According to its etymology , the term gentile comes from the Latin “gentilitius”, which in turn comes from gens, which means family or tribe. In relation to its meaning it is the word that designates the origin of a person . Therefore, the birthplace name is what normally determines the gentile. Thus, those born in Madrid have the gentile of Madrid, those from Lima are from Lima and those from Caracas are from Caraqueños.
However, there is not always a correlation between toponymy and gentility, as is the case in the following cases: in Spain, those born in Andújar are Iliturgitans; those of Almuñécar are sexitan; those from Huelva are onubenses; in Chile, those born in Constitución are Maulinos; in Colombia, those from Medellín and Antioquia are known as paisas.
There is no fixed rule for the formation of gentiles
As shown above, Gentiles are not formed by a fixed rule. The most common criterion is the following: the name of a place (its toponym) determines the name that its inhabitants receive. However, this criterion is not always met for several reasons: Gentile
1) Certain Gentiles refer to the ancient name of a place (for example, the Mirobrigenses are the inhabitants of Ciudad Rodrigo; this name is used because before the Romans there was a people called Mirobrigense who inhabited a place called Mirobriga);
2) In some cases the popular tradition creates its own gentile, as is the case of the porteños, who live in the city of Buenos Aires (these are the inhabitants of the city of Buenos Aires, but those who are born outside the capital are known as Bonaerense).
The use of gentiles changes according to the context of communication
The geographical origin of people is the determining factor for the formation of a gentile, so that people can be grouped by continents, countries, regions, cities and even by neighborhoods. When a Colombian refers to a Spaniard, he can use several Gentiles depending on his intention to speak, calling him European, Spanish, Catalan, Barcelona or Graciense. Gentile
Some rare cases and others that generate some confusion
There are totally obvious Gentiles, like Cape Verdean, Asturian, Galician or Italian. On the other hand, some are quite curious and rare, like Malagasy to refer to the inhabitants of Madagascar; Celandic for those from Sri Lanka. On occasions, there may be confusion arising from the similarity between the names of two countries, such as Austrian being the Gentile of Austria and Australian being Australia. Gentile