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To honour the grand Francophone tradition of making simple things complicated, the Walloons, like their French counterparts, have managed to invent outlandish names for the inhabitants of some of their villages and towns.
One could indeed wonder why on earth the people living in the village of Petit-Thier are called the Coticuliens. The explanation is typically found in the root of the name, or in a Latinised version of it.
For instance, the dwellers of Vaux-sous-Chevremont (literally "Valley under Goat Mount") are known as the Valcaprimontais, where Vaux ("valley") becomes Val and Chèvre ("goat") mutates into Capri.
Some are linked to the local folklore. The people of Onhaye are called the Walherois, due to the local cult of Saint Walhère.
These are not informal nicknames, but real appellations used by journalists, politicians and ordinary folks alike. They are so unnatural that questions such as "How do we call the inhabitants of x ?" often pop up in radio and TV quizzes.
Here is a selection of the oddest gentilés :
Aywaille => Aqualiens
Bastogne => Bastognards
Beaufays => Belfagétains
Bouffioulx => Bouffaloniens
Cambron-Casteau => Castelcambroniens
Charleroi => Caroloringiens (or Carolos for short)
Chaufontaine => Calidifontains
Chimay => Chimaciens
Ciney => Cinaciens
Court-Saint-Étienne => Stéphanois
Baisieux => Basicomiens
Forchies-la-Marche => Filamarchois
Heure-le-Romain => Romanhoriens
Huy => Hutois
Mazy => Mazyciens (sounds almost like "magiciens")
Mettet => Djobins
Mons => Montois
Montigny-le-Tilleul => Montagnards
Pont-de-Loup => Lupipontais
Queue-du-Bois => Caudisylvestriens
Scy => Scyoux (prounounced just like Sioux in French !)
Soignies => Sonégiens
Thiméon => Thumionys
Thuin => Thudiniens
Thy-le-Chateau => Thyriocastelloritains
Waterloo => Waterlootis
Woluwe-Saint-Pierre => Wolusanpétrusiens
Fortunately, most names are fairly regular and it is just a matter of knowing whether they end in -ins, -iens, -ois or -ais.
Last edited by Maciamo; 28-10-07 at 18:49.
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