minnow at belfry.org.uk
Fri Apr 20 06:14:24 EDT 2007
Elizabeth Evans pondered:
>OBDWJ - The two cities that spring to my mind thinking of DWJ books
>right now are Bristol in Deep Secret, and Time City, but I can't recall
>the characters identifying themselves as Time Civilians or Bristolytes
In England we mostly seem to go for "ians" at the end, sometimes with the
middle altered slightly: we have Mancunians from Manchester, Lancastrians
from Lancaster and Liverpudlians from Liverpool, and in Scotland as well as
Glaswegians from Glasgow we have Aberdonians from Aberdeen.
>Well, there are also Mancunian (Manchester), Wolfrunian (Wolverhampton),
>Cantabrigian (Cambridge) and Liverpudlian (Liverpool).
all of which are "ians" and change their midsections when they add the "ian"
and then adds
>It would be interesting to know if there's any rule (albeit of thumb) about
>which cities get the English '-er' ending, and which the Latin '-ian'. Is it
>simply a matter of chance, or euphony, or does it correlate with the
>linguistic roots of the city's name?
Londinium was the Roman city on that site, though, and Wolverhampton,
Cambridge and Liverpool aren't Roman/Latin at all. Cambridge, like
Oxford, pretended to a Latin-ness it didn't have, on account of the
Universities -- Oxonian is *not* Latin properly, oxen simply were not Roman
any more than Canta. :-)
I suspect that saying "er" is the *English* ending might get one into
trouble with the Dubliners and the Edinburgers! Not English, them.
Where else takes "er" for the inhabitants? Help? London is the only one
in England that I can think of.
When it's counties the general default seems to be to stick "man" or
"woman" on the end, sometimes as a seperate word and sometimes not: a
Yorkshirewoman, an Essex man, a Leicestershire child, and so on. The only
exceptions I can think of are Devonian and Northumbrian, which go with
"ian", and perhaps a Lancastrian is from Lancashire as well as Lancaster,
I'm not sure. Cumbrian is too new to count (one used to be a Cumbrian as
one is still a West Countryman without having a county of that name).
Nobody has ever successfully explained to me the difference between a
Kentish Man and a Man of Kent, but I gather it's terribly important so I
try never to have friends from Kent in case I offend them by calling them
the wrong one. (Only joking.)
Ah! Cumbrians brings one to larger areas: East Anglians, but Midlanders,
Northerners and Southerners.
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