A demonym (; from Ancient Greek δῆμος, ''dêmos'', "people, tribe" and ὄνυμα, ''ónuma'', "name") or gentilic (from Latin ''gentilis'', "of a clan, or gens") is a word that identifies a group of people (inhabitants, residents, natives) in relation to a particular place. Demonyms are usually derived from the name of the place (hamlet, village, town, city, region, province, state, continent). Demonyms are used to designate all people (the general population) of a particular place, regardless of ethnic, linguistic, religious or other cultural differences that may exist within the population of that place. Examples of demonyms include ''Cochabambino'', for someone from the city of Cochabamba; ''American'' for a person from the United States of America; and ''Swahili'', for a person of the Swahili coast. As a sub-field of anthroponymy, the study of demonyms is called ''demonymy'' or ''demonymics''. Since they are referring to territorially defined groups of people, demonyms are semantically different from ethnonyms (names of ethnic groups). In the English language, there are many polysemic words that have several meanings (including demonymic and ethonymic uses), and therefore a particular use of any such word depends on the context. For example, word ''Thai'' may be used as a demonym, designating any inhabitant of Thailand, while the same word may also be used as an ethnonym, designating members of the Thai people. Conversely, some groups of people may be associated with multiple demonyms. For example, a native of the United Kingdom may be called a ''British person'', a ''Briton'' or, informally, a ''Brit''. Some demonyms may have several meanings. For example, the demonym ''Macedonians'' may refer to the population of North Macedonia, or more generally to the entire population of the region of Macedonia, a significant portion of which is in Greece. In some languages, a demonym may be borrowed from another language as a nickname or descriptive adjective for a group of people: for example, ''Québécois'', ''Québécoise (female)'' is commonly used in English for a native of the province or city of Quebec (though ''Quebecer'', ''Quebecker'' are also available). In English, demonyms are always capitalized. Often, they are the same as the adjectival form of the place, e.g. ''Egyptian'', ''Japanese'', or ''Greek'', though a few exceptions exist, generally for places in Europe; for instance, the adjectival form of Spain is ''Spanish'', but the demonym is ''Spaniard''. English commonly uses national demonyms such as ''Ethiopian'' or ''Guatemalan'', while the usage of local demonyms such as ''Chicagoan'', ''Okie'' or ''Parisian'' is less common. Many local demonyms are rarely used and many places, especially smaller towns and cities, lack a commonly used and accepted demonym altogether. Often, in practice, the demonym for states, provinces or cities is simply the name of the place, treated as an adjective; for instance, ''Kennewick Man''.


''National Geographic'' attributes the term ''demonym'' to Merriam-Webster editor Paul Dickson in a recent work from 1990. The word did not appear for nouns, adjectives, and verbs derived from geographical names in the Merriam-Webster Collegiate Dictionary nor in prominent style manuals such as the ''Chicago Manual of Style''. It was subsequently popularized in this sense in 1997 by Dickson in his book ''Labels for Locals''. However, in ''What Do You Call a Person From...? A Dictionary of Resident Names'' (the first edition of ''Labels for Locals'') Dickson attributed the term to George H. Scheetz, in his ''Names' Names: A Descriptive and Prescriptive Onymicon'' (1988), which is apparently where the term first appears. The term may have been fashioned after ''demonymic'', which the ''Oxford English Dictionary'' defines as the name of an Athenian citizen according to the deme to which the citizen belongs, with its first use traced to 1893.

