Ay Caramba, I-Kiribati, Oy Vey

VOX recently published a map identifying the richest person and largest company in each European country. In The Netherlands and France, the richest person is a woman; Charlene de Carvalho-Heineken of Heineken breweries, the largest company and the world’s third largest brewery for the Dutch and for France,  L’Oreal and daughter of its founder, Liliane Bettencourt. In Ireland, these honors go to Palloonji Mistry, chairman of Shapoorji Pallonji Group.

Mistry was born in Indian of Parsi parents, married an Irishwoman and is now an Irish citizen who resides in Mumbai. With a net worth over $15 billion, Mistry is the richest man in Ireland, the richest person of Parsi descent and the fifth richest person in India. He is also technically an Parsi Irishman, having renounced his Indian citizenry as India does not have dual citizenry. His children are all Irish; he is the father of two Irishmen and two Irishwomen. Like his counter part Carvalho-Heineken, Mistry is the citizen of country with an odd demonym. A demonym is a noun referring to the resident of a locality, combined from the Greek term for populace (Demos) and the suffix for name (Onym) and a word created populized by National Geographic in ~1990.

The correct term for someone from the country of Ireland is one of the few demonyms that are gender specific. A man from Ireland is an Irishman, a woman an Irishwoman and the plural is the same word as the adjective form, Irish. ‘Irish’ in origin descends from an ancient name for the whole isliand, Eire. Carvalho-Heineken’s demonym, in English, is the Old English word for nation or country (consider Deutchsland). At the time the Old English were talking about what is now Germany and the Netherlands, they were referring to parts of the Holy Roman Empire and differentiated by typology: the High Dutch were those from what is now part of Germany. Netherlands is literally from low lying (nether) and lands (lands). Pretty much only the English speaking world calls them The Dutch. To the Dutch themselves, they are Netherlanders or Nederlanders.

In other ‘in case you missed it with all the real world news that is going on this week,’ a town in the Solomon Islands is moving inland, due to impending annihilation from climate change. According to Reuters, It was decided the Solomon Island town

“would take disaster prevention measures in the short term but also build a new town on an adjacent mainland where the population will be moved in stages. “

No nationalities were changed in this repositioning, and all 1000 town residents will remain Solomon Islanders.

Many places in Oceania are preparing for drastic climate change. The small nation of Kiribati has prepared a contingency plan of relocation, which it calls “migration with dignity.” The island nation gained independence from the United Kingdom in 1979, and its demonym,  I-kiribati, can be excused from violating the please don’t start anything else with an e- or an i- rule.

I-kiribati; it’s not just a great demonym but also a nice expletive.

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