Discussion in 'English Only' started by Alicia Translator, Mar 30, 2006.

  1. Alicia Translator

    Alicia Translator Senior Member

    Spanish - Spain

    could anybody tell if if there's a difference IN MEANING between Spanish and Spaniard?? I heard somewhere that "Spaniard" could be derogatory...

    by the way... are there more words such as Spaniard for other nationalities? (I mean, a noun not made out of the adjective)

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2010
  2. river Senior Member

    U.S. English
    A Spaniard is a native of Spain. Spanish is "of or relating to Spain or the Spanish language." There is nothing derogatory about the word "Spaniard."
  3. panjandrum

    panjandrum Occasional Moderator

    Belfast, Ireland
    English-Ireland (top end)
  4. Alicia Translator

    Alicia Translator Senior Member

    Spanish - Spain
    Maybe this will liven up my post! It's an answer I got at another post on a similar topic...

    Originally Posted by panjandrum
    In the OED there are old examples of Portuguee being used to refer to one person from Portugal, but these are very old-fashioned, and it sounds rather derogatory, to me.

    oh! it's actually you! hahaha
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2010
  5. María Madrid

    María Madrid Banned

    Madrid, Spain
    Spanish Spain
    So I assume that all nouns for nationalities ending with -ese don't use an s for plural... ever? Any exceptions to this rule you know of? Thanks again! :)
  6. buddingtranslator

    buddingtranslator Senior Member

    English, England
    María, nationalities ending in "ese" are singular and plural. So to answer your question "ese" would never change in the plural. You can't say "6 Japaneses", it would be "6 Japanese". If you really wanted to make it clear that it's plural then you could add "people" at the end but this isn't mandatory. There are no exceptions, at least none that occur to me. I hope this answers your question.

    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2010
  7. María Madrid

    María Madrid Banned

    Madrid, Spain
    Spanish Spain
    Thanks a lot for your explanation. The rule seemed clear, but you can never rule out exceptions!!!
    Last edited by a moderator: Mar 31, 2010
  8. DearPrudence

    DearPrudence Dépêche Mod (AL mod)

    French (lower Normandy)
    Hello everyone

    Sorry for bumping that old thread but I heard someone say:
    "a Spanish went out bla bla bla"

    Is it just me or is it not correct?
    Should it be:
    "A Spaniard went ..." ?

    And in another sentence (stupid example but never mind):
    "The Englishman was watching TV and the Spanish man/Spaniard was working"

    Is it possible to say "Spanish man" or doesn't it sound right? Is it better to say "a Spaniard"?

    And which one is better:
    "The Spanish live in Spain" (I would shock anyone this way :p )
    or "The Spaniards live in Spain"

    Sorry if it has already been explained but I'm a bit slow :eek:

    Thank you (or maybe I shouldn't thank you in advance ... I'm lost !!)
  9. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    I agree with you. It's not correct. You could say, "A Spanish person/man/woman/boy" or a "Spaniard".

    You can refer to the entire nationality with "The" and the adjective - "The Spanish", "The French", "The English." If you use the noun, though, you don't include "the" - "Spaniards", "Frenchmen", "Englishmen", etc. "Americans" is always plural, I think, now that I think of it. It can be either "The Americans" or "Americans".
  10. DearPrudence

    DearPrudence Dépêche Mod (AL mod)

    French (lower Normandy)
    Thank you very much. :)

    So I suppose you could say:
    "Spaniards do the best paella in the world" or
    "The Spanish do the best paella in the world"

    though I feel the latter is better (but I can be completely wrong)
  11. Kelly B

    Kelly B Senior Member

    USA English
    I can't decide which one I prefer, so I think they're equally correct.
    I'd say they make the best paella, though.:)
  12. papillon Senior Member

    Barcelona, Spain
    Russian (Ukraine)
    You mean like Poles, Jews, Danes and Turks? I find that these words are slowly being phased out in favor of their adjective-derived synonyms.

    Seems to be more acceptable in other cases: Uzbeks, Turkmen...
  13. VEHdeP New Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Spanish - Spain

    As a spanish person from spain the term spaniard has always been considered derogatory
  14. koniecswiata Senior Member

    Am English
    Spaniard is absolutely not derogatory, though there is a tendency that ALL nationalities are refered to more by adjectives than by nouns. So, terms like "Spaniard", "Irishmen", "Danes", or "Dutchmen" are probably starting to sound a little old-fashioned to some people.
    I've even noticed that adjectives such as "French", "German", or "Polish" (for example) are being replaced by compound noun constructions in the press. For example, instead of "Italian train wreck leaves 10 dead", you find "Italy train wreck leaves 10 dead".
    By the way, Turkmen is singular. I suppose it would be Turkmens if it were used as a noun, just as Uzbeks, or Kazakhs.
  15. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    British English
    Why and by whom?