List of adjectival and demonymic forms for countries and nations

List of adjectivals and demonyms for cities


Several linguistic elements are used to create demonyms in the English language. The most common is to add a suffix to the end of the location name, slightly modified in some instances. These may resemble Late Latin, Semitic, Celtic, or Germanic suffixes, such as:


Continents and regions

*Africa → Africans *Antarctica → Antarcticans *Asia → Asians *Australia → Australians *Europe → Europeans *North America → North Americans *South America → South Americans *Central America → Central Americans *America → Americans *Oceania → Oceanians


Constituent states, provinces and regions




Constituent states, provinces, regions and cities


*Guam → Guamanians *Mawlamyine → Mawlamanians


*Bendigo → Bendigonians *Buffalo → Buffalonians *Cork → Corkonians *Manchester → Mancunians *Naga → Naganians *Panama → Panamanians *Sligo → Sligonians *Tampa → Tampanians *Tobago → Tobagonians *Toronto → Torontonians *Torquay → Torquinians *Trinidad and Tobago → Trinbagonians *Truro → Truronians *Wa → Wanians


*Argentina → Argentine (and less commonly as "''Argentinian''" or "''Argentinean''") *Byzantium → Byzantine *Florence → Florentine (also Latin "''Florentia''") *Gilbert Islands → Gilbertine (as by Robert Louis Stevenson, but Gilbertese was more usual) *The Levant → Levantine *Montenegro → Montenegrin *Palatinate → Palatine *Philippines → Philippine or Filipino (feminine: Filipina, see below) *Philistia → Philistine

''-a(ñ/n)o/a, -e(ñ/n)o/a, or -i(ñ/n)o/a''

as adaptations from the standard Spanish suffix ''-e(ñ/n)o'' (sometimes using a final ''-a'' instead of ''-o'' for a female, following the Spanish suffix standard ''-e(ñ/n)a'')

Countries and regions

*Cebu → Cebuanos *El Salvador → Salvadoreños (also "''Salvadorans''") *New Mexico → Neomexicanos, Neomejicanos (also "''New Mexicans''") *Philippines → Filipinos


*Albuquerque → Burqueños (also "''Albuquerqueans''") *Belo Horizonte → Belo-horizontinos *Buenos Aires → Porteños *Cavite → Caviteños *Davao City → Davaoeños *Los Angeles → Angelenos *Madrid → Madrileños *Manila → Manileños (also "''Manilans''") *São Paulo → Paulistanos *Tauranga → Taurangans *Zamboanga City → Zamboangueño people



Often used for European locations and Canadian locations


(Usually suffixed to a truncated form of the toponym, or place-name.) "-ish" is usually proper only as an adjective. See note below list.


*Cairo → Cairene *Cyrenaica → Cyrene *Damascus → Damascene *Nazareth → Nazarene *Palmyra → Palmyrene *Slovenia → Slovenes (also "''Slovenians''") Often used for Middle Eastern locations and European locations.


*Inverness (UK) → Invernessians *Kingston-upon-Hull (UK) → Hullensians *Leeds (UK) → Leodensians *Reading (UK) → Readingensians


*Spain → Spaniards (also "''Spanish''") *Savoy → Savoyards *Montagne → Montagnards *Shafter, CA → Shaftards

''-ese, -nese or -lese''

"-ese" is usually considered proper only as an adjective, or to refer to the entirety. Thus, "a Chinese person" is used rather than "a Chinese". Often used for Italian and East Asian, from the Italian suffix ''-ese'', which is originally from the Latin adjectival ending ''-ensis'', designating origin from a place: thus Hispaniensis (Spanish), Danensis (Danish), etc. The use in demonyms for Francophone locations is motivated by the similar-sounding French suffix ''-ais(e)'', which is at least in part a relative (< lat. ''-ensis'' or ''-iscus'', or rather both).

''-i(e) or -i(ya)''


States, provinces, counties, and cities

Mostly for Middle Eastern and South Asian locales. ''-i'' is encountered also in Latinate names for the various people that ancient Romans encountered (e.g. Allemanni, Helvetii). ''-ie'' is rather used for English places.

''-iot'' or ''-iote''

*Chios → Chiots *Corfu → Corfiots *Cyprus → Cypriots ("Cyprian" before 1960 independence of Cyprus) *Phanar → Phanariotes Used especially for Greek locations. Backformation from ''Cypriot'', itself based in Greek ''-ώτης''.


