People from a Place Conjugation?

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by Prince_James, Feb 26, 2007.

  1. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member

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    Is there a standardized way in English to properly conjugate words to speak of people from said place? For instance: New York becomes "New Yorker". Britain becomes "British". Japan becomes "Japanese".

    Also, on a related note, what about last-name related conjugations? Like "Smithian" or "Johnsonian"?
     
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  3. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    No.
     
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  5. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member

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    Really? That, to say the least, stinks.

    Forever are we doomed to not know whether it is Delawarian or Delawinian.
     
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  7. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    This is much more difficult for the British, who have Liverpudlians and Glaswegians. In America, if you have to guess:

    If the place name ends in a vowel, change it to -an. New Mexican, Nebraskan.

    If it ends in a consonant, add -ian. Oregonian, Bostonian.

    These rules will be right about half the time.

    Please Register or Log in to view the hidden image!

    You have to learn the exceptions one by one and memorize them. Hawaiian, Torontonian, Floridian, Texan.

    Then there are the forms that are completely out of the model. Muscovite, Argentine, Balinese. Many are simply proper and unremarkable... but in another language. Los AngeleƱo, Quebecois, Portuguese. Sometimes not even the same language. "Czech" is the Polish spelling; I can't even get the proper character set up here to write it the native way.

    A lot of them are left over from ancient or medieval English. Spanish, French, British, Irish. "-ish" is the same adjectival suffix we see in "foolish."

    There are some places from which I've never heard the derivation. People from Maine call themselves Down Easters. I can't imagine building an adjective from a name like Massachusetts or Connecticut. I've been living across the Chesapeake Bay from Delaware for five years and I've yet to hear any phrase except "people from Delaware."

    Illinois, Indiana, Wyoming, New Hampshire, does anybody know someone from these states? I was born in Illinois and I still don't know the word for it. Are people from Vancouver called British Columbians and the others are called Colombian Colombians?
     
  8. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Suggestion: use the terms that the people who live there use to describe themselves.

    Radical, I know, but...
     
  9. Search & Destroy Take one bite at a time Moderator

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    Alas I'm a popular person but don't quite have the appeal to allure one person of every nation to cite their nationality at my demand.
     
  10. Oxygen One Hissy Kitty Registered Senior Member

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    Maine.

    People from Maine are "Mainers", Vermont are "Vermonters" Maryland is "Marylander". I've heard that Alabama is "Alabamian" but I'm not sure. Florida is "Floridian".

    This sort of thing also goes on with cities. I used to be San Josean, now I'm Modestan. My brother-in-law is a Cerean (Ceres), and most of my co-workers are Rippers (Ripon), with one Turlockian (Turlock).
     
  11. Roman Banned Banned

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    Floridian or Floridan?
     
  12. Oxygen One Hissy Kitty Registered Senior Member

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    When I was there I was told it was Floridian, kind of like Canada becomes Canadian instead of Canadan. Kansas is Kansan just like Arkansas is Arkansan. Kentucky is Kentuckian, but what would Wyoming be? Wyomingian? Wyoman? And how much trouble is it to say Connecticutian? I know what they call people from Massachussets in Maine (Bastard-chussets) while Massachussets likes to pretend that Maine is still part of their state. I was also told that a 'New Yorker' is someone from New York City, while those from the state of New York are simply called 'Yorkers'. (And if you're in Maine, Vermont, or New Hampshire, you get to say it while spitting...) Rhode Island is Rhode Islander, hmm, what other tricky ones are out there? What do you call someone from Washington DC?
     
  13. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

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    A liar.
     
  14. madanthonywayne Morning in America Staff Member

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    People from Indiana are Hoosiers. I don't think there's a word for natives of Illinois.
     
  15. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    You're pretty safe with -ian. Faustian, Brechtian, Wagnerian, Caesarean, Machiavellian. Whoops I just had to edit this because I'm only right on four out of five. Dadgum.

    BTW, "conjugation" only refers to verb paradigms. You can call this an adjectival formation.
    I go with the consensus here. I have always heard it as Floridian.
    Washingtonian. I've been here for several years and that's what they all say. There's even a shopping mall and a newspaper named that. The people from the state of Washington use the same word.
     
  16. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

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    Seattleite. (Sounds better than it spells.)

    (By the way. It's funny when sometimes people make a slip of the tongue with Canadian and say that they come from Canadia. It happens.)
     
  17. one_raven God is a Chinese Whisper Valued Senior Member

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    People from Utah are called Utards.
    Perhaps they don't WANT to be called Utards, but they are - usually by other people from Uath.
     
  18. invert_nexus Ze do caixao Valued Senior Member

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    Criminals?
     
  19. Oxygen One Hissy Kitty Registered Senior Member

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    That's Oakland Raiders fans.
     
  20. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    Jet City Woman.

    Of course the software is called Grungeware.
     
  21. Prince_James Plutarch (Mickey's Dog) Registered Senior Member

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    Mods, care to bring this thread over to the new linguistics section?
     
  22. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

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    People from Toronto call themselves Torontonians. Do Canadians think that Americans who call themselves Bostonians are from a place called Bosto?
     
  23. Oxygen One Hissy Kitty Registered Senior Member

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    Forgive my ignorance, but where do the Flemish come from? (I just cracked a grin thinking about a place called "Flemland", eyuuugh!) And what about people from Llanfairpwllgwyngyllgogerychwyrndrobwllllantysiliogogogoch (Wales) and Krungthepmahanakornamornratanakosinmahintarayutthayamahadilokphopnop- paratrajathaniburiromudomrajaniwesmahasatharnamornphimarnavatarnsathit- sakkattiyavisanukamprasit (Thailand)?
     

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