More Demonyms.

Commenter cliff anderson left a comment on this LH post linking to his own post My Favorite Demonyms, and I liked it so much I’m featuring it here. “Utah – Utahn” is pretty well known, but what about these?

St Kitts & Nevis – Kittitian / Nevesian
Botswana – Motswana
Burundi – Umurundi
Lesotho – Mosotho
Kiribati – i-Kiribati
Vanuatu – Ni-Vanuatu
Tampa – Tampanian
Macao – Macanese

And there’s many more at the link. Oh how I love demonyms!

Comments

  1. George Grady says:

    Some of those seem rather like saying the demonym for someone from Russia is “Russky”.

  2. Hong Konger? Singaporeans and Malaysians call people from Hong Kong “Hongkies (spelling variable)”, though this isn’t used in Hong Kong and it might be taken to sound mildly offensive to those not familiar with the term.

  3. Matthew Roth says:

    St. John of Damascus is invariably “Damascene.”

    “Michigander” is a favorite of mine.

    Is there one for people from Massachusetts?

  4. Queens? The Bronx?

  5. I know there must be some suppletive demonyms, i.e. using a completely different root, but I can’t think of any.

  6. marie-lucie says:

    The inhabitants of Halifax, Nova Scotia are called “Haligonians”. (I don’t know about those of other Halifaxes.)

  7. How about

    Hidrocálido – (of a person) Of or from the Mexican state of Aguascalientes.

  8. Is there one for people from Massachusetts?

    I believe other New Englanders call them massholes.

  9. marie-lucie says:

    SFR: Hidrocálido – (of a person) Of or from the Mexican state of Aguascalientes.

    Oh no!

  10. suppletive demonyms…

    I just remembered jarocho, from the state of Veracruz.

  11. Porteño for Buenos Aires and for Valparaíso.

    m.-l., Have you ever heard trifluvien for Trois-Rivières?

  12. Matthew Roth says:

    I meant a polite one. I am very familiar with “Masshole”…

  13. Massachusettsan apparently (does anyone actually use this?)

    In Argentina there is puntano, from San Luis.

    From Mexicali, cachanilla (arrowweed, a plant).

  14. The Devonian entry in the linked post reminds me of how, as a paleontology-obsessed five-year-old, I liked “Cambrian tea,” i.e. Cambric.

  15. Hm, I would say “Masshole” is east of Worcester.

  16. Is there one for people from Massachusetts?

    As one of them… I don’t know. In childhood someone told me it was “Massachusettonian”, but I think either they or the person they heard it from had just made it up. In journospeak it’s usually “Bay Stater”.

    Massachusettsan apparently (does anyone actually use this?)

    I’ve never heard it used. Myself, if I could institute a “proper” demonym, I think I’d go with “Massachusetter”.

  17. Singular demonym – Massachusett.

    Plural – Massachusetts.

  18. Suppletive? USA — American.

  19. Stephen C. Carlson says:

    I was wondering why the demonym of Tampa isn’t Tampan, until I pronounced it.

  20. And has anyone mentioned “Indiana — Hoosier”?

  21. I wonder if there are any Pole dancing jokes?

  22. Cambrian tea

    Goes well with pelmeni, i.e. “Permian dumplings”?

    (well, the Komi-Udmurt linguistic grouping tends to be called “Permic”, but “Permian” as the corresponding aggregate demonym still comes up sometimes.)

    “Mordovia” — “Mordvin” is probably also on the non-trivial side.

  23. Switzerland — Swiss
    Holland/The Netherlands — Dutch
    Scotland — Scots(wo)man, Scot
    Wales — Welsh
    France — French
    Norway — Norwegian
    ? — Czech
    Portugal — Portuguese
    Malta — Maltese
    Spain — Spanish, Spaniard
    Catalonia — Catalan

    (and many others) are non-trivial as well.

  24. New South Welshpeople (more inclusive version of the earlier term New South Welshmen)

  25. David Marjanović says:

    “Permian dumplings”

    Ooh, awesome. On top of that, Permknödel would rhyme with Germknödel!

  26. The seal of the Commonwealth is inscribed “Sigillum Reipublicæ Massachusettensis”, which tells us Massachutensian as the proper Latinish demonym. The others given above are probably distortions of it.

    People from Poughkeepsie, NY, are traditionally Dorpians, though this must be as dead as the dodo nowadays.

    There is no demonym for Independence, Missouri, which resists even the fallback suffix -ite.

  27. I nominate Independancers.

  28. The seal of the Commonwealth is inscribed “Sigillum Reipublicæ Massachusettensis”, which tells us Massachutensian as the proper Latinish demonym. The others given above are probably distortions of it.

    Eh, I wouldn’t put too much stock in that. In the kind of hobbyistic neo-Latin that gets used on state seals and college diplomas, they’ll just stick -ensis on anything and call it a day.

  29. Independencensian

  30. David Marjanović says:

    which tells us Massachutensian as the proper Latinish demonym.

    You accidently a sylble.

  31. marie-lucie says:

    Y: m.-l., Have you ever heard trifluvien for Trois-Rivières?

    Heard, no, because I don’t live in a French-speaking area, but I have seen it written and guessed what it meant.

    Another French demonym:

    In Normandy there is a town called Villedieu-les-poêles ‘Villedieu-the-frying-pans’, so called because it was once famous for its copper utensils, an industry dating back centuries because of the copper mines in the area. So many of the local men were involved in making pans, wielding the hammer all day to shape them, that the town was extremely noisy and a lot of people were going deaf. It is not easy to make a demonym out of the town’s name anyway, so others called the inhabitants les Sourdingues (a derogatory derivative of sourd ‘deaf’).

  32. Oops, yes; Massachusettensian.

  33. les Sourdingues (a derogatory derivative of sourd ‘deaf’)

    Is that a borrowed Germanic ending? I mean, Normandy.

  34. Athel Cornish-Bowden says:

    People from Castres are Castrais. Big deal, you will say, but it sounds exactly like castré, meaning castrated. When we first met the husband of our then Director we asked him where he was from. Je suis Castrais, he said, knowing perfectly well what it could be taken to mean.

    Straying away from demonyms, but sticking with castration, another Director we had was very competent in Spanish, and went often to Venezuela to give courses. On one occasion he started by telling the students what he was able to teach: Soy capable de …. After starting several sentences like that he wondered why everyone was giggling, and learned a bit too late that although capable in French means much the same as in English, it has a very different meaning in Spanish: able to be castrated.

  35. David Marjanović says:

    Is that a borrowed Germanic ending? I mean, Normandy.

    I would guess so, but dingue “silly, crazy” probably plays a role.

  36. On Pole jokes, from Mencken:

    In September 1933, at a meeting of the Syndykatu Dziennikarzy Polskich w Ameryce (Society of Polish-American Journalists) at Chicago, Mr. Ernest Lilien read a paper on “The Polish Language and Polish-American Writers”. It was devoted mainly to the sins of the speaker’s fellow-journalists, and was full of amusing stories.

    There was the one, for example, about the Polish-American telegraph-editor who received a press dispatch one night (in English, of course) about a storm that had knocked over fifty telegraph-poles, and who translated poles as Polacks, to the consternation of his Polish readers. And there was the one about the other Polish-American editor who, trusting the dictionary too much, translated sewer as szwacska (seamstress, i.e. sew-er).

    Mr. Lilien handled these brethren somewhat roughly, but his very exposure of their crimes also revealed their defense. For they have to work at high pressure translating the words and idioms of American English into a quite unrelated and far more formal language, and it is no wonder that they occasionally perpetrate astonishing howlers and deface Polish with fantastic new growths.

