Post by Stefan Ram
All dictionaries acknowledge that "native" can be a noun,
but in no dictionary did I find the apparent meaning
|You know you're back in your native Canada when…
|Much of your work engages with the political situation in
|your native USA, has spending two years in Scotland changed
|your perspective at all?
|How did you first hear jazz in your native Germany?
|The EDM explosion has seen you gigging across the globe, but
|how do you rate the scene in your native France at the moment?
|Your family took refuge from the war in your native England
|in 1986, where you eventually got ...
|Tell us about your native China.
|You're better known in Britain than your native America, does
|that bother you?
. So, "native" can be short for "native country". Did I guess
Not exactly. You can't use it by itself in this sense (*I'm revisiting
Others have pointed out that the word as used in your examples has
exactly the sense described in dictionaries, e.g.
OED native, adj. 9a. Of a country, region, etc.: that is the place of a
person's birth and early life; that is the place of origin of a plant or
However, if you look at the OED's examples (from Late Middle English
on), the word modified by "native" is a common noun: land, ground,
country, region, home, kingdom, place, realm, county.
What your examples show is a slightly different construction, where the
modified noun is the _name_ of a place, and "native" is always preceded
by a possessive. So "X's native Y" means "Y, where X was born".
OED does not seem to recognize this as the same (or a separate)
construction. I did a search (within the OED corpus) for "native + Place
Name", with a whole lot of cities, counties, nations, continents and got
about a dozen, mostly post-1950, but with a few earlier:
1875 G. MacDonald Malcolm I. p. viii Some of the rougher women
despised the sweet outlandish speech she had brought with her from her
native England, and accused her of mim-mou'dness.
1889 Outing Feb. 452/1 By decree of the inexorable res angusta domi,
I left my native England in the last days of the year of grace 1886, for
1911 Catholic Encycl. X. 162/1 The emperor banished Meletius to his
native Armenia... This exile was the immediate cause of a long and
deplorable schism between the Catholics of Antioch, henceforth divided
into Meletians and Eustathians.