If a citizens of Nigeria is a Nigerian, what is a citizen of Niger described as?

The Wikipedia post on Niger and the online Oxford Learner’s dictionaries say the the suitable term is Nigerien, as Vogel612 points the end below. However The new York Times manual of Style and also Usage (1999) and Merriam-Webster’s Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary (2003) say that the proper name is Nigerois. And also Merriam-Webster online currently lists both Nigerien and also Nigerois together correct forms. Is this simply a terminological difference between U.S. (or north American) sahib.tv and also British sahib.tv, or is one word truly more appropriate than the other?

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The sahib.tv Wikipedia web page lists Nigerien (/niːˈʒɛəriən/).

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Usually the guys over over there are great with together stuff therefore I\"d to trust them v this one.

This is also backed increase by the Oxford Learner\"s Dictionary and also Wiktionary.

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When I find multiple conflict usages, I favor to check out what other civilization are using. The NGrams data clearly shows a large preference for Nigerien. A slate.com article which insurance claims to have actually verified the facts v the Nigerien Embassay in the US states

What perform you speak to someone that hails from Niger? Old-schoolers (and, in what an editor there called \"something of one oversight,\" the Merriam-Webster online Dictionary) still use the antiquated \"Nigerois\" (nee-zher-WAH); more common and also up-to-date is \"Nigerien\" (nee-ZHER-yen).

An NYT columnist who wrote one article around Nigeriens, was told by his editor the the NYT style manual prefers Nigerois to prevent confusion with Nigerians. But while in Niger he to be told that nobody offers that word and so decided to stick v Nigeriens.

So stick through Nigerien, unless you space happy come sound archaic for the objective of preventing confusion.


Google Ngrams offers the following usage:


If you great to break it under by US/BR differences, you can:





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Differing opinions

As the concern notes, different references have different opinions around the merits of Nigerien matches Nigerois. Together Vogel 612 observes, both Wikipedia and also the online Oxford Learner\"s Dictionary endorse Nigerien. In addition, the World reality Book (1997), the New Oxford American Dictionary (2001), the New Oxford American Dictionary and Thesaurus with Language Guide (2003) offer just Nigerien as words for the people of Niger. The Concise Oxford sahib.tv Dictionary, revised Tenth version (2001), is noncommittal: It consists of an entry for the noun Nigerian (\"a indigenous or inhabitant of Nigeria\") doesn\"t offer any advice ~ above what to speak to \"a aboriginal or inhabitant that Niger.\"

On the various other hand The new York Times manual of Style and also Usage (1999) has actually this:

Nigerois (sing. And also pl.) The people of Niger, The adjective is Niger. Perform not confuse through Nigeria and Nigerians, because that the bigger country and also its people.)

The U.S. Government Printing Office layout Manual (1984)—which provides \"Nigerois (singular, plural),\" though you may not be able to see anything in the virtual snippet watch of this book—Robert Harris & American heritage Dictionary, Secretary\"s Handbook (1984), Robert Grover, U.S. News & people Report Guidelines for Writers and Editors (1994), Amy Einsohn, The Copyeditor\"s Handbook: A guide for book Publishing and Corporate Communications (2000), and Patti Tasko, The Canadian press Stylebook: A overview for Writing and also Editing (2006) an in similar way give only Nigerois as the name to usage for the world of Niger. To mine surprise, the Associated press Stylebook (2002) doesn\"t offer any type of guidance ~ above what to speak to the world of different nations.

Merriam-Webster\"s Eleventh Collegiate Dictionary (2003) lists only Nigerois, however the online variation of MW\"s entry for Niger broadens the options to Nigerien and also Nigerois:

Nigerien adjective or noun

Nigerois noun

Interestingly, MW virtual doesn\"t offer Niger as an adjective kind of the country Niger, vice versa, the New York Times instructs its writers to use just that kind as one adjective.

Arguments for \"Nigerien\"

I am conscious of four arguments that others have made for preferring Nigerien come Nigerois. Very first and most impressively (see the Ngram charts post byMr. Glowing and new 安宇 in his answer), Nigerien dominates existing usage.