  37. Being a six-foot Pole, I’m accustomed to the fact that there are things people wouldn’t touch with me.

  38. After starting several sentences like that he wondered why everyone was giggling, and learned a bit too late that although capable in French means much the same as in English, it has a very different meaning in Spanish: able to be castrated.

    I’m gonna call boludeces on that, because there’s no capable in any of my Spanish dictionaries, and the Real Academia dictionary says “La palabra capable+ no está en el Diccionario.” (The Spanish word, of course, is capaz.)

    There was the one, for example, about the Polish-American telegraph-editor who received a press dispatch one night (in English, of course) about a storm that had knocked over fifty telegraph-poles, and who translated poles as Polacks, to the consternation of his Polish readers.

    I don’t get it, since “Polacks” is an English word. What was he translating into?

  39. I suppose Polacy, pl. of Polak. The word for ‘seamstress’ is spelt szwaczka, by the way.

  40. Polish; this was in the day when there were many American newspapers not in English. Mencken was simply using Polacks as a neutral synonym for Poles here, to more clearly disambiguate it from poles. Presumably the translated article used Polaków, but Mencken’s anglophone audience wouldn’t understand that.

    Update: Piotr: I had thought Polacy was collective and Polacków distributive; here we are dealing with a specific number.

    I have pinged my Spanish expert on whether capable is a plausible neologism, but he won’t reply for a while; he’s in Australia.

  41. I’m gonna call boludeces on that, because there’s no capable in any of my Spanish dictionaries

    And OED has no castratable (or castrable, analogous to separable), simply because we rarely need a word with this meaning; still, it is transparently derived and would be interpreted as ‘capable of being castrated’ by anyone sufficiently familiar with English deroivational morphology. Spanish has capar ‘castrate’ and a productive way of forming deverbal adjectives with the suffix -(a)ble.

  42. Tapatio for what you might have expected to be Guadalajaran.

  43. Update: Piotr: I had thought Polacy was collective and Polacków distributive; here we are dealing with a specific number.

    Polacy is the nom.pl.; Polaków is the gen.pl., which is the required form of all nouns used after numerals higher than ‘4’. With ‘virile’ nouns (+HUMAN, +MALE), and only with them, there is an alternative pattern, with both the numeral and the noun in the genitive. This is optional with ‘2’, ‘3’ and ‘4’, and obligatory with numerals above ‘4’. With such a genitive phrase in the subject position, the verb is singular, and has the neuter gender in the past tense.

    1. jeden Polak
    2. dwaj Polacy ~ dwóch (gen.) Polaków
    3. trzej Polacy ~ trzech Polaków
    4. czterej Polacy ~ czterech Polaków
    5. pięciu (gen.) Polaków

    50 pięćdziesięciu Polaków

    100 stu Polaków

    Without a numeral, the plural is Polacy.

    For other classes of nouns, including non-virile masculines, the pattern is like this (n. okno ‘window’, f. żona ‘wife’, m. pies ‘dog’):

    1. jedno okno
    2. dwa okna (nom.pl)
    3. trzy okna
    4. cztery okna
    5. pięć okien (gen.pl.)

    50. pięćdziesiąt okien

    100. sto okien

    1. jedna żona
    2. dwie żony (nom.pl.)
    3. trzy żony
    4. cztery żony
    5. pięć żon (gen.pl.)

    50 pięćdziesiąt żon

    100 sto żon

    1. jeden pies
    2. dwa psy (nom.pl.)
    3. trzy psy
    4. cztery psy
    5. pięć psów (gen.pl.)

    50. pięćdziesiąt psów

    100 sto psów

    The Polish system of genders and subgenders is intricate and still evolving, hence the variation. With complex numerals even native speakers may be at a loss. ‘Twenty-one children’ could be expressed as dwadzieścia jeden dzieci, dwadzieścioro jeden dzieci (with a special “collective” form used for counting children or mixed-gender groups), or even dwadzieścioro jedno dziecko. None of them sounds 100% grammatical; I personally prefer the second variant. Other Slavic languages have semi-independently developed similar morphosyntactic spandrels.

  44. And OED has no castratable (or castrable, analogous to separable), simply because we rarely need a word with this meaning; still, it is transparently derived and would be interpreted as ‘capable of being castrated’ by anyone sufficiently familiar with English deroivational morphology. Spanish has capar ‘castrate’ and a productive way of forming deverbal adjectives with the suffix -(a)ble.

    Fair point, and I withdraw my cavil!

  45. Tampa – Tampanian

    I have heard from a Tampa native that Tampanian is “way off” and that Tampa native is the most common form.

  46. Residents of the Virgin Islands are sometimes known as Virgins, an example of a demonyn that is shorter than the place name, and also an example of . . . something else.

  47. David Eddyshaw says:

    The people of St Helena call themselves Saints.

  48. David Marjanović says:

    With complex numerals even native speakers may be at a loss.

    While that doesn’t seem to happen in German, there is some variation in the most complex cases. The Stories from 1001 Nights are conventionally rendered Märchen aus tausendundeiner Nacht, using “thousand-and-one” with feminine “one” and singular “night” (invisible dative). I would never have done that; I’d have put it aus tausendeins Nächten, without “and”, with undeclined “one”* and with plural “nights” (visible dative). Yet other people side with English and use “one thousand” rather than bare “thousand”…

    Wikipedia says in Arabic it’s ’alf layla wa-layla, evidently “a thousand night and a night”…

    * A special counting form in modern Standard German, strictly distinct there (and perhaps nowhere else) from the strong neuter eines.

  49. In Hebrew, too, a counted noun may occur in some circumstances in the singular (including “A thousand nights and a night”). There is no sharp boundary between which nouns prefer the plural and which prefer the singular.

  50. marie-lucie says:

    Sourdingues: Is that a borrowed Germanic ending? I mean, Normandy. – David: I would guess so, but dingue “silly, crazy” probably plays a role.

    It seems to me that there must be other words, but apart from dingue the ones that come to mind are devoid of any negative connotation and do not include the rhyming suffix (e.g. la meringue, la seringue ‘syringe’), In any case, sourdingue is not limited to Normandy.

    People from Castres are Castrais. Big deal, you will say, but it sounds exactly like castré, meaning castrated.

    I do not pronounce these words the same, as I have an old-fashioned pronunciation which differentiates the relevant vowels at the end of words. There would be no problem with a woman saying she is from Castres: je suis Castraise.

    Local people would pronounce the masculine words the same, because there is no such vowel difference in an area where the local French has an Occitan substrate. (My maternal grandparents were from a village not far from Castres, where they also had relatives).

    In any case the name of the city (or smallish town) is from a form of Latin castrum ‘military camp’ (as in English Chester).

  51. David Eddyshaw says:

    Re the Thousand and One Nights:

    Tritton’s old “Teach Yourself [Classical] Arabic” says (IIRC) “the numerals are the nightmare of a bankrupt financier.”

    “One” is an adjective, and agrees in gender and case with its singular noun.
    “Two” is a dual, and agrees in gender, number and case with the noun; it’s only used for emphasis, as there’s a perfectly good dual number already.
    3-10 are singulars, disagree in gender with the noun, which is in the genitive plural (except with broken plurals, of course, which appear as genitive singular, with the gender of the number opposite to whatever the gender of the singular is; it doesn’t matter what the broken plural’s gender is. Why would it?)
    11-19 are followed by the noun in the accusative singular. They disagree in gender with the noun.
    The tens (including “twenty”) are formally plural. They too take an accusative singular noun. In compound numbers, units come before tens, and the counted noun is still in the accusative singular.
    After hundreds and thousands the noun is in the genitive singular. In compound numerals, hundreds and thousands usually precede lower numerals. The case and number of the noun depend on the numeral just preceding it.
    However, the plurals “hundreds” and “thousands” are themselves followed by the genitive plural.
    Oh, and “200”, “2000” are themselves duals, of course. But that goes without saying.
    I’ve not gone into the position of the article. It’s pretty intuitive …

  52. On the topic of castro – Slavoj Žižek, when discussing Cuba, has put forth the amazing argument that the glorification of privation and decay as parts of the revolutionary struggle is encapsulated in the very name of Fidel Castro: “fidelity to castration”.

