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Also ‑an.

Forming adjectives and nouns.

Latin adjectival endings ‑anus, ‑ana, ‑anum, ‘of or belonging to something’.

The original form was ‑an, as in urban (Latin urbanus, from urbs, city) and Roman (Latin Romanus, from Roma, Rome). However, many Latin words had an i before the ending (as in meridian, from Latin meridianum, noon; see ‑i‑) and other examples in ‑ian come from French words in ‑ien (as in civilian, from Old French civilien) that are derived from Latin. As a result, the usual form is now ‑ian, though it is truncated to ‑an if the stem ends in a vowel.

One set is of adjectives that refer to places: Australian, Chicagoan, Indian, Kenyan, Malayan, Nebraskan, Parisian, Puerto Rican, Scandinavian, Tibetan, and so on. Some modify the stem: Glaswegian, Norwegian, Peruvian. Most can also be nouns that identify a person from that place.

Some adjectives derive from individuals' names and refer to a style or characteristic associated with that person. Many examples exist; new ones are created freely according to need. Some examples are Chestertonian, Clintonian, Hogarthian, Johnsonian, Nabokovian, and Orwellian. Some relate to periods of history named after monarchs: Edwardian, Elizabethan, Victorian.

Some personal names appear in adjectives and nouns that refer to systems of thought or belief, the founders of such systems, or their proponents: Copernican, Darwinian, Freudian, Hegelian, Lutheran. Others with related meanings are formed on a variety of stems: Episcopalian, Presbyterian, Puritan, Republican, utopian.

The endings also occur in nouns that denote someone who engages in, uses, or works with whatever is referenced by the stem: comedian, equestrian, historian, pedestrian, sacristan, thespian.

See also ‑ane2, ‑arian, ‑ean,, ‑enne, ‑ician, ‑man, and ‑woman.

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