Tag Archives: Linguistics

Etymology maps

This article is a repository of all the etymology maps I’ve ever done. Most of these maps were made between 2014-2019 and have originally been posted to Reddit, often to the /r/etymologymaps subreddit.

A few word of warning:

  1. The base map used to make these maps used to have errors. For example, the Russian-speaking areas of Latvia are wrongly to the north-east instead of south-east and way too big.
  2. The main dividing line for these maps is linguistic (read: “mother tongue”), not administrative or political.
  3. Minority languages are often given proeminence. It was important to show as many languages as I had data for.
  4. I know German nouns are capitalized. I took a design decision to not capitalize them because I didn’t like having some nouns capitalized, and some in minuscules.

Some maps already featured on this blog:

So without further ado:

I. Countries and peoples

🇭🇺 Hungary
🇵🇱 Poland
🇬🇷 Greece

Below: 🇦🇹 Austria & 🇷🇺 Russia

🇩🇪 Germany (see legend below)


The map above had originally been uploaded to Wikimedia Commons for the Wikipedia article “Names of Germany

🇲🇦 Morocco
🕎 Jews

II. Food and drinks

🍺 Beer
🍃 Tea
Sausage 🌭
🥒 Cucumber
🍍 Pineapple
🍊 Orange
🍑 Peach

III. Other words

🌹 Rose
🐻 Bear
📃 Paper
🏛️ Architect
💒 Church

IV. One final map on currency etymologies, in a somewhat different style:



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.

Members of the European Parliament: The linguistic origin of their names

A fun little dataviz idea that came up while researching my previous project on the Average Face of MEPs. Are Germanic names common among Germany’s MEPs, or are they seen as too nationalistic? How widespread are Jewish names due to Christianity? Are there any common names of interesting origin?

Disclaimer for my French readers: I know two names joined by a dash are considered a single name, but given that they are made up of two distinct elements, for the purpose of this dataviz, I handled them as two names. Désolé!

Names of MEPs