One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
An original or indigenous inhabitant of a place; an aborigine.
inhabitant, resident, localView synonyms
- ‘Here then is the European depicted as autochthon, born out of the mud of Patusan.’
- ‘By demonstrating their ability to survive and navigate in the Canadian environment, the snowshoers justified their claim to be a new type of autochthon.’
- ‘Environmentalists tended to characterise Aboriginal Australians as icons of true belonging, role models, holders of superior spiritual knowledge, the real autochthons.’
Late 16th century: from Greek, literally ‘sprung from the earth’, from autos ‘self’ + khthōn ‘earth, soil’.
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