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Old 06-23-2006, 04:46 AM
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What's a person from Switzerland called?

A person from Sweden is a Swede, a person from Finland is a Finn. What's a person from Switzerland?
Old 06-23-2006, 05:04 AM
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Swiss.
Old 06-23-2006, 05:13 AM
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As in "a Swiss" or "he/she's Swiss".
Old 06-23-2006, 05:48 AM
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I've never encountered "Swiss" as a noun, only an adjective. Do people really say "a Swiss?"
Old 06-23-2006, 06:01 AM
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My husband used to live with a Swiss guy, and he used it as a noun all the time. It does sound odd, but apparently it's perfectly correct.
Old 06-23-2006, 07:30 AM
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There is a word in English for a Swiss person, a Switzer,; although you won't see it used much now, it is in the OED.
Old 06-23-2006, 07:48 AM
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My understanding is that "a Swiss" is correct, although I haven't heard it.

At one place I went to school there was a girl from Switzerland. She was, inevitably, called "Swiss Miss".
Old 06-23-2006, 07:55 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by friedo
I've never encountered "Swiss" as a noun, only an adjective. Do people really say "a Swiss?"
Sure they do. You must have heard it. Everyone has.

Q: How do you make a swiss roll?
A: Push him down a hill.
Old 06-23-2006, 08:46 AM
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Lucky.

It's a beautiful country with relatively little ethnic unrest and few social ills, and being in central Europe you can reach a dozen interesting and different places with a couple of hours travel. Excellent railroads and, IIRC, all power is nonpolluting hydroelectric.
Old 06-23-2006, 09:09 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus
Lucky.

It's a beautiful country with relatively little ethnic unrest and few social ills, and being in central Europe you can reach a dozen interesting and different places with a couple of hours travel. Excellent railroads and, IIRC, all power is nonpolluting hydroelectric.
"Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

Harry Lime in The Third Man
Old 06-23-2006, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by aldiboronti
"Like the fella says, in Italy for 30 years under the Borgias they had warfare, terror, murder, and bloodshed, but they produced Michelangelo, Leonardo da Vinci, and the Renaissance. In Switzerland they had brotherly love - they had 500 years of democracy and peace, and what did that produce? The cuckoo clock."

Harry Lime in The Third Man
Not even that: the cuckoo clock is from the Black Forest, in Germany.

But the Swiss do make great (non cuckoo-) clocks and and watches.
Old 06-23-2006, 10:35 AM
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Wasn't Vienna in Switzerland at one time? Seems like Vienna's responsible for more than little sausages.

And to the OP: A person from Switzerland is called "a foreigner."
Old 06-23-2006, 10:44 AM
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I don't think Vienna was ever a part of the Swiss Federation, although it was the Congress of Vienna in 1815 that re-established Swiss independence.
Old 06-23-2006, 11:05 AM
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Why single out Switzerland? What's a person from England called? China?
Old 06-23-2006, 11:09 AM
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Yeah...but "Swissman" just doesn't sound right.
Old 06-23-2006, 11:11 AM
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Quote:
Why single out Switzerland? What's a person from England called? China?

Little-known fact: All of these people are called "Swiss".










Oh, wait. For a moment I thought we were in the "Lie to Me" thread.
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Old 06-23-2006, 12:59 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inigo Montoya
Wasn't Vienna in Switzerland at one time?
No.
Swiss is the correct term for a swiss person: in German Schweitzer, in french Suisse, in Italian Svizzero.
Old 06-23-2006, 01:06 PM
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Originally Posted by Terminus Est
Why single out Switzerland? What's a person from England called? China?
An Englishman and a Chinaman, respectively.
Old 06-23-2006, 01:08 PM
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OK, what do you call someone from Togo?
Old 06-23-2006, 01:08 PM
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And if you want to see what a typical Swiss looks like, take a gander here:
http://myswitzerland.com/html/movies/wm/

(the ladies especially will be interested - yes, Swiss men will be glad to welcome you to their country - don't worry, it's work safe. I should also mention that I'm Swiss, and, therefore, of course look like the guys in those pictures)
Old 06-23-2006, 01:10 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Amazing
An Englishman and a Chinaman, respectively.
Well, Walter Sobchak would have you know that "Chinaman is not the preferred nomenclature".
Old 06-23-2006, 01:14 PM
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What's a person from Switzerland called?
A Helvetian. Or Helvetii, collectively.
Old 06-23-2006, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by cmyk
Well, Walter Sobchak would have you know that "Chinaman is not the preferred nomenclature".
I don't know who Walter Sobchak is, but what does he want me to call them?


