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Which is correct, Nueva México or Nuevo México? I have seen and heard both.
You're right, both of those names seem to be in fairly common use, and you can make a good case for either one. However, as explained in the article on the name for New Mexico, the masculine form is the one I'd use.


April 22, 2009 at 3:20 pm
(1) Zelda says:

Vivo aqui en Nuevo Mexico. Hay muchas palabras y nombres mexicanos aqui y muchas veces son escritos por nortenos que no hablan espanol y por eso hacen errores. Nuevo Mexico es correcto.

April 24, 2009 at 11:55 am
(2) Alma Barozzi says:

I read this article with a lot of interest, but I didn’t see any reference to the gender of the noun modified by the word ‘new’. Since Spanish assigns gender to articles based on the gender of the understood noun, as in “Son las (horas)dos”, “el (dia) seis de mayo”, it would seem logical to assume that the same would happen with the adjective ‘nuevo/nueva’. Therefore, shouldn’t the following make sense?
- (el estado de) Nuevo Mexico/Nuevo Hampshire
- (la ciudad de) Nueva York/Nueva Orleans/Nueva Londres

So perhaps the city of NY should be Nueva York and the state Nuevo York; Jersey City might be Nueva Jersey and the state Nuevo Jersey. But that would be too complicated. We humans like to simplify things. As much as we may wish to always rely on grammar rules that would prescribe correct usage, it doesn’t work that way. Real usage, as defined by native intuition and native language production, doesn’t always appear logical, but is usually the result of natural changes that can be described by underlying rules. So perhaps, through the use of overgeneralization (sobre o hipergenralizacion), Nueva York was extended from the city to the state, and then Nueva to the neighboring state of New Jersey.

Just a thought!

April 28, 2009 at 1:17 pm
(3) eddie says:

that doesn’t work, because the adj nuevo/a isn’t modifying “the city/state of.” its the modifier of (and thus should agree with) york, or jersey, or mexico. think of the similarly constructed phrase “una copa de jugo fresco.” fresco agrees with jugo, not copa.

and one last thing, jersey city would not translate to nueva jersy. jersey city is not called new jersey city.

January 1, 2011 at 12:29 am
(4) santiago says:

Nueva Mejico is the original name, it was called like that because the Spaniards believed, that there were seven cities as rich as mexico-tenochtitlan, tha was the mean reason for the Vazquez de Corononado, travel.

May 14, 2011 at 10:09 pm
(5) Stephen, aka Esteban says:

Santiago’s comment sheds a wonderful light here. Even today one hears people in some other area of México use the name in some way (“Voy a México”, for example) that clearly indicates they’re speaking specifically of the capital city, not the entire country. And since “ciudad” is a feminine gender substantive, there you have it!

April 25, 2012 at 10:54 am
(6) Ely says:

You’re confusing yourself. BNuevo México is Nuevo México now because it was in its moment “el nuevo estadO de México”, that is “the new state of México” or the second Mexico.

In its moment, it was “Nueva México” becasue it was “la Nueva tierrA de México”, that is, anotehr land that was also named after Mexico.

Sin estado is masculine (and it’s referred to as an state because it was taken by the US) it should always be NuevO México.

Unlike New Mexico, New Jersey and New Orleans carry different connotations. New Jersey was always part of the Staes, so it’s simply a land named after the island of Jersey, so “La NuevA [tierra de] Jersey; and New Orleans is named after a City, so “la ciudad” so is femenine.

It makes perfect sense if you think about it.

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