Гречка (buckwheat) or гречанка (woman from Greece)? With respect to women!

Every one of us has faced this problem several times in our lives, so how the nouns denoting women's national identity are formed correctly? How many times suchlike quirks happened in your life? Let's sort it out.

Remember: грек /Greek/ is a resident of Greece, and a woman in this case is гречанка (a woman from Greece), but not гречка (buckwheat). It shoud be noticed that гречка (buckwheat) in Greece doesn't grow at all, and presence of buckwheat porridge on the table is a great gimmick.

Another interesting example is "индейка". They often call women from India so, and a great number of representatives of indigenous groups of America. Do not muddle up, Please! Индейка /turkey/ is a barndoor fowl, roasted for Thanksgiving day in America. Women are called индианками /Indian/.

Attention:  индиец and индианка are residents of India, and индеец and индианка are representatives of indigenous groups of America.
The fact of the same naming of women in this case is often explained by discovering of America, after all, the discoverers headed by Columbus were sure they reached the shores of India.

Or one more example: турка /ibrik/ is a well-known vessel for coffee preparation. A woman from Turkey is турчанка /Turk/.

Nouns of feminine gender in Russian, as a rule, end in -ка (Украина - украинка /Ukraine - Unkrainian/), -анка (Америка -американка /America - American/) or -янка (Китай - китаянка /China - Chinese/). However, there are exceptions, as always: Франция - француженка /France - French/, Англия - англичанка /England - Englishwoman/, Германия - немка /Germany - German/.

The form русская /Russian/ is also the exception. Русская /Russian/ is a form of an adjective, not а noun.

It is an interesting fact that many words referring to the names of nationalities have other meanings, completely different sometimes. In most cases, they are connected with the certain kinds of goods or customs, by which the countries, about inhabitants of which we speak, are glorious.

For example:
Американец and американка /American/ are inhabitants of America; американка is a name for billiard.
Болгарин and болгарка /Bulgarian/ are inhabitants of Bulgaria; болгарка /grinder/ is a grinding tool.
Поляк and полька /Pole/ are inhabitants of Poland; полька /polka/ is a dance.
Финн and финка /Finn/ are inhabitants of Finland; финка /sheath knife/ is a knife.
Чех and чешка /Czech/ are inhabitants of Czech Republic; and чешки /gymnastic footwear/ is a footwear.

Remember, women of all countries will appreciate the culture of your Russian speech.


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