From Nigeria -> Nigerian From America -> American From China !> Chinan

in re the other countries I can think of which end in the letter “A”

We just add an “N” at the end and call it good.

Why not Chinan? How did we get Chinese instead?

From the Portugans.

English, French, German (close, but not exactly just adding an N), Japanese, Swedish, Finn, Welsh, Taiwanese

Hmm, -ese seems to be more common with Asian countries.

WAG, these nationality adjectives came through the romance languages?

And before I posted this I figured it’d be better if I did a bit of research. And according to this the -ese words are loans from Italian.

Interesting. I wonder why they don’t say “Amercanese.”

Because they got it from Spanish.


I heard the nomenclature originated with the Lebanese or maybe the lesbians, I can’t remember. A Sudanese guy told me that but the Pakistani woman next to him said he was wrong.

Those are called Demonyms, and are not always logical.

thank you for the replies

You have to distinguish between adjectives based on country names and words for a person from there:

[li]English, French, German, Japanese, Swedish, Finnish, Welsh, Taiwanese[/li][li]Englishman, Frenchman, German, Japanese, Swede, Finn, Welshman, Taiwanese[/li][/ol]

Adjectives are words. You mean “distinguish between adjectives and nouns”.

I was debating with myself how to best word that.