variant of -an after names ending in -ea, -es, -eus.
word-forming element meaning "pertaining to," from Latin -anus, adjective suffix, in some cases via French -ain, -en. From PIE *-no-.
"of or pertaining to the Caribs," also "of the sea between the West Indies and the South American mainland," by 1750s, from Carib, indigenous people's name for themselves, + -ean.
updated on July 05, 2011