Sunbird (jediwitch) wrote in thequestionclub,

I have a question that stems from a question asked by a kid at the school where I work.

We were talking about languages, and I told him about how languages like French and English and Spanish all sort of grew out of Latin melding with the indigenous languages of the regions (I know that's a very simplified explanation, but the kid is only seven, even if he is pretty bright for his age). He thought that was really cool, but then he asked me if the reason Latinos are called Latinos was because they spoke Spanish, a Latin based language, and if so, shouldn't French people be called Latino too?

I started to explain, but then realized I didn't really know why Latinos were called Latinos, or for that matter, why Latin America is called Latin America, and if it had anything to do with the ancient language of Latin at all. Does that make sense? I feel like it's worded weirdly.

I told him I didn't know, but promised him I would find out.

I've been goggling for a while but can't find anything that isn't so over my head I can't even tell if it has anything to do with my question.

TL:DR version: Why are Latinos called Latinos? Why is Latin America called Latin America? Does it have anything to do with the ancient language of Latin? I feel like this is a dumb question, but I did promise to find out.
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