*Greece → Greeks *Slovakia → Slovaks


*Bergamo → Bergamasque *Menton → Mentonasque *Basque Country → Basque *Monaco → Monegasque (also Monacans) *Sanremo → Sanremasque Often used for Italian and French locations.


*Dawei → Dawegians *Galloway → Galwegians *Galway → Galwegians *Glasgow → Glaswegians *Magway Region → Magwegians *Norway → Norwegians *Poway, CA→ Powegians *Tasmania→ Taswegians


*Aberdeen → Aberdonians *Bath → Bathonians *Connacht → Connachtonians *Cork → Corkonians *Dundee → Dundonians *Halifax → Haligonians *Lesotho → Lesothonians *Newport → Newportonians *Oxford → Oxonians *Truro → Truronians Often used for British and Irish locations.


*Barrow-in-Furness → Barrovians *Harrow → Harrovians *Moose Jaw → Moose Javians *Oamaru → Oamaruvians *Oslo → Oslovians *Peru → Peruvians *Warsaw → Warsovians *Waterloo → Waterluvians *Wythenshawe → Wythenshavians

''-ois(e), -ais(e)''

*Benin → Beninois(e) (also Beninese) *Gabon → Gabonais(e) (also Gabonese) *Seychelles → Seychellois(e) *Quebec → Quebecois(e) (also Quebecker, most common within Canada) While derived from French, these are also official demonyms in English.

From Latin or Latinization

*Alsace → Alsatians (''Alsatia'') *Annapolis → Annapolitans *Ashbourne → Ashburnians (''Essiburns'') *CambridgeCantabrigians *Canterbury → Cantabrians *Chester → Cestrians *Colchester → Colcestrians *Courland → Couronians (''Curonia'') *Exeter → Exonians *Guernsey → Sarnians (''Sarnia'') *HalifaxHaligonian *Hispanic AmericaHispanic (''Hispania'') *LeedsLeodensians (''Ledesia'') *Lviv → Leopolitans (''Leopolis'') *ManchesterMancunians (''Mancunia'') *MelbourneMelburnians (''Melburnia'') *Minneapolis → Minneapolitans *Naples → Neapolitans (''Neapolis'') *Newcastle → Novocastrians (''Novum Castrum'') *Orkney IslandsOrcadians (''Orcadia'') *Oswestry → Oswestrians (''Oswestria'') *Shropshire → Salopians (''Salopia'') *Tripoli → Tripolitans (''Tripolis'') *Venice → Venetians *Wolverhampton → Wulfrunians


It is much rarer to find Demonyms created with a prefix. Mostly they are from Africa and the Pacific, and are not generally known or used outside the country concerned. In much of East Africa, a person of a particular ethnic group will be denoted by a prefix. For example, a person of the Luba people would be a Muluba, the plural form Baluba, and the language, Kiluba or Tshiluba. Similar patterns with minor variations in the prefixes exist throughout on a tribal level. And Fijians who are indigenous Fijians are known as Kaiviti (Viti being the Fijian name for Fiji). On a country level: *Botswana → Motswana (singular), Batswana (plural) *Burundi → Umurundi (singular), Abarundi (plural) *Lesotho → Mosotho (singular), Basotho (plural)

Non-standard examples

Demonyms may also not conform to the underlying naming of a particular place, but instead arise out of historical or cultural particularities that become associated with its denizens. These demonyms are usually more informal and colloquial. In the United States such informal demonyms frequently become associated with mascots of the intercollegiate sports teams of the state university system. In other countries the origins are often disputed.