And somebody from Togo is a Togolese
Old 06-23-2006, 01:16 PM
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You are correct, UncleBeer, but:
the plural of Helvetian would be Helvetians (Helvetii would be the latin plural of Helvetius); in addition, almost no one uses Helvetian in English (though in swiss french newspapers, for example, the noun and adjective Helvète is often used.)
Old 06-23-2006, 01:17 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Amazing
An Englishman and a Chinaman, respectively.
I'm rather surprised that, given its huge population, the entire nation of China consists entirely of males. That England is all-male doesn't surprise me one bit, however.
Old 06-23-2006, 01:19 PM
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Come to think of it, I don't remember anyone on the SDMB giving their location as Switzerland, or anyplace within it, while most other countries are well represented.
Old 06-23-2006, 01:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold Winkelried
And if you want to see what a typical Swiss looks like, take a gander here:
http://myswitzerland.com/html/movies/wm/

(the ladies especially will be interested - yes, Swiss men will be glad to welcome you to their country - don't worry, it's work safe. I should also mention that I'm Swiss, and, therefore, of course look like the guys in those pictures)
oops, didn't see this.

But judging by your location, you don't live there anymore?
Old 06-23-2006, 01:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Amazing
I don't know who Walter Sobchak is, but what does he want me to call them?
Walter Sobchak = John Goodman's character in The Big Lebowski.

According to that source, you should also be calling White Russians "Caucasians."
Old 06-23-2006, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus
But judging by your location, you don't live there anymore?
Nope. I remember a few people from Switzerland in the past, but the member names elude me right now.
Old 06-23-2006, 01:28 PM
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Sweed?
Old 06-23-2006, 01:32 PM
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Originally Posted by OneCentStamp
Walter Sobchak = John Goodman's character in The Big Lebowski.

According to that source, you should also be calling White Russians "Caucasians."
Nice!
Old 06-23-2006, 01:34 PM
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Originally Posted by diggleblop
Sweed?
As noted in the OP, That is reserved for those native to Sweden.
Old 06-23-2006, 01:35 PM
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Originally Posted by Arnold Winkelried
No.
I knew it was (and still is presumably) in Austria. Really! I knew that.
Old 06-23-2006, 01:38 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by friedo
A person from Sweden is a Swede, a person from Finland is a Finn. What's a person from Switzerland?
A neuticle.
Old 06-23-2006, 01:49 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold Winkelried
You are correct, UncleBeer, but:
the plural of Helvetian would be Helvetians (Helvetii would be the latin plural of Helvetius); in addition, almost no one uses Helvetian in English (though in swiss french newspapers, for example, the noun and adjective Helvète is often used.)
Curious.

Hel·ve·tian - adjective

1. Of or relating to Helvetia or the Helvetii.
2. Swiss.

Hel·ve·tian - noun

1.One of the Helvetii.
2.A Swiss.

[From Latin Helvetius.]

Excerpted from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition
Old 06-23-2006, 01:50 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Inigo Montoya
Wasn't Vienna in Switzerland at one time? Seems like Vienna's responsible for more than little sausages.
No, Vienna was never in Switzerland.

And yes, Vienna's responsible for A WHOLE LOT more than little sausages.
Old 06-23-2006, 01:56 PM
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Well, UncleBeer, maybe I was wrong! I should have checked a source myself. I personally would write Helvetians, but what do I know?
Old 06-23-2006, 02:18 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by panache45

And yes, Vienna's responsible for A WHOLE LOT more than little sausages.
Indeed. They have big sausages, as well.


http://viennabeef.com/products/c...?CATEGORY_ID=2
Old 06-23-2006, 02:37 PM
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Ugh! That site has a picture of a bagel dog.