  53. For Žižek, that’s not especially amazing — I’d call it one of the six impossible analyses he performs before breakfast as a warm-up exercise.

  54. Michael Hendry says:

    I drive through Rockingham County twice a week – that’s in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia, and surrounds the city of Harrisonburg. When I see the sign, I often wonder whether locals would be Rockinghamsters, and that always reminds me of one of the earliest joke websites, Dancing Hampsters (sic), still to be seen here. Low-grade humor helps me stay awake on my 300-mile roundtrips. Perhaps I shouldn’t apologize: it’s a better joke than Žižek’s.

  55. The rules in Hebrew for whether the enumerated noun is expressed in the singular or plural, and whether the numeral is in the absolute or construct case, are even messier than the Classical Arabic rules you mention. They depend on the noun, on the number, on semantic subtleties (collective plural or not), and on the register. In biblical Hebrew the order of noun and numerals can be reversed, too.

  56. from a form of Latin castrum ‘military camp’ (as in English Chester).

    Žižek would say that privation and decay is encapsulated in the very name of Manchester city: “Man castrated”

  57. pięćdziesięciu Polaków

    So that’s what we have here: fifty telegraph Poles knocked down.

  58. Graham Asher says:

    Castrer doesn’t seem to exist in French, and there’s a better alternative, châtrer (I remembered that word from a gruesome TV series about mediaeval France called Les Rois Maudits). The dictionary (Dictionnaire de Français Littré) says:

    Le mot castrer n’a pu être trouvé dans l’index.

    castreur

    nm (ka-streur)

    Châtreur.

    A. M…. castreur est un de ceux qui ont été à la recherche de B…. après son crime. [Gazette des tribunaux]

    REMARQUE

    Il est inutile de forger le latinisme castreur quand on a châtreur.

  59. marie-lucie says:

    Graham: I checked in the TLFI in which there is a verb castrer but no such word as castreur in Standard French. But such forms are attested in some dialects which did not change Latin ca into cha or che. Castreur is attested in an official document from 1416. Like the verb, the noun may have been a deliberate Latinate borrowing used in scientific contexts, like la castration.

    Another ca borrowing is le castrat, from Italian castrato, a term used in the context of musical history for castrated male opera singers, who were in demand in Europe for some time before the 19th century.

    There is a town in France called La Châtre, which does not refer to the operation (châtrer) or its performer (le châtreur) but is from Latin castra (the plural of the neuter singular castrum) reanalyzed as a feminine singular word.

  60. marie-lucie says:

    Villedieu-les-poêles

    Update: Wikipédia.fr says that the town is still a centre for manufacturing high quality cooking utensils, and that its inhabitants are les Sourdins, which sounds much better than Sourdingues.

  61. Athel Cornish-Bowden says:

    I’m gonna call boludeces on that, because there’s no capable in any of my Spanish dictionaries, and the Real Academia dictionary says “La palabra capable+ no está en el Diccionario.” (The Spanish word, of course, is capaz.)

    Piotr has already said everything I was planning to say, so I won’t repeat it.

    I have a Venezuelan colleague, and was also planning to ask her if she found the story believable, but I haven’t yet.

  62. Athel Cornish-Bowden says:

    Tritton’s old “Teach Yourself [Classical] Arabic” says (IIRC) “the numerals are the nightmare of a bankrupt financier.”

    All that makes the Russian treatment of numerals seem transparently simple.

  63. If anyone has been watching the French mini-series ‘Glacé’ (aka ‘The Frozen Dead’), which is set in the south of France, you may have noticed that that verb they use for ‘castrate’ is emasculer. It crops up disturbingly often (in the show).

  64. My favourite is Nuyorican, a New Yorker with a Puerto-Rican background, and Loisaida, the Puerto Rican name for the Lower East Side. I first heard Nuyorican in 1976-ish, in connection with the Nuyorican Poets Café when my ex-wife had a (painting) studio down at the Henry Street Settlement, and the word apparently only dates to the sixties, when it was used as a slur.

    How hard it is for my fingers to remember HTML tags when I don’t use them (the tags) every day.

  65. Athel Cornish-Bowden says:

    If anyone has been watching the French mini-series ‘Glacé’ (aka ‘The Frozen Dead’),

    I need to give it a try: we used to watch M6 a lot when our daughter was little, but pretty much never now.

  66. marie-lucie says:

    abxjd: … the French mini-series ‘Glacé’ (aka ‘The Frozen Dead’), … that verb they use for ‘castrate’ is emasculer. It crops up disturbingly often (in the show).

    Are they using émasculer about animals or men? Perhaps châtrer is too concrete, too close to the barn, and émasculer sounds more scientific.

  67. Because of the disruptions resulting from renaming streets (addresses have to be changed, etc.), in recent years New York has given streets secondary names. 6th Avenue was formally renamed to Avenue of the Americas in 1945, but New Yorkers have never accepted this name, and while it remains official, both names appear on street signs. But since then, such secondary names as “Fashion Avenue” for the part of 7th Avenue in the garment district have become common. In particular, Avenue C is dual-signed throughout its length as “Loisaida Avenue”.

  68. Regarding Puerto Rico, there’s also the informal demonym boricua deriving from the Taino name for the island, Borinquen. Likewise Quisqueya and quisqueyano for Dominicans.

  69. Are they using émasculer about animals or men? Perhaps châtrer is too concrete, too close to the barn, and émasculer sounds more scientific.

    This could well be it – the speakers are mostly detectives and forensic scientists. The victims are human…

  70. The lovely people of Barbados are known as Bajans [‘beɪdʒən].

  71. There was the one, for example, about the Polish-American telegraph-editor who received a press dispatch one night (in English, of course) about a storm that had knocked over fifty telegraph-poles, and who translated poles as Polacks, to the consternation of his Polish readers.

    I am reminded of a joke that’s apparently been told about several presidents:
    “Mr. President, yesterday two Brazilian soldiers were killed.”
    “Oh no! How many is a Brazilian?”

  72. Now, how did [x] become [tʃ] as mejicano became chicano?

  73. @Y: I think chicano is an adaptation of the indigenous pronunciation. In Náhuatl, the names of the old Mexica people and of Mexico use [ʃ]; Spanish still had this sound, represented by x, at the time of conquest, but later it shifted to [x].* [ʃ] is now extremely marginal in most varieties of Spanish,** only kept as a sort of cultured xenophoneme, and in popular speech foreign [ʃ] is often rendered as [tʃ] instead.

    *México, mexicano, Oaxaca, etc. were exempted from the orthographic shift x > j in modern Spanish, and from what I’ve heard, the alternative spellings with j are seen as somewhat colonialistic in Mexico today.

    **Excepting progressive Rioplatense varieties that use [ʃ] for y/ll, and some in Andalusia and the Caribbean which use it as a lenited form of ch.

  74. Thanks! Does anyone say [meʃiko] as an intentionally authenticizing pronunciation?

  75. Hmm, that I don’t know. Maybe among native speakers of Náhuatl and/or people favoring an indigenous flavor of nationalism, but that’s just pure speculation on my part.

