Tuesday, May 17, 2011

What Do You Call a Person from.......

One of the first sentences you learn to ask and answer, when you're learning English, is "Where are you from?"  Suppose the answer is "I'm from the United States."

Ah, one thinks... You're an American.

What if the answer is "I'm from New York?"  You're a New Yorker.

If you're from Texas, you're not a Texaser, but a Texan.

From California? He's a Californian.

On the opposite side of the country, from the Sunshine State - Florida? A Floridian.

Somebody's from Maine?  He is a Mainer.

Just south of Maine would be a person from New Hampshire, but he's a New Hampshirite.

New Mexico?  He's a New Mexican.

From Connecticut?  Well, maybe that state's name has too many syllables to have a compact expression.  It would probably be a Connecticuter, but that's so long that I'm not sure that anybody actually ever uses that expression!

How about cities where people are from?

Somebody from San Francisco? No, not a San Franciscoan, but a San Franciscan.

I'm originally from Philadelphia; that makes me an original Philadelphian.  But now I live in Boston. Does that make me a Bostoner or a Bostonian?  That makes me a Bostonian now.

A person from Chicago would be a Chicagoan.

How about regions of the United States?

Here you have a southerner, a northerner, a midwesterner, a New Englander... 
Do you see a consistent pattern within the English language?

Well, if you do, please write to us and tell us what it is!

And meanwhile, if you want to try to answer the question, "What do you call a person from.... (name of city), please send us a comment message!



  1. Wow... never thoght of it! Thank you Jane!
    I was once extremely surprised to learn that people from Moscow are called Moscovites. It didn't sound English to me. Yet, Moscowers would sound even worse! .)))

  2. It must be a derivation from the Russian. Now that I think of it, the term for a person from France is problematic: Frenchman, or Frenchwoman. Funny, but I don't seem to know of a term that would refer to both genders. Do you?