The goggles....
Old 06-23-2006, 03:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Arnold Winkelried
No.
Swiss is the correct term for a swiss person: in German Schweitzer, in french Suisse, in Italian Svizzero.
Except in Québec. When you talk about un suisse here, this is you are most likely talking about
Old 06-23-2006, 04:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Captain Amazing
An Englishman and a Chinaman, respectively.
I would have said "a Brit" and "a Chinese".

And yes, I realize Britain and England aren't the same thing, but if he's not from England I'd call him a Scot or a Welshman, as appropriate.

God only knows what I'd do if I ever met a woman from Wales. ("Welshwoman"?) So far, it hasn't come up.
Old 06-23-2006, 05:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Captain Amazing
I don't know who Walter Sobchak is, but what does he want me to call them?
Please, "Asian-American."
Old 06-23-2006, 07:48 PM
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Originally Posted by Troy McClure SF
Please, "Asian-American."
This isn't a guy who built the fucking railroads here! We're talking about someone who came into your house...
Old 06-23-2006, 07:57 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Spectre of Pithecanthropus
Lucky.

It's a beautiful country with relatively little ethnic unrest and few social ills, and being in central Europe you can reach a dozen interesting and different places with a couple of hours travel. Excellent railroads and, IIRC, all power is nonpolluting hydroelectric.
I lived in Switzerland once. I walked to work through fields where the cows really did have bells. No, really, it's true. I'm telling you, the cows there really wear bells.

But my understanding is that during the Reformation, Switzerland was a pretty violent place. I guess they figured it out, eventually. So close to the Third Reich, so far from New Zealand.

And they still guard the Pope, you know.
Old 06-23-2006, 08:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Troy McClure SF
Please, "Asian-American."
People in China are Asian-American?

Old 06-24-2006, 02:16 AM
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Originally Posted by scr4
People in China are Asian-American?

You've lost sight of the movie references.
Old 06-26-2006, 02:19 PM
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The Dude abides.
Old 06-26-2006, 03:21 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by UncleBeer
Curious.

Hel·ve·tian - adjective

1. Of or relating to Helvetia or the Helvetii.
2. Swiss.

Hel·ve·tian - noun

1.One of the Helvetii.
2.A Swiss.

[From Latin Helvetius.]

Excerpted from The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, Third Edition
Um, does anyone still self-identify as "Helvetii"? Do they constitute any particularly large proportion of the Swiss population?

You are aware that the "Helvetii" were a Celtic tribe around Roman times, right? That's why "One of the Helvetii" and "A Swiss" are separate definitions.
Old 06-27-2006, 01:02 AM
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Originally Posted by Excalibre
Um, does anyone still self-identify as "Helvetii"? Do they constitute any particularly large proportion of the Swiss population?

You are aware that the "Helvetii" were a Celtic tribe around Roman times, right? That's why "One of the Helvetii" and "A Swiss" are separate definitions.
Except the official country code for Switzerland is CH, derived from the Latin phrase for 'Helvetican Confederation'. It was chosen to avoid offending the French-, German-, or Italian-speaking Swiss.

There is, therefore, precedent for using that term to refer to all of Switzerland and, by extension, all of Switzerland's people.
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Old 06-27-2006, 02:03 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Derleth
Except the official country code for Switzerland is CH, derived from the Latin phrase for 'Helvetican Confederation'. It was chosen to avoid offending the French-, German-, or Italian-speaking Swiss.

There is, therefore, precedent for using that term to refer to all of Switzerland and, by extension, all of Switzerland's people.
I'm quite aware of that. I'm simply trying to figure out why UncleBeer claimed that "Helvetii" is correct and "Helvetians" incorrect, given that the former appears only to be in use to describe a particular Celtic tribe, while "Helvetian" - according to my dictionary - can refer to either one of the Helvetii or to a Swiss person.

Read through Arnold and UncleBeer's posts - the topic of discussion was particularly whether "Helvetii" is the proper plural for "Helvetian", which it's not - "Helvetian" can apply to either the Helvetii or the modern Swiss, and "Helvetii" certainly isn't the historical plural, simply judging on purely morphological grounds. Can you think of any other English word with a singular in -tian and a plural in -tii?

"Helvetian" and "Helvetii" are certainly closely related words, but they are clearly distinct words, which is what I was trying to communicate to UncleBeer.
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