A demonym (/ˈdɛmənɪm/; δῆμος dẽmos "people, tribe", ὄόνομα ónoma "name") is a word that identifies residents or natives of a particular place, which is derived from the name of that particular place.

Examples of demonyms include Cochabambino, for a person from the city of Cochabamba; American for a person from the country called the United States of America; and Swahili, for a person of the Swahili coast.

Demonyms do not always clearly distinguish place of origin or ethnicity from place of residence or citizenship, and many demonyms overlap with the ethnonym for the ethnically dominant group of a region. Thus a Thai may be any resident or citizen of Thailand of any ethnic group, or more narrowly a member 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. 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(e)" is commonly used in English for a native of Quebec (though "Quebecker" is also available).

In English, demonyms are capitalized and are often the same as the adjectival form of the place, e.g. Egyptian, Japanese, or Greek. Significant exceptions exist; for instance, the adjectival form of Spain is "Spanish", but the demonym is "Spaniard".

English commonly uses national demonyms such as "Ethiopian" or "Guatemalan", but the usage of local demonyms such as "Chicagoan", "Wisconsinite", or "Parisian", is rare. Many local demonyms are mere trivia and rarely if ever used. Some places, especially smaller towns and cities, lack a commonly used and accepted demonym altogether.

This page was last edited on 22 June 2018, at 10:59 (UTC).
Reference: under CC BY-SA license.

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