Before entering fully into the definition of the coterráneo term, it is necessary to know its etymological origin. In this case, we can state that it is a word that derives from Latin, exactly from “coterraneus” which means “person of the same nationality”. It is a Latin word that is made up of the sum of several components:
-The prefix “co-“, which can be translated as “together”.
-The noun “terra”, which is synonymous with “earth”.
-The suffix “-aneo”, which is used to indicate “belonging” or “relationship”.
According to abbreviationfinder.org, coterráneo, or conterráneo, is an adjective that is used to qualify someone who is a native or native of the same place as another individual. Two people born in the same town, therefore, are fellow countrymen.
For example: “Roger Federer defeated his countryman in three sets and qualified for the final of the tournament”, “The English singer, in his new album, pays tribute to his countryman who passed away last year”, “The German ambassador in Senegal he took the lead in the negotiations to free his countryman kidnapped by terrorists”.
The idea of countryman alludes to sharing the same land of origin. The term may be used of a country, a province, or a city, depending on the context. In this sense, it can be said that Diego Armando Maradona and Lionel Messi are compatriots since both were born in Argentina. However, from another point of view, Maradona and Messi are not compatriots since the first was born in the province of Buenos Aires and the second in Santa Fe.
In the case of the writers Lope de Vega and Tirso de Molina, on the other hand, they are fellow countrymen in terms of their hometown (Madrid) and their country (Spain). These authors share more than one point in common regarding their origin.
As a general rule, when a person is working outside their city, their region or their country, they place great value on running into fellow countrymen. And it is that this will make him feel closer to his place of origin and will allow him not to think that he is so far from it.
Precisely for this reason, it is very common to find associations or entities from one city or country to another. Thus, for example, many Spaniards emigrated to Germany decades ago and have created their lives there. However, as they continue to miss their homeland, they have shaped groups such as the Casa de España in Berlin. These are groups made up of Spaniards who reside in that city and who meet to talk about their country, to celebrate its own festivities, to enjoy the gastronomy and culture of the land where they were born…
Based on all the above, we can determine that coterráneo is a term synonymous with others such as countryman, fellow citizen or even compatriot. On the contrary, they are antonyms of this word both different and unequal, neighbor or even diverse.
When two subjects are compatriots, they usually have many cultural ties in common. In general, two countrymen speak the same language, although there may be exceptions. If they grew up in the same city of origin, it is likely that they also received a similar education, learning about the same historical events, to name one case.