    I would use the word "Spaniard" without any intention of being derogatory. If I wanted to be derogatory (Heaven forbid!) I'd use "dago".
  16. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    It is not derogatory in American English or British English.

    From today's news reports:

    Tomas Berdych ousts Federer in Miami - ‎12 hours ago‎
    Berdych moves on to face 10th-seeded Spaniard Fernando Verdasco, who defeated Croatia's Marin Cilic 6-4, 7-6 (7-3). Fourth-seeded Rafael Nadal advanced to ...

    Tapas Good Enough to Make a Spaniard Cry

    NBC Bay Area - Mariam Hosseini - ‎39 minutes ago‎
    I used to drive past Andalu in San Francisco's Mission District all the time when I lived in the city. Forever intrigued by this busy ...

    Italian ruling adds to anti-doping armoury

    Reuters India - Julien Pretot - ‎31 minutes ago‎
    PARIS (Reuters) - After a groundbreaking decision against Spaniard Manuel Beltran this week, cyclists now know their bank accounts and not ...

    Rookie Martinez is proving himself a Premier League tough guy - David Anderson - ‎9 hours ago‎
    The slightly-built Spaniard is polite and deferential. He speaks quietly and does not have the arrogance of many of his peers in the ...

    Double surgery for Elías following Jerez fall - ‎5 hours ago‎
    ... day of testing at Jerez de la Frontera two days ago are worse than initially thought – with double surgery having since been performed on the Spaniard. ...
    Surgery For Elias Cycle News

    Sheikh remains lost after crash

    7DAYS - ‎Mar 28, 2010‎
    The pilot of the glider, a Spaniard, survived and is said to be recovering in hospital. The glider crashed near the Sidi Mohammed Ben Abdallah Dam, ...
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010
  17. VEHdeP New Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Spanish - Spain
    It is all about context. Just because the use of a word is pervasive does not make it proper or good.
    The references by chuchuflete and others are moot and prove nothing.

    I am not suggesting that all who use the term, intentionally mean to be rude.

    The term spaniard arose in the 14 & 15 century as a bastardization, by the British, of the derogatory french term for some one from Espainge (Spain) - Espaniard. The proper french term for some one spanish is Espangnol. Spanish combatants / adversaries were called 'dirty spaniards' by the British.

    The advent of the modern americas and the influx of hispanics to the US resulted in the accepted norm of refering to anything hispanic as spanish.

    Whether out of necessity or just exasperation as well as the need to differentiate hispanics from the spanish, the use oof the word spaniard became accepted in the 'english' world. Now, sadly even those living in Spain now accept its use and even use it themselves, without an understanding of its origins.

    However many of us still take exception (though not to aggressively) to it use.

    A little understanding of history is something one should have before commenting on the 'non challant' use of the term.
  18. koniecswiata Senior Member

    Am English
    There is absolutely no reason to take exception to the term "Spaniard". It is not at all derogatory. It may be true that the word had the origins as you say, VEHdeP, but that is only relevant in an etymological discusion--a kind of curiosity, nothing more. Other words that today are neutral or good, also started as "bad", an example is "nice" (related to Spanish "necio"). I think it would be silly for anyone to be offended for being called "nice" since originally it meant "stupid" or "unimportant."
  19. cuchuflete

    cuchuflete Senior Member

    Maine, EEUU
    Your insistence, with a totally faulty recounting of history, proves nothing. No, that's not quite correct. It proves stubbornness.

    You might consider that, despite your own deeply held prejudice against the word, that nearly nobody who uses the word either intends to be rude, or is in any way rude. Rudeness requires either or both of intent and perception. If the speaker doesn't mean it to be rude, and the listener doesn't understand it to be rude, than the rudeness simply does not exist, except in the minds of those few who don't understand how the word is used in idiomatic English.

    The term Spaniard was in widespread use in the U.S. long before the relatively recent period of large-scale immigration of Spanish speakers to the country. Look at 18th and 19th century periodicals and literature published in the U.S. You will find the word Spaniard used in a very matter-of-fact way to describe people from Spain. It was not derogatory.