  76. I knew somebody from Mexico when I was in college, who did use that pronunciation. I don’t remember where she was from in the country, but it didn’t sound to me like an intentional affectation (but who knows).

  77. The default Mexican realisation of of /x/ is either a “plain” (non-retracted) velar [x] (thus normally in Mexico City) or glottal [h] (in many regional accents). In either case it may be palatalised by a following /i/, making México sound like [ˈmeçiko] (as in this recording). It’s very different from the normative European Spanish pronunciation, which is retracted even when adjacent to front vowels. I think this [ç] is sufficiently similar to [ʃ] to be occasionally mistaken for it by foreign listeners.

  78. David Marjanović says:

    [ç] is systematically replaced by [ʃ] (and thus /ʃ/) in the second-generation-immigrant sociolect of Berlin.

    More or less the same thing has happened in various Rhineland accents. Such people tend to hypercorrect /ʃ/ to [ç] when they try to speak with a less specifically regional accent; Kohl did it, Schulz is doing it.

  79. Piotr, David: Even if Anglophone speakers of Spanish mistook [ç] for [ʃ], they would not pronounce [ʃ] as [tʃ].

  80. The lovely people of Barbados are known as Bajans [‘beɪdʒən].

    Bajan is to Barbados as Cajun is to Acadia in terms of derivation.

  81. Some of those seem rather like saying the demonym for someone from Russia is “Russky”.

    Well, yes and no – a Russian speaking English wouldn’t say “I am a Russky”, but a person from Botswana would call themselves a Motswana.

    How “Glasgow” goes to “Glaswegian” has always puzzled me. Norwegian is presumably an anglicised version of Fr Norvegien. But there isn’t a French toponym for Glasgow (Glasvege?) that I know of.

  82. Falkland Islands – Kelpers.

    I wonder what the smallest society is that still has its own demonym? There are only 50 Pitkerners (Pitcairn Islanders) … that’ll be hard to beat.

  83. Maybe among native speakers of Náhuatl and/or people favoring an indigenous flavor of nationalism

    Well, then they’d be saying [me’ʃiʔko].

  84. marie-lucie says:

    a jay: there isn’t a French toponym for Glasgow (Glasvege?) that I know of.

    Indeed there is not.

  85. Athel Cornish-Bowden says there are only four places in the British Isles (obviously excluding the Channel Islands) with unique French names: Londres, Douvres, Cornouailles, and Cantorbéry. The last, I conjecture, because of the massive Huguenot immigration there.

  86. David Marjanović says:

    Cornouailles

    If you include that, you’ll also have to include Pays de Galles, Écosse, Irlande and Angleterre…

  87. Athel Cornish-Bowden says there are only four places in the British Isles (obviously excluding the Channel Islands) with unique French names: Londres, Douvres, Cornouailles, and Cantorbéry.

    What is it meant by “unique French names”? If we’re merely going for exonyms in French, then we also have Édimbourg.

  88. Well, of course the names of countries do not count, but Cornwall is a separate country only in the dreams of the Corns.

  89. The Thames → La Tamise
    East Anglia → L’Est-Anglie
    Beachy Head → cap Béveziers

    As per Wikipedia, there are also some obsolete French exonyms for a few cities in England:

    Buckingham → Bouquinquant
    Glasgow → Glasgovie
    Newcastle upon Tyne → Neufchâtel-sur-Tyne
    Portsmouth → Porsemue
    Westminster → Ouestmoutiers
    Winchester → Vicêtre/Bicêtre (via Old French Vinchestre)

    (plus some miscellaneous traditional names of counties/regions/islands)

  90. marie-lucie says:

    Piotr, apart from La Tamise, I wonder whether those “obsolete French exonyms” were ever in common use. I remember reading Bouquinquant for the Duke of Buckingham, a well-known person in the 17C. At the time, people ignorant of English would try to read the names as if they were French and adjust the spelling to something pronounceable by French speakers. Another one I remember is Vital for Whitehall. I assumed that those were the writer’s own attempts.

  91. David Marjanović says:

    Le Kremlin-Bicêtre is “next to” Paris (i.e. pretty deep inside it except officially).

  92. David Eddyshaw says:

    The Phoenicians called themselves “Canaanites.” Naturally.

  93. The thing itself is worth a little bit pondering. That Italian-, Dutch- or German-language placenames are referred to in a traditional French equivalent is as unremarkable as how the Chinese and the Japanese treat each other’s proper names. This, however, does not seem to apply to Britain. Why?

  94. We have “nativised” Polish names for about a dozen French cities/towns (including Paryż, Marsylia, Tuluza, Hawr, Wersal), most of the provinces and some of the larger rivers (Sekwana, Rodan, Loara). Important German toponyms, from Aachen to Zittau (I mean from Akwizgran to Żytawa), are rather thoroughly assimilated.

    As for British cities, however, only three have long-established Polish exonyms (Londyn, Edynburg, Oksford). The Thames is Tamiza. Among the countries/regions of the United Kingdom, Szkocja, Walia, Irlandia Północna, Kornwalia are always Polonised (as are Szetlandy, Orkady, Hebrydy). Somewhat paradoxically, the English spelling of York, UK, is used in Poland, but New York City is Nowy Jork.

    The older Polish diaspora in Glasgow used to treat its name af it it had a Slavic suffix, and they declined it accordingly (w Glazgowie, z Glazgowa ‘in/from G.’). They may have brought this usage from pre-war Poland. In Polish books and newspapers from the 19th c. Glasgow was usually spelt à la polonaise: Glazgów. I don’t know how modern Glaswegian Poles treat it colloquially, but the local Polish media don’t decline it.

  95. Athel Cornish-Bowden says:

    Athel Cornish-Bowden says there are only four places in the British Isles (obviously excluding the Channel Islands) with unique French names: Londres, Douvres, Cornouailles, and Cantorbéry. The last, I conjecture, because of the massive Huguenot immigration there.

    I hope I said “England” rather than “the British Isles”, because I usually try to avoid saying one when I mean the other.

  96. Athel Cornish-Bowden says:

    We have “nativised” Polish names for about a dozen French cities/towns (including Paryż, Marsylia, Tuluza, Hawr, Wersal)

    I suppose Hawr is Le Havre, but I’m surprised it’s well known enough in Poland to rate an exonym of its own. What about Lyon, Lille and Bordeaux?

    Somewhat paradoxically, the English spelling of York, UK, is used in Poland, but New York City is Nowy Jork.

    Spanish is quite happy with Nueva York, but in Portuguese it’s Nova Iorque. They’re more consistent than the Poles, however, as the English city is Iorque, if Wikipédia, a enciclopédia livre is to be trusted.

  97. from Akwizgran to Żytawa

    Wow. Excellent examples of the foreign part of Germany, whose existence is learnt from Latin-language books, and the not-really-foreign part of Germany, where an authentic Slavic name is available.

    Speaking of exonyms, I love modern Mongolian for being the only major, living language that preserves old Sogdian exonyms like Enetkheg for India.

  98. And now I love it too!

  99. @ACB: From what I gather, Spanish has more tolerance for k in loanwords whereas Portuguese more aggressively changes it to c or qu (e.g. Pakistán and Pekín vs. Paquistão and Pequim) – and also has a greater penchant for epenthesis (Irak vs. Iraque).

  100. What about Lyon, Lille and Bordeaux?

    They are spelt the French way today (though the adjective derived from Bordeaux is bordoski, as in wino bordoskie, and we have the colour term bordo ‘claret’). Cultural relations between Poland and France (as well as Italy) have been quite close since the Renaissance.

