Scripts ລາວ, ເມືອງລາວ (Lao)
Pronounced Pron. LAOS (English)
Other Forms FormsLāo
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Contributor Contrib.anonymous on 4/23/2017
From a word coined by the French when they united the three kingdoms of Laos into the French Indochina, a group of federal colonial territories in Southeast Asia. They pluralized the word ລາວ (Lāo), which refers to the dominant ethnic group the region. The word Lao itself is of uncertain etymology, though it may be related to the Ai Lao, a group of related tribes that appear in Han-period records in CHINA and VIETNAM. Alternatively, it could be a monosyllabization of the Austroasiatic word *k.raw meaning "human being". The Lao People's Democratic Republic is a Southeast Asian nation.