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See also: ensis and Ensis



Unknown. Various theories have been put forward:

  • Hermann Gähwiler (1962), building on a suggestion by Manu Leumann, proposes a borrowing from Etruscan on the basis that its earliest attested non-toponymic use is in the term ātriēnsis, and the Roman ātrium was an Etruscan import.[1] A similar suffix is attested in Etruscan patronymics.[2]
  • Paavo Castrén (1981) rejects the relevance of ātriēnsis, viewing it as a later development. On the basis of various ancient, then-extinct peoples of Latium with names in -ēnsēs mentioned by Pliny the Elder, Castrén situates the emergence of the suffix in the late Proto-Villanovan period, perhaps as a borrowing from another Italic language.[3]
  • Chantal Kircher-Durand (1983) suggests a derivation from Proto-Indo-European *-went-ti (< *-wénts, *-tis),[4] but considers Gähwiler’s thesis plausible.[2]
  • A. Zimmermann (1921) suggests a lost cognate of Ancient Greek ἐνς (ens), variant of εἰς (eis) (< Proto-Indo-European *h₁én) + .[2]



-ēnsis (neuter -ēnse); third-declension two-termination suffix

  1. Of or from [a place].

Usage notes[edit]

The suffix -ēnsis is added to a toponym (especially the name of a town) or to a topographical name, in order to form an adjective.

Eborācum (York) + ‎-ēnsis → ‎eborācēnsis (of or from York)
castra (camp) + ‎-ēnsis → ‎castrēnsis (of the camp)


Third-declension two-termination adjective.

Number Singular Plural
Case / Gender Masc./Fem. Neuter Masc./Fem. Neuter
Nominative -ēnsis -ēnse -ēnsēs -ēnsia
Genitive -ēnsis -ēnsium
Dative -ēnsī -ēnsibus
Accusative -ēnsem -ēnse -ēnsēs
Ablative -ēnsī -ēnsibus
Vocative -ēnsis -ēnse -ēnsēs -ēnsia

Derived terms[edit]


See also[edit]


  1. ^ Gähwiler, Hermann (1962) Das lateinische Suffix -ensis (in German), pages 84–85
  2. 2.0 2.1 2.2 Kircher-Durand, Chantal (2002) “Les dérivés en -ensis”, in Chantal Kircher-Durand, editor, Grammaire fondamentale du latin (in French), volume 9, Création lexicale: la formation des noms par dérivation suffixale, page 191
  3. ^ Castrén, Paavo (1981) “Von populi Albenses bis cives Campanienses. Anmerkungen zur Frühgeschichte des lateinischen Suffixes -ensis”, in Arctos: Acta Philologica Fennica[1] (in German), volume 15, pages 9–12
  4. ^ Kircher-Durand, Chantal (1983) “Les noms latins en -ensis”, in Documents LAMA (in French), volume 8, Centre de recherches comparatives sur les langues de la Méditerranée ancienne, pages 248–51