  101. I hope I said “England” rather than “the British Isles”, because I usually try to avoid saying one when I mean the other.

    Dammit, I said “a few cities in England”, and then listed Glasgow among them. Tha mi duilich!

  102. I hope I said “England” rather than “the British Isles”, because I usually try to avoid saying one when I mean the other.

    You did, and you only referred to your own knowledge:

    What I find interesting is how many placenames have no s in their original language but acquire one when translated — not just [Lyons and Marseilles], but Brussels (Brussel in Dutch, but Bruxelles in French), Algiers, Naples, Athens, Tangiers, once upon a time Portingals, not to mention (in French) Gênes, Londres, Douvres and Cornouailles. Those last three account for 75% of all the English placenames that I know of that are different in French (the exception being Cantorbéry.)

    I shoulda looked it up er sumpn.

  103. marie-lucie says:

    David M: Le Kremlin-Bicêtre is “next to” Paris (i.e. pretty deep inside it except officially).

    Such double names are those of Métro stations which are in between two streets or next to a landmark.

    Like many large cities, Paris has grown considerably from humble beginnings, encompassing more and more of the adjacent villages. It started as a very small Gaulish village on an island in the Seine river, which used a smaller island close by as a pasture for its cows. Later it expanded on the riverbanks, and the new community built a wall around itself, with the islands in the middle. As time went on and the city grew in every direction, from time to time the old walls were torn down and new surrounding walls were erected , so that on a current map of Paris you can see a pattern of concentric streets where the walls used to be. Many buildings and other landmarks which were originally outside of Paris find themselves closer to the centre as the boundaries have been pushed out farther and farther.

  104. marie-lucie says:

    Piotr: We have “nativised” Polish names for about a dozen French cities/towns … and some of the larger rivers (Sekwana, Rodan, Loara).

    Sekwana is not nativized from French (la) Seine, but from its Latinized Celtic ancestor Sequana. Similarly Rodan is from Greco-Latin Rhodanus, not of modern (le) Rhône. Only Loara is nativized from French (la) Loire.

    Important German toponyms, from Aachen to Zittau (I mean from Akwizgran to Żytawa), are rather thoroughly assimilated.

    I suppose that Aachen and Akwiz… are from Latin “Aquas” (referring to local mineral waters), as is the initial part of French Aix in the equivalent name Aix-la-Chapelle and a few others, but what is …-gran ?

  105. marie-lucie says:

    ACB: I suppose [Polish] Hawr is Le Havre, but I’m surprised it’s well known enough in Poland to rate an exonym of its own. What about Lyon, Lille and Bordeaux?

    What about international trade? A ship from Poland (or Northern Germany) can sail around or through Denmark and reach England and France without going all the way to the Atlantic. Le Havre, as its Scandinavian-based name indicates, has been an important harbour for centuries, not only for ships coming from Northeastern Europe but also, being close to the mouth of the Seine, a gateway to enter France and go at least as far as Paris (as barges still do). Bordeaux is also an important port, also on a long estuary, but it is quite far from the Northern shipping routes and it is unlikely that Polish ships would have regularly gone that far. As for Lyon and even Lille, they are located inland. Lyon is on the Rhône, also an important river but not easy to navigate, unlike the placid Seine.

  106. but what is …-gran ?

    The Roman name was Aquae Granni.

  107. David Marjanović says:

    Wow. Excellent examples of the foreign part of Germany, whose existence is learnt from Latin-language books, and the not-really-foreign part of Germany, where an authentic Slavic name is available.

    Is that one authentic, though? German /ts/ and Slavic /ʒ/ aren’t supposed to correspond.

    Taking exonyms straight from Latin, though, is something Polish has done a lot. Hiszpania for starters.

    Such double names are those of Métro stations which are in between two streets or next to a landmark.

    Sorry, yes, brainfart from sleep deprivation. It’s indeed such a station that lies between the “towns” of Le Kremlin and Bicêtre.

    Many buildings and other landmarks which were originally outside of Paris find themselves closer to the centre as the boundaries have been pushed out farther and farther.

    Yes, but the trick is that the modern border of Paris is still where the toll wall was in the 19th century. There’s solid urban area far beyond that, but this banlieue proche doesn’t belong to Paris officially.

  108. It’s complicated. The oldest Latin name of Aachen was Aquae Grannī ‘waters of Grannus’ (the Celtic god of spas). It was later reshaped into Aquisgrana or Aquisgranum (de-ablatival, with a good deal of folk-etymological distortion), hence Italian Aquisgrana, Spanish Aquisgrán, etc. I think French Aix(-la-Chapelle) reflects Aquis; German Aachen comes from Aquae via OHG Ahha. It shows the operation of the High German consonant shift (unlike Dutch and Low German Aken). The local name (in the Aachen dialect) is Oche.

    Mediaeval and Renaissance maps usually gave the “international” Latin names of important towns and rivers. Our largest river, the Wisła, is the Vistula, Vistule, Vistola etc. in the languages of the West (except German). It is Βιστούλας in Modern Greek, reflecting a post-Classical pronunciation of Latin (versus Ptolemy’s Ουιστούλα). Symmetrically, we have Sekwana and Rodan, likewise mediated by School Latin.

  109. Is that one authentic, though? German /ts/ and Slavic /ʒ/ aren’t supposed to correspond.

    “Zittau (Oberlausitzer Mundart: Sitte, tschech. Žitava, poln. Żytawa, sorb. Žitawa, von slawisch für Roggen)”, saith Wikipedia. “Rye” is žito and žyto in the two Sorbians and żyto in Polish. The Latin Sitavia corresponds to the local German. How did the local s- become the schriftsprachlich ts- is a separate mystery.

  110. marie-lucie says:

    David M: such a station that lies between the “towns” of Le Kremlin and Bicêtre.

    In many cases the towns have grown so close that in a single street, one side is in one town and the other side in another. The boundaries of Paris may be visible on a map, but not necessarily on the ground.

  111. marie-lucie says:

    Aquae Granni

    Of course Aquae is only the nominative plural (homophonous with the genitive singular), so Aquas may be closer to what ordinary speakers used for most plurals.

    Granni: must be a name, of a person or place?

  112. marie-lucie says:

    Sorry, Piotr, I did not see your post when I started mine.

  113. Is that one authentic, though? German /ts/ and Slavic /ʒ/ aren’t supposed to correspond.

    It’s Sitte in the local German dialect (the “Äberlausitzer Sproche”), Žitawa in Upper Sorbian, and Žitava in Czech. It has a Slavic etymology.

  114. Gee, we are posting almost simultaneously. Fortunately, we aren’t contradicting one another.

  115. marie-lucie says:

    Piotr: going on: I think French Aix(-la-Chapelle) reflects Aquis.

    Ablative plural?

    There are at least two more French towns or cities named Aix: Aix-en Provence (not far from Marseille) and Aix-les-Bains, the latter doubly named for its mineral waters and resulting spa.

    Occitan for ‘water’ is aiga (official spelling, = [ajgo] in most dialects) , hence the Frenchified name Aigues-Mortes ‘dead waters’ for a town that was among salt marshes.

  116. The name of Zittau was recorded as Sitavia, Zittavia, Syttauia, Sittaw in the 13th c., as Sithow, Sytow, Zyttavia, Sittow, Zittaw in the 14th c., Sittaw, Zitte, Sitta in the 15th c., etc. The variation is old, whatever caused it.

