way, is there a term for the names of demons?

  38. marie-lucie says:

    names of demons

    According to other examples, it should be demonomyms, but naming does not always proceed by analogy.

  39. “I’ve run across some interesting demonyms in and around New Orleans.”

    Then there is the wider Louisiana “Coonass.” But, that might be more an ‘ethnonym’ than a demonym. (Or maybe just an ethnic slur).

Speak Your Mind

*