The Straight Dope

Go Back   Straight Dope Message Board > Main > General Questions

Thread Tools Display Modes
Old 04-28-2006, 05:23 PM
Sunspace Sunspace is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Jun 1999
Location: Near the GT eeehhhh...
Posts: 27,005
Country adjectives and language names: how do we decide to add -ese, -ian, etc?

What governs the endings we put on country adjectives and language names?

Japan -> Japanese, Malta -> Maltese, France -> French, Belgium -> Belgian, Spain -> Spanich, etc? If we say Japan and Japanese, why don't we say Iran and Iranese? England -> English, but Iceland -> Icelandic. In English we say Canadian, but in Italian it's Canadese.

What's the rule here?
Rigardu, kaj vi ekvidos.
Look, and you will begin to see.
Reply With Quote
Old 04-28-2006, 05:25 PM
FatBaldGuy FatBaldGuy is offline
Charter Member
Join Date: Jan 2001
Location: SLC, USA
Posts: 4,062
There is no rule.
Reply With Quote


Thread Tools
Display Modes

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is Off
HTML code is Off

Forum Jump

All times are GMT -5. The time now is 05:28 PM.

Powered by vBulletin® Version 3.8.7
Copyright ©2000 - 2015, vBulletin Solutions, Inc.

Send questions for Cecil Adams to:

Send comments about this website to:

Terms of Use / Privacy Policy

Advertise on the Straight Dope!
(Your direct line to thousands of the smartest, hippest people on the planet, plus a few total dipsticks.)

Publishers - interested in subscribing to the Straight Dope?
Write to:

Copyright 2015 Sun-Times Media, LLC.