You’re going to La Paz, Bolivia. As you tell your friends and family about this upcoming trip, you get caught when you start to describe the people of La Paz. Sure, you could call them the “people of La Paz” each time, but that seems like a lot of work, and it shows that you haven’t done any research and you are barely familiar with the destination.

There are many times when you might already be familiar with the adjectival term for the people of a city or country or region, or you may be able to deduce it fairly easily, adding an “-er” or “-ian” suffix to the name. However, it may not work in all cases (like Dutch for people of the Netherlands), so get to know the demonyms!

A demonym is the adjectival word that describes the people of the place in question. A person from New York, such as myself, is a New Yorker; a person from Bolivia can be called a Bolivian. But, like I just said, it doesn’t work in all cases. The term for the people of La Paz, Bolivia, is a Paceño. See? A bit tough to guess that one, were you not familiar with naming conventions of the Spanish language. Many demonyms come easy, but many are way tougher to fathom than that.

The internet makes it a breeze to figure out demonyms. Wikipedia is a good source; simply go to the city or country of which demonym you are wondering about, and they should have it on the right-hand side, within the shaded info box (if one exists).

To get you started, here’s a list of demonyms for every country, along with some colloquial terms for them.


Think you understand these various country demonyms? Take some of our Demonyms Quizzes and find out!

World Cities Demonyms Quiz Beginner »
World Countries Demonyms Quiz Intermediate »
World Cities Demonyms Quiz Expert »

2 COMMENTS

  1. The word “paceño” for those from La Paz makes sense, because “La Paz” means (the) peace, and -eño is a common Spanish demonym ending, therefore: paceño is derived from “Paz”

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