Words related to country


word-forming element meaning "against, in opposition," from Latin adverb and preposition contra "against" (see contra (prep., adv.)). The Latin word was used as a prefix in Late Latin. In French, it became contre- and passed into English as counter-. The Old English equivalent was wiðer (surviving in withers and widdershins), from wið "with, against."

land (n.)

Old English lond, land, "ground, soil," also "definite portion of the earth's surface, home region of a person or a people, territory marked by political boundaries," from Proto-Germanic *landja- (source also of Old Norse, Old Frisian Dutch, Gothic land, German Land), perhaps from PIE *lendh- (2) "land, open land, heath" (source also of Old Irish land, Middle Welsh llan "an open space," Welsh llan "enclosure, church," Breton lann "heath," source of French lande; Old Church Slavonic ledina "waste land, heath," Czech lada "fallow land"). But Boutkan finds no IE etymology and suspects a substratum word in Germanic,

Etymological evidence and Gothic use indicates the original Germanic sense was "a definite portion of the earth's surface owned by an individual or home of a nation." The meaning was early extended to "solid surface of the earth," a sense which once had belonged to the ancestor of Modern English earth (n.). Original senses of land in English now tend to go with country. To take the lay of the land is a nautical expression. In the American English exclamation land's sakes (1846) land is a euphemism for Lord.

countrified (adj.)

also countryfied, "characteristic of country life" (especially as opposed to the town); "having the look or manners associated with rural life," 1650s, from country + past participle form of -fy. The verb countrify (by 1850) seems to be a back-formation.

country-folk (n.)

"inhabitants of rural areas," by 1722, a hybrid from country + folk. Earlier it meant "fellow-citizen, countryman" (1540s).

countryman (n.)

c. 1300 (late 13c. as a surname), "one who lives in the open country, a peasant," from country + man (n.). From mid-14c. as "one born in the same country as another." Related: Countrywoman.

countryside (n.)

"section of a country, piece of land," mid-15c., perhaps literally "one side of a country," from country + side (n.); hence, "any tract of land having a natural unity" (1727). Meaning "inhabitants of a district or section" is from 1840.

cross-country (adj.)

1767, of roads, "lying or directed across fields or open country," from cross- + country, or a shortening of across-country. Of flights, from 1909. As a noun, "outdoor distance running as a sport," by 1956.

in-country (n.)
"interior regions" of a land, 1560s, from in (prep.) + country.
up-country (n.)
"interior regions," 1680s, from up- + country (n.). As an adjective from 1810; as an adverb from 1864.
-y (1)
noun suffix, in army, city, country, etc., from Old French -e, Latin -atus, -atum, past participle suffix of certain verbs, which in French came to be used to indicate "employment, office, dignity" (as in duché, clergié).