Second, as Slate Magazine\"s The Explainer (2004) suggests in a commentary on Niger, the hatchet Nigerois is \"archaic\":

Until 1960, Niger to be a swarm of France, and also French is quiet Niger\" official language. Its ar Nigeria, with which that is periodically confused, was under sahib.tv control before it got its independence, additionally in 1960; that\"s why the pronunciations different so sharply. What do you contact someone who hails indigenous Niger? Old-schoolers (and, in what one editor there called “something of one oversight,” the Merriam-Webster online Dictionary) still use the antiquated Nigerois (nee-zher-WAH); an ext common and also up-to-date is Nigerien (nee-ZHER-yen).

Third, follow to a fairly detailed Wikipedia user web page posted by User:A12n, Nigerois is a made-up term with no historical legitimacy other than the reality that some civilization have used it:

Nigerois is a coined term of French construction that is no actually a indigenous in the French language, yet has had some usage in sahib.tv come refer to human being from Niger, West Africa.

And fourth, referring to an October 11, 2005, \"On the Ground\" blog item by New York Times editorial columnist Nicholas Kristof—again quote in Mr. Glowing and brand-new 安宇\"s answer—it may be argued that since \"the civilization here \" don\"t usage the hatchet Nigerois, sahib.tv speakers not in Niger shouldn\"t usage it either.

Arguments for \"Nigerois\"

The strongest argument in favor of Nigerois—and indeed the reason that U.S. Periodicals choose U.S. News & world Report and also the New York Times adopted the term—is the it puts maximum distance between the names for the human being of Niger and the world of Nigeria. Dixie Wills, New human being Order: Every country on Earth, Sorted (2008) puts the instance (rather obnoxiously) this way:

Pub fact: because that decades, the pubs, bars and discotheques that the people have resounded to the debate, often quite heated, surrounding the adjectival kind of Niger. Go for \"Nigerian\" and everyone think you\"re introduce to Nigeria; opt for \"Nigerois\" and also no one to know what you\"re talking about; while plumping for level old \"Niger\" just doesn\"t sound right. Apparently, the price is to aim at a noise approximating to \"Nigérien\". Good luck.

Obnoxious or not, Wills did enough research to uncover that the flow Niger owes it surname to the Tuareg word n\"eghirren (which she says means \"flowing water\"). On the other hand, she failed to an alert that, essentially unanimously, the institutional supporters of Nigerois recommend utilizing it just as a noun introduce to the civilization of Niger, not as one adjective.

To (some) north Americans, the pattern of words Nigerois is automatically recognizable as corresponding that the Quebecois (a indigenous of Quebec), so it isn\"t an completely outlandish formulation. However its difference from the noun Nigerian is the term\"s preeminent virtue.

The other disagreements on behalf of Nigerois are perhaps an ext accurately characterized as do the efforts to counter the debates in favor of Nigerien.

Regarding the massive benefit that Nigerien enjoys in famous usage, the counterargument is that Nigerois is predominantly a noun, vice versa, Nigerien piles up the vast bulk of its matches in a Google publications search together an adjective. Due to the fact that the Ngram charts that show the overwhelming family member frequency the Nigerien don\"t isolate cases of that word together a noun, lock aren\"t terribly pertinent to the concern of exactly how Nigerois as a noun and Nigerien together a noun complement up.

As because that the assertion the Nigerois is archaic, it\"s precious noting the the bulk of the 97 Google publications search matches for Nigerois room from the the duration between 1990 and 2014. The totals space 34 from the 29-year duration of 1961–1989, and 63 indigenous the 25-year period of 1990–2014. That hardly says the timeline circulation of an antiquated term. The oldest circumstances is exceedingly old—from U.S. Room of Defense, Africa Names and also Concepts (1961)—but only a handful of others come native the 1960s.

