Word of the Day: Norod – Neam – Popor

This past weekend I was in Sibiu for their medieval festival and I got to hear a word that was new to me and not yet part of my vocabulary.

The cool thing about this word is that one of a rare triplet of synonyms in modern Romanian. As I’ve detailed before, there are lots of Romanian synonyms in which one word comes from a Latin root and one from a Slavic or other root (often Dacian/Albanian).

Rarely however do you get the “triple crown”, in which one synonym is from Latin, one from the Slavic and one from the Hungarian, all of them used in modern Romanian speech and writing. Three words from three totally different language groups? Awesome!

Norod – from the Slavic (modern Russian: народ – narod)

Neam – from the Hungarian (nemzet)

Popor – from the Latin (populus)

All three words mean either a “nation” or a “people”, referring to a race or class of humans who all belong to the same group. The Spanish equivalent would be raza or pueblo.

For English speakers, clearly popor is the easiest to parse out as it is related to the modern English word “population” and “people”.