Talk:-arian

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“Inhabitant”[edit]

The definition that -arian means “inhabitant” is an incorrect analysis of terms like Bulgarian, which is Bulgaria + -an; the -ar is a coincidence, and I don’t see any words formed on this basis (i.e., no words that are “Place” + -arian to indicate “inhabitant”), unless there are mystical lands of Bulg, Bav, and Hung of which I’m not aware.

—Nils von Barth (nbarth) (talk) 08:11, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
But, based on the faulty analysis and/or a sense of humor, there are nonce uses, some of which gain some currency. See Torontarian. DCDuring TALK 15:15, 3 September 2010 (UTC)
Oops, sorry, missed the RFV – and didn’t realize this was actually productive (?).
—Nils von Barth (nbarth) (talk) 09:14, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

RFV[edit]

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The following discussion has been moved from Wiktionary:Requests for verification.

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Rfv-sense: residents of a place. This is apparently based on words such as Bavarian, Bulgarian, Carian, Hungarian, and Tocharian, all of which are formed by suffixation of -an/-ian or derived from Latin or possibly French. DCDuring TALK 12:05, 8 August 2010 (UTC)

Is Lunarian from Luna +‎ -arian? [comment continues below]
Lunarian is formed in English from Latin lunaris (lunar, of the moon) + -ian. —This comment was unsigned.
[comment continued from above] Aside from that, I can't think of any standard demonyms that use it, but a few colloquial (humorous?) -arian demonyms do seem to be attestable on Usenet (using Google Groups):
You'll have to click the links to judge for yourself, but the great majority of the hits seem to be using these to mean simply "Canadian" or "Torontonian", not to denote believers or proponents or whatnot.
Also, USArian is better attested than Canadarian and Torontarian put together (not that that says very much), but I'm not sure whether it counts as using the suffix -arian.
RuakhTALK 13:33, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
Thanks. There are so many spurious derivatives shown in the entry, not just for this sense. Many suffix entries have similar problems, but [[-arian]] may be the worst I've seen. DCDuring TALK 15:30, 8 August 2010 (UTC)
We also already had planetarian, which could be viewed as "planet" + "-arian", though I think one sense is "planetarium" + "-an" and another is "planetary" + "-an". DCDuring TALK 11:58, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
  • Rfv-sense 2: Someone of a certain age. (Perhaps to be reworded to avoid of a certain age.) This seems intended to address words similar to nonagenarian. But "nonagenarian" has a much more direct derivation from Latin nonagenarius. I think the RfV question is: Are there age-specifying words ending in "-arian" that are formed by suffixation of "-arian" or are they all blends or formed like "nonagenarian"? DCDuring TALK 11:50, 9 August 2010 (UTC)
This also gets parsed as -genarian, and the term genarian (elderly) has seen some usage (compare ism), but that only covers 40/50/60/70/80; 20 (vicenarian), 30, and 100 (centenarian) are different, which reinforces -arian. While we’re at it, sesquicentenarian (rare) does exist, but I can’t think of any age words not actually from Latin (or Latinate) (a 23-arian? A 65-arian?).
—Nils von Barth (nbarth) (talk) 09:31, 6 September 2010 (UTC)
(typo) —Nils von Barth (nbarth) (talk) 09:44, 6 September 2010 (UTC)

(BTW, links for genarian: Word Spy: genarian; How to win a Pullet Surprise: the pleasures and pitfalls of our language, by Jack Smith, 1982; The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Your True Age, p. 10, Roget’s Super Thesaurus, p. 413)

—Nils von Barth (nbarth) (talk) 10:03, 6 September 2010 (UTC)
I've removed the tag from the "from a place" sense, on the strength of Ruakh's citations (even though these have not been added to the entry yet). nbarth's citations of the "of an age" sense are apparently, as noted, not examples of words formed in English, but examples of words taken from Latin; therefore, the "of an age" sense fails. Please revert my changes to the entry if you disagree with this interpretation. - -sche (discuss) 04:23, 6 August 2011 (UTC)