Male and Female Countries

Discussion in 'Free Thoughts' started by toltec, May 16, 2008.

  1. toltec Registered Senior Member

    Inhabitants of a country tend to refer to it as either male, female and sexless

    Mother Russia and Brittania are of course females. Germans and Argentinians call their home, the Fatherland. I might be wrong but the USA is sexless.

    I was wondering are their any patterns or rules to sexing a country. Do the inhabitants show any psychological effects?
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  3. draqon Banned Banned

    USA is a she
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  5. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

    I'd say more of a she-beast. Kyle from South Park's mom.
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  7. Elucinatus Registered Member

    France is also referred to as 'The Fatherland'.
  8. toltec Registered Senior Member

    I always thought of France as a woman.
  9. Exhumed Self ******. Registered Senior Member

    South Park is probably where you get your knowledge of genetics

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  10. francois Schwat? Registered Senior Member

  11. Wolf Registered Member

    France is female

    The French say "La France" and "la" is the female article for a subject. So, it is she.
  12. cosmictotem Registered Senior Member

  13. The Marquis Only want the best for Nigel Valued Senior Member

    Possibly. But it might also point to the original psyche of a nation's inhabitants when considering the perceived gender of that society. There might be a difference between how it was perceived upon formation, and how it is now.

    The term "Core Nations" has been used both in the past and in recent times, and that too has changed slightly from what it originally meant. Where once it was an indication of the impact of other nations on it culturally, it has come to have the opposite meaning; the influence a nation has on others... more specifically, economic influence.

    China and India are two modern examples of Core Nations that have retained that status through all definitions.

    *edit - just for the record, it might be best to establish what female and male traits are supposed to be.
  14. wuudsie Registered Member

    I assume when you refer to Brittania you mean The United Kingdom? The UK is made up of 4 separate countries, all of which have their own national identities. Wales for example, The Welsh are passionately patriotic and refer to Wales and 'The Land of My Fathers', they tolerate the Irish and the Scots but have an inherent distrust of the my question which part of Britannia is of course female, or were your referring to England as female and making the mistake alot of people make in thinking England 'is' Britain.?
  15. Bebelina Valued Senior Member

    In Sweden we call it "fosterland", which basically means..FETUSLAND! Of unknown gender.

    But also the older "fäderneslandet", which is the land of the fathers.

    "Modersmål"..the language of the mother, when referred to native language.
  16. iceaura Valued Senior Member

    The most common personification of the USA is Uncle Sam, who is male. Columbia, along with the Statue of Liberty et al, seem anachronistic - a cartoonist depicting the US as a woman would have to include explanatory material.

    That trend appears to me to have some political roots - the matching trend in US politics (not much obscured by the neutrality of "Homeland Security"), as we approach a Fatherland, a Big Brother, etc, worries.

    But people around me don't seem to view the US overall as having a sex. I hear "it" more often than he or she.

    France assigns gender to place names, on purpose: there's a board or committee or maybe just some guy who actually decides that Florida, say, is female in French. That strikes most Americans as ridiculous (do they give him a room and a desk, or does he have to work out in the ward with the other inmates?).
  17. Fraggle Rocker Staff Member

    In languages that distinguish nouns by gender, it's easy to determine whether their country is masculine or feminine. (These are better words to use than "male" and "female" because the correlation between biological sex and grammatical gender can be tenuous.) But languages differ over gender. For example, in Spanish el sol is masculine and la luna is feminine, but in German die Sonne and der Mond are just the opposite. So I'm sure there are countries which are regarded as masculine by their citizens but as feminine by their neighbors, and vice versa.

    The United States is a special case, since "states" is a plural noun. Most languages translate it literally, such as French les Etats Unis, masculine plural. But the Hungarians have turned "USA" into an acronym and call our country OO-sha. Hungarian (a Finno-Ugric language, not Indo-European) has no genders, but that's kinda cute.

    To be strictly accurate, Brittania is the Latin name of the island we call Great Britain. It does not include that corner of the island of Ireland. This is why the fussy, official name of the country is "the kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland." Brittania, Ireland, and various smaller bits of land, such as the Isle of Man, in aggregate form the British Isles.

    The original Celtic people who populated the southern portion of the island were called Brythons or Britons so the Romans elaborated on that to name the whole island. The Greeks discovered it first and called it Albion, a name they also picked up from the local people and may be derived from either the Brythonic language word for "white" or "hill."

    When the Roman empire collapsed and the Roman governors and soldiers went home, Germanic invaders happily moved in to take over the prosperous agriculture-based civilization they had created out of a Neolithic region. They eventually drove half of the Celtic people off of the island (except the Welsh, Cornish and a few others) and absorbed the other half into their own gene pool and named it Angle-Land after one of the more prominent invading tribes. The Saxons were also prominent and England has many counties with names such as East Anglia and South Saxony, or "Sussex." Some of the Brythonic people sailed to the continent and established the region of Brittany, where the Celtic language of Breton is still spoken. Meanwhile the descendants of the Anglo-Saxon invaders retained the name of the island of "Great Britain" and began calling themselves "British." They even appropriated the name of the now-lost native people and call themselves "Britons."

    The Welsh know enough history to understand that the Scots and Irish (and the Cornish and Manx) are fellow Celts, but the so-called "Britons" are not. Irish Gaelic, Scots Gaelic, Welsh, Cornish and Manx (the latter two nearly extinct) are all Celtic languages.

    It's not so arbitrary. Florida was named by the Spaniards, a truncation of Tierra Florida, which means "flowery land." Tierra is a feminine noun, like most Spanish nouns ending in -a that are not of Greek origin. So it takes an adjective inflected for the feminine gender.

    The French have greatly compacted their language over the centuries: a sentence in French has about the same number of syllables as its English translation, versus 30-50% more in Spanish, Italian or Japanese. So French adjectives never end in -a or -o like Spanish adjectives. Nonetheless they have a strong sense of linguistic history, going all the way back to Latin, the ancestor of French, so they automatically assign a word ending in -a to the feminine gender.

    Especially when it actually is feminine in another language.

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    Many of our states were named in foreign languages, and Spanish has its share. Colorado was named after the Colorado River, Rio Colorado or "red river," so the adjective ends in -o and is masculine just like its noun.

    Nevada, on the other hand, was named after the Sierra Nevada or "snow -covered mountain range." Sierra is a feminine noun ending in -a, so the adjective also takes the feminine gender and ends in -a. Actually una sierra is a saw and the word is applied to mountain ranges because the peaks look like a saw's teeth.

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