  117. Ablative plural?

    That’s what I think; what else could the Aquis part be? But of course in order to endorse or falsify this guess, the earliest documented forms should be examined carefully. I suppose someone has done so already.

  118. I see the resort was called officially Aquis or Villa Aquis in the 760s (about the time Charlemagne became King of the Franks), so it was simply “at the waters” (the locative use of the Latin ablative).

  119. marie-lucie says:

    so it was simply “at the waters” (the locative use of the Latin ablative).

    That’s what I thought. Merci!

  120. How did the local s- become the schriftsprachlich ts- is a separate mystery.

    There is no voiceless initial S in standard German. If you insist on a voiceless initial sibilant, TS is the closest sound to S in standard German. For example, when I lived in Germany as a small child, I wore Tsveeter and Pullofer (i.e. Sweaters and Pull-overs; Pullofer had the accent on the O).

  121. Neufchâtel-sur-Tyne — love it. And of course, the demonym Novocastrian comes from a similar process.

    But where does ‘Mancunian’ come from?

    For Filipinos, there is the demonym ‘pinoy’. This is formed by taking the last four letters of Filipino and adding the diminutive suffix -y in Tagalog. (Thanks, Wikipedia.)

    Apparently a Pinoy with mix of foreign ancestry is called Tisoy, a shortened word for Mestizo.

  122. Mamucium, also known as Mancunium, is a former Roman fort in the Castlefield area of Manchester in North West England.

  123. Interestingly, a gathering of Newcastles from around the world was held in 2012 in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. It included people from Newcastle-under-Lyme, Newcastle (Canada), Newcastle (South Africa), Newcastle (Australia), Neuburg an der Donau (Germany), Jaunpils (Latvia), Neuchatel (Switzerland), Nove Hrady (Czechia), Akhaltsikhe (Georgia), Shinshiro (Japan), and Kota Bharu (Malaysia).

  124. Nove Hrady

    That’s cheating. How about inviting Novgorod, Novogrodek and Novograd-Volynsky then…

    And Naples too

  125. There is no voiceless initial S in standard German.

    In most of Germany, yes. In Austria and Switzerland and southern Germany, there is no voiced sibilant at all, even when pronouncing the standard language.

  126. Pinoy is an ethnonym, not a demonym. If you are a Philippine expat or child of such, you count as Pinoy, but if you’re a White person who lives in the Philippines, you’re not. If you are from London but have established yourself elsewhere, you’re arguably not a Londoner anymore.

  127. marie-lucie says:

    But the “elsewhere” people will always think of you as a Londoner.

  128. Ксёнѕ Фаўст says:

    ‘Twenty-one children’ could be expressed as…

    One could come up with even more ways, e.g. dwudziestka i jedno dziecko or dwudziestka jedynka dzieci. Personally I’m quite fond of the nominalized numerals.

  129. @ajay How “Glasgow” goes to “Glaswegian” has always puzzled me. Norwegian is presumably an anglicised version of Fr Norvegien.

    Hmm. I don’t see why/how French would be involved: the Angels and Norse would bring the words direct wouldn’t they?

    Glaswegian “extracted from Galwegian”, which is from Medieval Latin for Galloway + -an.

    Norwegian similarly via Medieval Latin from “Old English Norweg, Norþweg, from Old Norse Norvegr (“north way”), Norðvegr, from norðr (“north”) + vegr (“way”)”

    sources: wiktionary.com and dictionary.com

  130. David Marjanović says:

    The local name (in the Aachen dialect) is Oche.

    And the (apparently moribund) dialect’s endonym is Öcher Platt.

    There is no voiceless initial S in […] [northern and central] German. If you insist on a voiceless initial sibilant, TS is the closest sound to S in [northern] German.

    I was wondering about that, but I’m pretty sure Upper Lusatia is far enough north to have automatic initial [z]. The Wikipedia article on the dialect contains a few surprises (retroflex approximant /r/, dative -e preserved at least sometimes, nu ~ no for “yes” like in colloquial Polish…), but doesn’t mention this issue, and the audio files are all just single words that happen not to contain /s/ at all.

  131. David Marjanović says:

    nu ~ no for “yes” like in colloquial Polish…

    I should actually elaborate on that. The Polish version is no, not nu, and I suppose it’s cognate with the Russian one that means “but”. (“Well” > “well, yeah” vs. “well” > “well, actually”.) Nu may well be a German-internal development; nu meaning “now” (Standard nun) is scattered all over the place. So perhaps nu and no have different origins but have been equated in this dialect…

  132. Is Czech ano related?

  133. The use of nu for ‘well, right; so what?, what’s up?; I say’ (or anything like that) is part of the linguistic stereotype of a Polish Jew. Not only Polish, of course.

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cuV1yfj2NNM

  134. We use ano for (approximately) ‘oh, well’. Polish ano tak means ‘ah, yeah, that’s right’. Thanks to the popularity of Czech films, most Poles are familiar with the Czech meaning of this interjection.

    [Edited to add:] Etymologically it’s a + no; the latter must be a slightly irregular development of Proto-Slavic * (the same that yields the Russ. ‘but’ word) — ultimately identical with the short-vowel variant of the PIE adverb *nu ‘now’, cf. Slavic *nyně ~ *nъně ‘now’.

  135. I’d call nu a marker of exasperation or impatience. Hence Yinglish nu already (Hebrew nu kvar) and other collocations.

  136. There are also Scowegians, a branch of the Scandihoovian people. As in:

    “Come on, fool porterfull, hosiered women blown monk sewer? Scuse us, chorley guy! You tollerday donsk? N. You tolkatiff scowegian? Nn. You spigotty angglease? Nnn. You phonio saxo? Nnnn. Clear all so! ‘Tis a Jute. Let us swop hats and excheck a few strong verbs weak oach eather yapyazzard abast the blooty creeks.” —FW 16:8-9

    The first sentence may be a little tough for anglophones: it’s “Comment vous portez-vous aujourd’hui, mon blond monsieur?”, a sentence that recurs in different forms (sometimes “dark” rather than “blond”) throughout FW. Modern commentary says that oach and eather are parodies of strong-verb ablaut.

  137. Garrigus Carraig (long away) says:

    It has always seemed to me, rightly or wrongly, that Spanish is particularly serious about its gentilicios. On Spanish Wikipedia, where I found most of these, you can find them in the infobox for a town.

    Elche • ilicitano
    Madrid • madrileño
    Huelva • onubense
    Nueva York • neoyorquino
    Valladolid • vallisoletano
    Ciudad de México • mexiqueño
    Estado de México • mexiquense
    Benecid • benezurrino
    Cádiz • gaditano
    Alcalá de Henares • complutense

  138. It certainly is (I have a book of them), and welcome back!

  139. marie-lucie says:

    French demonyms tend to follow the same principles as the Spanish ones: as far as possible, use a Latinate form, as in Eburovicien for the people of Evreux. Some of these are from actual Latin(ized) forms found in ancient documents (official documents were required to be in French starting from the 16C), others (like Québécois Trifluvien) are more recent creations. So Spanish onubense reflects the old name Onuba (stressed on O) of present-day Huelva.

    In Alcalá de Henares • complutense, the first word looks Arabic, but where does complutense come from? I have seen it before, in the name of a university.

  140. The Latin name of Alcalá de Henares is Complutum.

  141. @Garrigus Carraig: Despite the impressive triplet mexicano/mexiquense/mexiqueño, in practice I think defeño and capitolino are more common in the third case. There’s also chilango, which according to some only refers to people who’ve moved to the capital, although many others seem to use it without qualification.

