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The city of New York is often called Novum Eboracum in Latin. Let us ignore other options for the purpose of this question; I just want to understand city names with two or more words through an example.

Many city names have associated adjectives: Roma > Romanus, Carthago > Carthaginiensis, and so on. What would the adjective for New York, Novum Eboracum, be? I want New York to be distinct from York, Eboracum, if at all possible, so a plain Eboracensis is not great if there are options.

The adjective can probably be used as a demonym (a noun for "a person living in New York") or a general adjective (for expressing one's love of New York style pizza). With cities this is often the case in my experience.

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The Catholic Church seems to use (say, Archiepiscopus) Neo-Eboracensis very consistently. See, for example: here for 'FRANCISCUS titulo Ss. Ioannis et Pauli Presbyter Cardinalis SPELLMAN, Archiepiscopus Neo-Eboracensis.'

As they use Latin as an official language, that's probably the most official you ever get!

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  • 2
    Welcome to the site! This is a great first answer!
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    May 19 at 17:27
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    Isn’t neo- derived from Greek? Seems a strange choice...
    – KRyan
    May 20 at 19:45
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    @KRyan It is Greek, but Greek uses compound words (or prefixes like neo-) much more freely than Latin. Therefore a Greek version makes connecting the two words into one more natural. A somewhat similar city name familiar to the Romans is Neapolis, "new city".
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    May 20 at 19:58
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    @JoonasIlmavirta Nice, good to know.
    – KRyan
    May 20 at 20:13
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Just a few days ago I was looking up the scientific name of the Northern Waterthrush: the Parkesia noveboracensis.

The name occurs in several other names. However, I haven't found an example of it being used in actual Latin text, so an attested form (like the above Neo-eboracensis) is probably preferable.

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  • Scientists have a lot f freedom to name species, so I’ve seen both noveboracensis and novaeboracensis.
    – Davislor
    May 19 at 18:37
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    @Davislor novaeboracensis is most certainly ill-formed - the stem-final short /a/ is deleted in compounds without exception, and the result spells an entirely different sound, namely the dipthong /ae/, from a city of *Novum Aeboracum. May 20 at 7:11
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    @Unbrutal_Russian Nevertheless, that is the name of the species.
    – Davislor
    May 20 at 17:51
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    @Davislor I suspect that the "freedom" you mentioned in your first comment explains the name better than any standard of correctness--especially since that is a rare variant.
    – brianpck
    May 21 at 14:35
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    @brianpck Are you insinuating that Ytu brutus. Aha ha, Pieza kake, Ba humbugi, Heerz lukenatcha and Pison eu are not correct Latin?
    – Davislor
    May 21 at 15:22
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How about Novieboracensis or Noviboracensis? I have no idea how bipartite city names are handled classically, though.

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    I feel like the initial vowel of Eboracensis would take precedence over the final vowel of novum, giving Noveboracensis, but I don't have any examples to base that instinct on.
    – dbmag9
    May 19 at 7:58
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The ancient city of Comum (modern Como) was destroyed and re-built, at which point it was often called Novum Comum or Novocomum for short. The adjective Novocomensis is attested.

If I wanted to use Comum as my pattern, I would take a cue from the elision of noun endings in Latin poetry (not to mention from dbmag9 above) and shorten Novum Eboracum to Noveboracum, and use the adjective Noveboracensis.

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    Novocomensis is a great find!
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    May 27 at 20:18
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    I think this is the best answer.
    – Cerberus
    Aug 30 at 17:59
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I suspect the normal way to use awkward names of cities attributively is by simply using the genitive, so Novi Eboraci. Trying to force things into single words is usually not very Latin, despite various exceptions. There is rarely a real need for an adjective: they are usually mere conveniences.

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  • Excellent point! The adjective novum is particularly prefixable, but that will certainly not be the case with all adjectives that can come as parts of geographic names. The genitive is an easy and safe bet.
    – Joonas Ilmavirta
    Aug 30 at 18:04

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