It\"s likewise worth mentioning that the sentence following the one from the Slate Explainer article that Mr. Glowing and new 安宇\"s answer quotes says this:

Still both <Nigerien and also Nigerois> space acceptable, as lengthy as friend don\"t call your friend in Niamey a Nigerian.

Neither the criticism of Nigerois based on its etymological origin nor the one based upon its nonuse in Niger seems specifically compelling—unless us are figured out to adopt a equivalent test for the name we usage in sahib.tv for various other nationalities that the world.

A fast look in ~ \"Nigeran\"

The Ngram charts posted by Mr. Shiny and new 安宇 that track the word Nigeran space intriguing, yet unfortunately they, too, operation afoul the a confounding variable—in this case, the water-soluble polymer (or fungal wall glucan) nigeran. Of the 27 matches indigenous the duration 1985–1987 in a Google publications search for Nigeran, 18 were to the polymer, and 9 were (arguably) to the adjective kind of Niger. Ns say \"arguably\" due to the fact that three the the latter group show up in publications titled Nigerian Economy: A Textbook of applied Economics (1986), Equity and Trusts in Nigeria (1986), and also Nigerian journal of Palms and also Oil Seeds (1987)—and in every case, the publication contained just one enhance for Nigeran, suggesting that this instances can have affiliated typos for Nigerian. The continuing to be six instances were far from clearly Niger-related either; but when you\"re dealing with snippet views, the necessary context deserve to be difficult to come by.

Almost definitely the factor Nigeran didn\"t capture on together the adjective type of Niger is that typos and also typesetting failure of this very kind to be a constant danger. Number of of the matches from the 1960s and 1970s plainly use Nigeran together an adjective because that Niger; yet in the 100 matches for Nigeran for the duration 1972–1993, ns couldn\"t find a single instance where Niger was unmistakably intended. Most matches were because that the chemistry nigeran, and also many that the remainder were plainly typos for Nigerian.

One quite thing around this find data because that Nigeran is the it reflects what a term the truly is antiquated looks like in Google books search results: Almost every one of the matches turn out to be mismatches that one kind or another.


Ultimately, also though i don\"t find any of the four asserted arguments on behalf of Nigerien specifically persuasive, ns would probably use the in preference to Nigerois, for two reasons. First, i am impressed the Merriam-Webster\"s online has switched indigenous \"Nigerois only\" to \"Nigerois and also Nigerien\" in the past decade. Ns don\"t believe that the Google publications evidence support a insurance claim that Nigerois is obsolescent or archaic, however I do think the Nigerien together a noun is getting ground—and together an adjective it plainly enjoys a massive advantage, because the supporters of Nigerois usually don\"t recommend utilizing it as an adjective in ~ all.

Second—and much more compelling, to mine mind—I think the the rationale for staying clear of Nigerien wasn\"t just that the word looks a lot favor Nigerian. It was also, to part extent, the fact that publishers didn\"t trust their audience to know that any type of such location as Niger existed. If you view Nigerien and also you know only Nigeria together a country with a relevant-looking name, you\"re most likely to intend that Nigerien is a kind of Nigeria. But thanks to the U.S. Government\"s yellow-cake uranium fiasco of the mid-2000s and also the attention currently being paid to the area of West Africa and also the area just south of it, many an ext sahib.tv-speaking readers this particular day are aware that Niger exists; and also as a an outcome fewer world by default associate Nigerien v Nigeria than was once the case. Niger together an adjective may still be common, however (in a case mirroring Nigerien together a noun versus Nigerien as an adjective) those instances have tendency to obtain lost in the woodland of instances that Niger as a noun.

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The more frequently people use and also recognize Nigerien as a noun or as an adjective associated with Niger and not Nigeria, however, the much less reason anyone needs to adhere come Nigerois. That reality doesn\"t do the last term a life fossil, but it does indicate that the historical direction of consumption is versus it. The only complication hindering Nigerien in its development toward universal adoption in sahib.tv is its susceptibility to hard-to-catch typographical error—a practical problem that might keep Nigerois in the New York Times hands-on of Style and also other style guides because that years to come.