  142. The Complutensian University moved from Alcalá de Henares to Madrid in 1836, but did not reclaim its name of Universidad Complutense (now qualified by de Madrid) until the 1970s. The Complutensian Polyglot Bible was printed there in 1517, making it the first printed polyglot edition of the whole Bible. The Old Testament was printed in the Hebrew text, the Vulgate, and the LXX (the Pentateuch also included the Aramaic Targum Onkelos and a Latin translation of it) in parallel columns. The New Testament presented the Vulgate and the LXX, also in parallel columns.

    As for Alcalá de Henares ‘the citadel on [the river] Henares’, the first part is indeed Arabic. Henares means ‘hay fields’, which once lay on both banks.

  143. There’s also chilango, which according to some only refers to people who’ve moved to the capital

    First I’ve heard of that refinement. My Larousse diccionario usual says “Nativo de la Ciudad de México” (emphasis added).

  144. Yeah, I don’t think I’ve ever heard the distinction made in practice, but you’ll see it when you look for folk definitions. For example, on the Urban Dictionary page for chilango somebody says –

    Persona que vive en la ciudad de México, pero que viene de provincia.
    El error mas común es decir que es una persona que nació en el DF, a esta persona se le llama “Defeño”

  145. Interesting; I wonder how that developed? Maybe newcomers were proud of their new self-definition and went around proclaiming they were chilango, and old-timers were put off by it.

  146. Marja Erwin says:

    “That’s cheating. How about inviting Novgorod, Novogrodek and Novograd-Volynsky then… And Naples too”

    And Nijmegen and Cartagena.

  147. And Nijmegen and Cartagena.

    And Nystad/Uusikaupunki and (Duna)újváros.

  148. No, Nove Hrady ain’t cheating. In contrast to Russian gorod “city, town”, Czech hrad means “castle”.

  149. Back in 10th century when Novgorod was founded, the word meant “fortified place” in Old Russian too.

  150. And a smaller fort, if new, was a Navahrudak (Навагрудак), Novogrudok (Новогрудок), Naugardukas, Nowogródek, Novhardok (נאָווהאַרדאָק‎) — with a diminutive suffix.

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Navahrudak

  151. There was in the 1700s a Cherokee town called Gatu’gitse’yi, near the present-day Franklin, NC; it’s parsed [gaːduhǝ̃ːʔj – atseːhi], settlement-new. (I didn’t mark tones.)

  152. Back in 10th century when Novgorod was founded, the word meant “fortified place” in Old Russian too.
    Yes, but that doesn’t make Nove Hrady cheating. And it would be a sufficient reason to admit place called “New Town / New City” to the “Newcastles” club only if the “town / city” word meant “castle” at the time the place was founded.

  153. Concerning demonyms, in the department of the Haute-Garonne, exists the commune of Lagrâce-Dieu, the gentilé is Gracieux-divins.

    Other communes :

    Oô : Onésiens

    Marignac : Marignacais
    Marignac-Lasclares : Mariclarains
    Marignac-Laspeyres: Maripeyrains

    Frequently, communes with the same name : Portet, Montgaillard, Trébons …have lightly different demonyms.

  154. Gracieux-divins is wonderful!

  155. Gracieux-divins reminds me of LDS members referring to themselves as “Saints”.

  156. Bill Boyd says:

    More:

    Costa Rica: Tico
    Guatemala: Chapín
    Honduras: Catracha
    El Salvador: Guanaco, Chero
    Nicaragua: Pinolero

  157. marie-lucie says:

    Most of these must be from local indigenous languages.

  158. Tico: From the diminutive suffix -tico in Costa Rica, elsewhere -tito. (Spanish Wikipedia).

    Chapín: Folks in Guatemala City wore footwear similar to what was called chapines in Spanish. The RAE says it’s an onomatopoeia (like flip-flop, I suppose). (Spanish Wikipedia).

    Catracho: From Gen. Florencio Xatruch (of Catalan ancestry), who led Hondurans and Savadorans in a successful battle against William Walker’s army. (Spanish and English Wikipedia).

    Guanaco: Central American for ‘stupid’ is all I could find. How the Peruvian animal name got there I can’t tell.

    Chero: Salvadoran and Honduran for ‘buddy’. Perhaps from French cher. Or cf. some Peninsular dialectal cherer for querer.

    Pinolero: Eater of pinole (itself from Nahuatl).

    Also, paisa (from paisano) means ‘Colombian’ in Panama, Ecuador and Venezuela; ‘Nicaraguan’ in Costa Rica; and ‘Chinese immigrant’ in various parts of Latin America.

  159. From the diminutive suffix -tico in Costa Rica, elsewhere -tito.

    -tico occurs in some other countries too, although Wiktionary says it can be derogatory. So I guess Costa Ricans either distinguish themselves by using it the most, or by using it positively.

    Also, paisa (from paisano) means ‘Colombian’ in Panama, Ecuador and Venezuela;

    But within Colombia, it means someone from a particular region in the northwest. So apparently it’s kinda like Yankee.

  160. Trond Engen says:

    A friend of mine who spent a year in Costa Rica as an exchange student back in the eighties, told me about ths. He said they used nico for “Nicaraguan”, but I also think he said Nicaraguans didn’t like it. Or maybe it was the Panamans who didn’t like theirs, which I don’t remember,

    Y: Also, paisa (from paisano) means ‘Colombian’ in Panama, Ecuador and Venezuela; ‘Nicaraguan’ in Costa Rica; and ‘Chinese immigrant’ in various parts of Latin America.

    Lazar: But within Colombia, it means someone from a particular region in the northwest. So apparently it’s kinda like Yankee.

    So (in Col.) “inhabitant of a particular northwestern region” -> (in the immediate vicinity of Col.) “Colombian” -> (elsewhere) “Chinese immigrant”. Did the (first?) Chinese immigrants to Latin America arrive through Colombian ports?

    OTOH, I think the meanings of paisa could have been derived independently. In the Bolivarian countries it means “countryman”, hence one from the main country, In Colombia it means “peasant”, hence someone from somewhere rural, and elsewhere it means means someone laboring on the fields, hence “Chinese immigrant”.

  161. Bill Boyd says:

    And three from Bolivia (where we spent a couple of years back in the early ’90s):

    “Cambas”: those from the Santa Cruz de la Sierra area (generally the eastern part of the country)

    “Collas”: those from the western part, although for some users of the term refers to those from the altiplano, specifically their “first nations people” (e.g., Quechuas, Aimara).

    “Chapacos”: those from Tarija, in the south near the border with Argentina.

    P.S. A restaurant we frequent in southern Alexandria (VA) is run by a family from El Salvador and I’ve a friendly relationship with “Alex” who, by the way, makes a great tamal. Next time, I’ll ask him who refers to him as “guanaco” and “chero” and how he feels about such a nickname.

  162. For all you experts on demonyms: how, exactly, does one go about choosing one when there isn’t, as far as can be determined, a “proper” one? I translated a book from Lithuanian which used the demonym “Vilnietis” for someone from the city of Vilnius. I went with “Vilniutian” mostly because of the analogy of the “s” ending to Mars/Martian, which happened to rather suit the mood of the text. (Incidentally, the second “i” in Vilnius merely indicates a soft “n.”) Now I’ve come across it again. Anyone have a better suggestion?

  163. Vilniusian, like Venusian?

  164. someone from the city of Vilnius.

    Huh, that’s a tough one, and I’m not sure it ever occurred to me to wonder. The problem, of course, is the Lithuanian -ius ending; the old form Vilna had Vilnan (from A Companion to Multiconfessionalism in the Early Modern World: “a ‘Roman’ Vilnan might be Catholic, Lutheran, or Calvinist, and a ‘Greek’ Vilnan—Uniate or Orthodox”; this is in a passage that calls the city Wilno, for what that’s worth), and I’d be tempted to use that except I guess nobody would understand it. But I sure hate both “Vilniutian” and “Vilniusian.” (In Russian it’s виленец, plural виленцы.)