*Albuquerque → Burqueños *Buenos AiresPorteños *Guinea Bissau → Bissau-Guinean *Edinburgh → Lothian *Lisbon → Alfacinha *IndianaHoosiers *Los Angeles → Angelenos *MassachusettsBay Staters *North Macedonia → Macedonians *Nunavut → Nunavummiut or Nunavummiuq (sing.) *Minas Gerais → Mineiros *Rio Grande do SulGaúchos *Rio de JaneiroCariocas *São Paulo → Paulistas *Shropshire → Salopian *Tierra Caliente → Calentano/a or Guache/a (Huache/a) *Uruguay → Orientales *ValparaísoPorteños


*AustraliaAussie *Birmingham, England → Brummie *Brisbane, Australia→ Brisvegan *CanadaCanuck *ConnecticutNutmegger *Cardiff → Taffs *JerseyJèrriais (adjectival), Jerseyman (demonym) *KansasJayhawker *Liverpool, England → Scouser or Liverpudlian *London, EnglandCockney (Specifically: One hailing from East London, England) *Middlesbrough, EnglandSmoggie *Newcastle, Australia → Novocastrian *Newcastle upon Tyne, EnglandGeordie *Newfoundland, CanadaNewfie *New ZealandKiwi *North CarolinaTar Heel *Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, United StatesYinzer *Puerto RicoBoricua (from Taino Arawak "Boriken" Land of brave people) *Scotland → Jock *South Australia → Croweater *Sunderland, EnglandMackem *Sweden → Swede *Sydney, Australia → Sydneysider *Ohio → Buckeye *OklahomaOkie, Sooner *Oldham, England → Yonner *Tasmania → Taswegian *WisconsinCheesehead

Demonyms and ethnonyms

Since names of places, regions and countries (toponyms) are morphologically often related to names of ethnic groups (ethnonyms), various ethnonyms may have similar, but not always identical, forms as terms for general population of those places, regions or countries (demonyms).


Literature and science fiction have created a wealth of gentilics that are not directly associated with a cultural group. These will typically be formed using the standard models above. Examples include ''Martian'' for hypothetical people of Mars (credited to scientist Percival Lowell), ''Gondorian'' for the people of Tolkien's fictional land of Gondor, and ''Atlantean'' for Plato's island Atlantis. Other science fiction examples include ''Jovian'' for those of Jupiter or its moons and ''Venusian'' for those of Venus. Fictional aliens refer to the inhabitants of Earth as ''Earthling'' (from the diminutive ''-ling'', ultimately from Old English ''-ing'' meaning "descendant"), as well as ''Terran'', ''Terrene'', ''Tellurian'', ''Earther'', ''Earthican'', ''Terrestrial'', and ''Solarian'' (from ''Sol'', the sun). Fantasy literature which involves other worlds or other lands also has a rich supply of gentilics. Examples include ''Lilliputians'' and ''Brobdingnagians'', from the islands of Lilliput and Brobdingnag in the satire ''Gulliver's Travels''. In a few cases, where a linguistic background has been constructed, non-standard gentilics are formed (or the eponyms back-formed). Examples include Tolkien's ''Rohirrim'' (from Rohan) and the ''Star Trek'' franchise's ''Klingons'' (with various names for their homeworld).

See also

*List of adjectival and demonymic forms of place names **List of adjectivals and demonyms for astronomical bodies **List of adjectivals and demonyms for continental regions ***List of adjectivals and demonyms for subcontinental regions **List of adjectival and demonymic forms for countries and nations ***List of adjectivals and demonyms for Australia ***List of adjectivals and demonyms for Canada ***List of adjectivals and demonyms for Cuba ***List of adjectivals and demonyms for India ***List of adjectivals and demonyms for Malaysia ***List of adjectivals and demonyms for Mexico ***List of adjectivals and demonyms for New Zealand ***List of adjectivals and demonyms for the Philippines ***List of adjectivals and demonyms for the United States **List of adjectivals and demonyms for former regions ***List of adjectivals and demonyms for Greco-Roman antiquity **List of adjectivals and demonyms for fictional regions *List of regional nicknames *Macedonia naming dispute *Nationality * -onym, especially ethnonym and Exonym and endonym





External links

Alphabetical list of world demonyms.
Demonyms of the World.
Demonyms of the United Kingdom. {{Ethnicity Category:Semantics Category:Types of words