Demonym

Demonym

ˈdeməˌnim

Noun

  • A noun used to denote the natives or inhabitants of a particular country, state, city, etc.

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Example Sentences

“I know the demonym for a resident of Indiana is ‘Hoosier,’ but I don’t know the history of the word.”

“I currently live in Australia, but I still claim my demonym as British.”

“He was so proud of his state demonym, Coloradan, that he got it tattooed on his back.”

Word Origin

Greek, mid-19th century

Why this word?

“Demonym” comes from Greek — “dēmos” meaning “people,” and “onuma” meaning “name.” A demonym identifies a native of a certain geographical place or ethnic group. These words might be as simple as the name of a place with an added suffix (as in “Japanese,” “Egyptian,” and “Parisian”), or they could be entirely different words. “Mancunian,” “Neapolitan,” and “Porteño,” for example, refer to residents of Manchester, England; Naples, Italy; and Buenos Aires, Argentina, respectively.

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