Mapping the gender of Brexit

Expanding on the information gathered on Jon Worth’s blog via his twitter feed and on the info provided by the fine people of /r/AskEurope, here is a map of the grammatical gender assigned to the word ‘Brexit‘ in Europe’s various languages.

Brexit Gender

Some interesting points:

Sardinian seams to follow Italian in that it is feminine (‘sa Brexit‘), while Friulian doesn’t (‘il Brexit’ – see [pdf]), being masculine like most other Romance languages.

Corsican, although quite close to standard Italian, also uses the masculine (‘u Brexit‘)

Greece has two forms, a native calque (‘Βρέξοδος‘ – feminine), as well as the original English version (neuter), with the latter being more widespread.

Scottish-Gaelic also has a native word just like Irish (‘Brfhàgail‘ – feminine) but some articles on BBC’s Gaelic service seem to use the English form of the word, which I assumed is a masculin.

Latvian either uses Brexit as it is, and considers it non-gendered, or it Latvianizes it into ‘Breksits’, which is masculine. I’m not sure which is more prevalent.

Some leaps of faith:

Given that both Dutch and West Frisian have had their masculine and feminine merged into a common class, and that most nouns have the same gender in both languages, I assumed that the West Frisian ‘de Brexit’ is masculine, like its Dutch equivalent.

I assumed Aromanian mirrors Romanian, so it’s probably sg. ‘Brexitu, pl. Brexituri’.

Given that all Slavic languages are masculine, I extended the assumption to the Sorbian languages in Eastern Germany.

Out of experience, Faroese tends to follow Icelandic, and given that both have 3 genders, and both seem to assign neuter to nouns without ending. So Faroese Brexit is neuter.


The base map is a modified version of Andrei Nacu’s map from Wikimedia Commons.

Language maps such as these might overemphasize minority languages.

Made in Inkscape.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s