Which Word Wednesday: Afghan vs. Afghani

By August 22, 2012 culture, language No Comments

When I read a good book, I tend to talk about it a lot for the week or two I’m immersed in it. A recent read that took over my conversation is written by Kate McCord, In the Land of Blue Burqas. McCord shares how she lived in Afghanistan for five years and was able to share Kingdom truths with the women who live there. It’s a top read of 2012 for me—so I’ve selected it as the next read for my women’s book club (let me know if you want to come!).

In all my talking, I’ve stumbled over the proper word for the people of Afghanistan. Are they Afghans? Afghanis? Hence, another Which Word Wednesday quandary for us to tackle. Here’s what I found from the definitions in The Oxford American Dictionary:

Afghan :: noun
a native or inhabitant of Afghanistan, or a person of Afghan descent

afghani :: noun
the basic monetary unit of Afghanistan, equal to 100 puls

Not much to debate here, huh? The people are Afghans, the money is afghani. One language site I visit regularly gave this memory hook: “Afghans spend afghanis.”

What’s my WWW verdict? The more I read, the more I know what I don’t know.

What’s your verdict? Did you know the difference between Afghans and afghanis? What have you learned from your most recent read? Do share in the comments.


Check out previous Which Word Wednesday verdicts here.

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