Thread: Laos
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Old 25-02-2017, 08:03 PM   #15 (permalink)
CaptainNemo
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Did you know that the word "Laos" comes simply from English speakers writing the plural of Lao on a map... as in "there are Laos/Lao people here".
The name "Laoland" makes more sense.
Actually, the term LAOS is a modern French derivative
...it's not French, it's English... 1 Lao, 2 Laos...

The Siamese used the English term to describe the peoples under their suzerainty in their treaties with the French, who adopted it, thinking it was a local name... then it gets passed back into English as an exotic name... but it really isn't that exotic... it's just a plural.
I think the French did originally call the country "Laos" but the s was silent so it was pronounced "Lao" in French. I lived in Laos for a decade and this is always the explanation I was given over the name.
I know, but it's the wrong explanation. There is no such "silent s" in French... it's not a French word... it's a word brought into French from English via the "Siamese". Yes the French called it "Laos", but they didn't invent the word.
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