    Your etymology notwithstanding, you have the history all wrong. The word Spaniard was around and in common use long before the invention of the term "hispanic" for Spanish speakers.

    If the history is accurate, it can help people understand how a word was and is used. If the history is bogus claptrap, it provides no insight and can aid distorted interpretations.

    Another view of the etymology, with no mention of any negative meaning:

    c.1400, from O.Fr. Espaignart, from Espaigne "Spain," from L. Hispania, from Gk. Hispania "Spain," Hispanos "Spanish, a Spaniard," probably from Celt-Iberian, in which (H)i- represents a definite article. The earlier Eng. noun was Spaynol (c.1350), from O.Fr. Espaignol. source: Online Etymology Dictionary

    For those who would not be persuaded by numerous current examples, there are as many older ones available:

    Recollections of the Peninsula‎ - Page 53

    Moyle Sherer - History - 1824 - 260 pages
    The countenance of the Spaniard is noble, his stature tall, his walk erect,

    Encyclopædia Americana: A popular dictionary of arts, sciences, literature ...‎ - Page 505

    Francis Lieber, Edward Wigglesworth, Thomas Gamaliel Bradford - Reference - 1845
    The Spaniard is, in general, temperate, persevering, reserved, honest and pious.
    The Spanish gravity is more observable in the higher than in the lower ...

    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010
  20. VEHdeP New Member

    Toronto, Canada
    Spanish - Spain
    You misunderstand. I don't take offence to the word. It is its misguided use to which I take offence.

    With all due respect... my suggestion that an understanding of history let alone context has fallen on deaf ears. It is not faulty history!!

    Of course the word spaniard was in the 'American' English lexicon long before the modern influx of hispanics.

    Who do you think were the original explorers and colonials. and who were their adversaries. Gee perhaps the spanish and British respectively. Now go back and reread my previous post under this context.

    I understand the term is here and here to stay, but I don't have to like it.
    It will continue to be used and accepted as many words through the passing of time. I just think people of 'intelligence' should 'read the instructions before taking it out for a spin'.
    Last edited: Mar 31, 2010
  21. JamesM

    JamesM à la Mod (English Only)

    Read what instructions? As koniecswiata pointed out, the history of a word can have very little to do with its modern use.

    If I call someone from Mexico a Mexican it has no derogatory meaning, even though some people who speak of Mexicans include derogatory adjectives in front of the word. Someone from Denmark is a Dane as far as I'm concerned; it doesn't mean anything other than a description of that person's nationality. If I call someone from Russia a Russian it would be an entirely neutral description. Spaniard is the same for me.

    This is the first I've ever heard of anyone being offended by the term "Spaniard". It's quite a surprise. It's as odd to me as someone from Korea being offended by the word Korean.
  22. terrylng Member

    I would simply not discourage anyone from using the word "Spaniard" as it sounds perfectly good to me. Not derogatory at all to me.
  23. buddingtranslator

    buddingtranslator Senior Member

    English, England
    To keep this discussion going, I have never considered Spaniard to be a derogatory term. I have only really heard it out of context once and that was in Gladiator where Russell Crowe was referred to as the Spaniard. I don't know why.

    I can definitely say that we have no problem with the Spanish in England and 99.99% would not consider Spaniard as derogatory at all.
  24. Andygc

    Andygc Senior Member

    British English
    Yes, context is all important.

    I speak BE, I live in Britain. The doings of the Americans and their Hispanic migrants is wholly irrelevant to the use of the word "Spaniard" in BE - where its use pre-dates the foundation of the USA. In my context, the acceptance of the word "Spaniard" into English has nothing to do with your bizarre theory.

    To suggest that the word Spaniard could be derogatory now is ridiculous. It has never been used in a derogatory way in BE unless modified, as you suggest, as "those dirty Spaniards". I suspect there might also have been references to "those Spanish dogs". For consistency, I think you should take exception to the word "Spanish", since that was used with an equally derogatory meaning in about 1588.
  25. e2efour Senior Member

    England (aged 75)
    UK English
    If we take the following two caricature-like sentences:
    1) Italians eat spaghetti
    2) Spaniards eat paella

    we can replace the first word with People in Italy or People in Spain.
    My feeling is that this is more likely to happen with Spaniard.
    He is Spanish sounds normal to me, while He is a Spaniard I find unusual.

    It may be that words which differ from the adjective (e.g. Swedes instead of Swedish people) are more easily identified and can then take on a derogatory connotation (as in the Japs, the Frogs), although they are perfectly acceptable. This is not possible with an adjective like Italian.

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