Nationalities

Forming nationality adjectives and nouns from country names is not always simple in English. Use the nationality adjective ending in -ese or -ish with a plural verb, to refer to all people of that nationality. The adjective listed also often refers to the language spoken in the country, although this is not always the case.

Examples
  • Country: I live in Japan.
  • Adjective: He likes Japanese food.
  • Origins: She is a Japanese person. = She is from Japan. = She is Japanese.
  • Language: She speaks Japanese.
  • Describing a group: Spaniards often drink wine. = Spanish people often drink wine.
  • Describing a group: The Chinese enjoy fireworks. = Chinese people enjoy fireworks.

In some cases, a nationality or regional noun may be negatively corrolated for some people, for historic or political reasons. When this is the case, many people will not use it, but will instead use a more neutral adjective + "people" formulation or "people from" + country name. This is the case for the examples with an asterix below. Alternative formulations, less likely to give offense, are given in parentheses.

Geographic Region/Continent Adjective Noun
Africa African an African* (an African person, someone from Africa)
Asia Asian an Asian* (an Asian person, someone from Asia)
Europe European a European
Central America Central American a Central American
Middle East Middle Eastern a Middle Easterner
North Africa North African a North African
South America South American a South American
Southeast Asia Southeast Asian a Southeast Asian person
Country or region Adjective Noun
Afghanistan Afghan an Afghan
Algeria Algerian an Algerian
Angola Angolan an Angolan
Argentina Argentine an Argentine
Austria Austrian an Austrian
Autralia Australian an Australian
Bangladesh Bangladeshi a Bangladeshi
Belarus Belarusian a Belarusian
Belgium Belgian a Belgian
Bolivia Bolivian a Bolivian
Bosnia and Herzegovina Bosnian/Herzegovinian a Bosnian/a Herzegovinian
Brazil Brazilian a Brazilian
Britain British a Briton (informally: a Brit)
Bulgaria Bulgarian a Bulgarian
Cambodia Cambodian a Cambodian
Cameroon Cameroonian a Cameroonian
Canada Canadian a Canadian
Central African Republic Central African a Central African
Chad Chadian a Chadian
China Chinese a Chinese person
Colombia Colombian a Colombian
Costa Rica Costa Rican a Costa Rican
Croatia Croatian a Croat
the Czech Republic Czech a Czech person
Democratic Republic of the Congo Congolese a Congolese person (note: this refers to people from the Republic of the Congo as well)
Denmark Danish a Dane
Ecuador Ecuadorian an Ecuadorian
Egypt Egyptian an Egyptian
El Salvador Salvadoran a Salvadoran (also accepted are Salvadorian & Salvadorean)
England English an Englishman/Englishwoman
Estonia Estonian an Estonian
Ethiopia Ethiopian an Ethiopian
Finland Finnish a Finn
France French a Frenchman/Frenchwoman
Germany German a German
Ghana Ghanaian a Ghanaian
Greece Greek a Greek
Guatemala Guatemalan a Guatemalan
Holland Dutch a Dutchman/Dutchwoman
Honduras Honduran a Honduran
Hungary Hungarian a Hungarian
Iceland Icelandic an Icelander
India Indian an Indian
Indonesia Indonesian an Indonesian
Iran Iranian an Iranian
Iraq Iraqi an Iraqi
Ireland Irish an Irishman/Irishwoman
Israel Israeli an Israeli
Italy Italian an Italian
Ivory Coast Ivorian an Ivorian
Jamaica Jamaican a Jamaican
Japan Japanese a Japanese person
Jordan Jordanian a Jordanian
Kazakhstan Kazakh a Kazakhstani (used as a noun, "a Kazakh" refers to an ethnic group, not a nationality)
Kenya Kenyan a Kenyan
Laos Lao a Laotian (used as a noun, "a Lao" refers to an ethnic group, not a nationality)
Latvia Latvian a Latvian
Libya Libyan a Libyan
Lithuania Lithuanian a Lithuanian
Madagascar Malagasy a Malagasy
Malaysia Malaysian a Malaysian
Mali Malian a Malian
Mauritania Mauritanian a Mauritanian
Mexico Mexican a Mexican* (may be offensive in the USA. Use "someone from Mexico" instead.)
Morocco Moroccan a Moroccan
Namibia Namibian a Namibian
Nicaragua Nicaraguan a Nicaraguan
Niger Nigerien a Nigerien
Nigeria Nigerian a Nigerian
Norway Norwegian a Norwegian
Oman Omani an Omani
Pakistan Pakistani a Pakistani* (may be offensive in the UK. Use "someone from Pakistan" instead.)
Panama Panamanian a Panamanian
Paraguay Paraguayan a Paraguayan
Peru Peruvian a Peruvian
The Philippines Philippine a Filipino* (someone from the Philippines)
Poland Polish a Pole* (someone from Poland, a Polish person)
Portugal Portuguese a Portuguese person
Republic of the Congo Congolese a Congolese person (note: this refers to people from the Democratic Republic of the Congo as well)
Romania Romanian a Romanian
Russia Russian a Russian
Saudi Arabia Saudi, Saudi Arabian a Saudi, a Saudi Arabian
Scotland Scottish a Scot
Senegal Senegalese a Senegalese person
Serbia Serbian a Serbian (used as a noun, "a Serb" refers to an ethnic group, not a nationality
Slovakia Slovak a Slovak
Somalia Somalian a Somalian
South Africa South African a South African
Spain Spanish a Spaniard* (a Spanish person, someone from Spain)
Sudan Sudanese a Sudanese person
Sweden Swedish a Swede
Switzerland Swiss a Swiss person
Syria Syrian a Syrian
Thailand Thai a Thai person
Tunisia Tunisian a Tunisian
Turkey Turkish a Turk
Turkmenistan Turkmen a Turkmen / the Turkmens
Ukraine Ukranian a Ukranian
The United Arab Emirates Emirati an Emirati
The United States American an American
Uruguay Uruguayan a Uruguayan
Vietnam Vietnamese a Vietnamese person
Wales Welsh a Welshman/Welshwoman
Zambia Zambian a Zambian
Zimbabwe Zimbabwean a Zimbabwean

Cities also can be transformed into adjectives and nouns, although they are highly irregular and the nominal form is not always agreed upon (there may be several). Some examples of transformed city names are below.

City Adjective Noun
Paris Parisian a Parisian
New York New York a New Yorker
Sydney Sydney a Sydney-sider
London London a Londoner
São Paulo São Paulo a Paulistano
New Delhi New Delhi a Delhiite
Cape Town Cape Town a Capetonian

 

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