zondag 9 november 2014

Why Are People from the Netherlands Called Dutch?

As we’ve discussed before, if you live in Michigan, you may consider yourself a Michigander or a Michiganian. (Check it out.) But why are demonyms so various and seemingly random? (A demonym is any name derived from a place. The word “demonym” was coined by Paul Dickson, an editor at Merriam-Webster, in his 1997 book Labels for Locals. Californian, Frenchmen, New Yorker, and Swiss are all demonyms.)


In some cases, the demonym preceded the place name. For example, Finland is the place where the Finns live, just as Germany is the place where the Germans live. The people came before the official government and place name. (Parts of what we call Germany was called Prussia until 1932.)

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