In my recent babbling about which collective noun best describes residents of Springfield, I explored which of the word endings "-ian" or "-er" was most appropriate to attach to the word Springfield.

The Brits seem to have settled on "-ian," but opt for making it part of a wholly new word. Thus Oxonian, Glaswegian and Mancunian for a citizen of, respectively, Oxford, Glasgow and Manchester.

This is not mere British eccentricity. Oxonian derives from the Latin term for Oxford, and has been in use since the 1500s. Ditto, in general terms, for Mancunian. 

The origins of Glaswegian are murkier. It might have been something that Sir Walter Scott made up, which would be just like him.




Illinois Times has provided readers with independent journalism for more than 40 years, from news and politics to arts and culture.

Now more than ever, we’re asking for your support to continue providing our community with real news that everyone can access, free of charge.

We’re also offering a home delivery option as an added convenience for friends of the paper.

Click here to subscribe, or simply show your support for Illinois Times.

Comments (0)

Add a comment

Add a Comment