  165. Vilnius declines rather like a Latin u-stem noun. If we say manualis and cornualis, why not Vilniuan? There is of course also the possibility to take the Lithuanian gentilic and tackle a Latin ending to make it familiar-looking: Vilnetian.

  166. I’m assuming something like the Botswana/Motswana is something that actually comes from the local language, since English doesn’t have that sort of method of forming them. Perhaps the best thing would be to just go with “Vilnietis?”

    Yes, there are many historical names for Vilnius, just like there were once many religions…

  167. Perhaps the best thing would be to just go with “Vilnietis?”

    Surely you jest. 1) How would an English-speaker pronounce it? 2) What would the plural be?

  168. Actually, now I’m thinking Vilnian would be ideal.

  169. David Eddyshaw says:

    Vilniac.

  170. marie-lucie says:

    the Botswana/Motswana is something that actually comes from the local language

    Yes, Tswana is one of the Bantu languages, which divide nouns into several classes indicated by prefixes such as bo- and mo-.

  171. marie-lucie says:

    the Botswana/Motswana is something that actually comes from the local language

    Yes, Tswana is one of the Bantu languages, which divide nouns into several classes indicated by prefixes such as bo- and mo-. Similarly for Burundi – Umurundi and Lesotho – Mosotho.

  172. marie-lucie says:

    JC: “Comment vous portez-vous aujourd’hui, mon blond monsieur?”, a sentence that recurs in different forms (sometimes “dark” rather than “blond”) throughout FW.

    This is another pun! “Mon bon monsieur” ‘My good sir’ is old-fashioned but is found very frequently in literature, with a connotation that the monsieur in question is not as clever as he thinks. For instance, in the fable of the fox and the raven, the fox having first addressed the raven as Monsieur du Corbeau (which suggests that the raven is from the nobility), later switches to Mon bon monsieur to emphasize that his flattering words were only intended to dupe the raven (and succeeded).

    French speakers would be very unlikely to say Mon blond monsieur, or use a similar descriptive phrase as a term of address.

  173. Venusian

    Venerean (as opposed to venereal, just as Martian is opposed to martial).

    mon blond monsieur

    I didn’t mean that it’s a repeated French sentence, but rather a sentence whose equivalent in many languages appears throughout the book. Thus a hundred pages later it shows up as “kak, pfooi, bosh, and fiety, much earny, Gus, poteen?” which is Russian Kak vy pozhivaete, moy chërny gospodin? ‘How are you today, my dark sir?’ I think ‘my blond sir’ and ‘my dark sir’ are pretty much equally unnatural in all languages, certainly in English.

  174. Dark Lord? Tolkien reference?

  175. marie-lucie says:

    JC: mon blond monsieur

    Thanks for the explanation.

  176. Athel Cornish-Bowden says:

    In the past Spanish people (especially men) were called coños in Chile, and it wasn’t regarded as especially offensive or vulgar, but referred to the idea that Spanish men were unable to utter a sentence that didn’t include the word coño. I think it’s largely disappeared however, as people have become more conscious of what coño means in other Spanish-speaking countries. My wife says that she doesn’t think anyone of her generation or younger would say it, but the previous generation did.

  177. marie-lucie says:

    In the past Spanish people (especially men) were called coños in Chile, …. it referred to the idea that Spanish men were unable to utter a sentence that didn’t include the word coño.

    Similarly, during the 100 Year War the English were called godons (“Goddamns”), and after the Vikings conquered Normandy they were called bigots (“byGods”) (something that was discussed in an earlier thread).

  178. A very useful site!

  179. I was once told about a crowd in Valparaiso that greeted a visiting Spanish soccer team at the dock with a big banner saying BIENVENIDOS A LOS COÑOS. It wasn’t pretty when the team disembarked.

    Vilniotes? 🙂

  180. David Marjanović says:

    It wasn’t pretty when the team disembarked.

    This being soccer, that was intentional.

  181. SFReader: no. James Joyce and Tolkien were contemporaries, but there is no indication that either read the other. We are dealing here with two of the major characters of Finnegans Wake, Shem and Shaun, who are contrasting brothers who sometimes perform a sort of vaudeville act. Shem is dark-haired, Shaun blond, and so “How are you today, my blond sir?” is Shem speaking, whereas “How are you today, my dark sir?” is Shaun’s remark.

    MMcM: Thanks as always for the full details.

  182. Eduardo Gutentag says:

    From Argentina (well, porteño, really, but perhaps also used in other parts of the country):

    Córdoba: cordobés
    Catamarca: catamarqueño
    Buenos Aires (the province): bonaerense
    Buenos Aires (the city, as already noted): porteño
    La Plata: platense
    Santiago: santiagueño (IIRC applied only to those from Santiago del Estero, not from Santiago de Chile)
    Entre Rios (the province): entrerriense (pace Wikipedia, which lists entrerriano, which I never encountered while growing up there)
    Santa Fé: santafesino

  183. David Marjanović says:

    Entre Rios (the province):

    Sometimes equated with Mesopotamia in zoological nomenclature.

  184. Entre Rios (the province): entrerriense (pace Wikipedia, which lists entrerriano, which I never encountered while growing up there)
    Borges uses entrerriano in “La otra muerte” (in the middle of the first paragraph), so it’s at least attested.

  185. Sometimes equated with Mesopotamia

    Mawarannahr

  186. For those perplexed by SFReader’s meow/growl: “Transoxiana (also spelled Transoxania), known in Arabic sources as Mā warāʼ an-Nahr (Arabic: ما وراء النهر‎ Arabic pronunciation: [ˈmaː waˈraːʔ anˈnahr] – ‘what [is] beyond the [Oxus] river’).”

  187. I note that warāʼ in Mawarannahr is cognate of word ‘Hebrew’ (comes from from ʻibrī – one from the other side [of river])

  188. I’d call nu a marker of exasperation or impatience. Hence Yinglish nu already (Hebrew nu kvar) and other collocations.

    That’s how it’s used in Serbocroatian. Also for “look!” or “would you look at that”. I don’t really hear it used for “but”, “however” or “than” the way no is, only see it writen with that meaning in old works, but I’m sure it still happens in some dialects.

  189. Eduardo Gutentag says:

    @Hans: either my dialect somehow became contaminated by Brazilian Portugues, or I read too much geology as a teenager. See https://books.google.com/books?id=Eq1W6eoUa_cC&pg=PA330&lpg=PA330&dq=entrerriense&source=bl&ots=FF6j7rcuPV&sig=Rd1ANq3npvA6c0Y8_0zZm6ACiVA&hl=en&sa=X&ved=0ahUKEwji_PuF6vbYAhWh7IMKHR1SDAU4ChDoAQhFMAg#v=onepage&q=entrerriense&f=false, p 330, “[…] (c) a coastal environment facies (Entre Rios or “Entrerriense Formation”, and passim.
    Both possibilites are equally improbable…so how it got into my dialect will remain a mystery for me. I can live with that.

  190. @Eduardo: I wasn’t trying to say that your variant doesn’t exist, only to show that the other one does exist in the wild. 🙂

  191. Just learned Capetonian, the demonym for Capetown.

  192. *Cape Town. If I remember correctly, the Anglophones made a point of fixing the spelling with a space to make it look classier. Myself, though, I’d prefer Capetown to pair with Kaapstad.

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