The Basques (Basque: euskaldunak, Spanish: vascos, French: basques) as an ethnic group, primarily inhabit an area traditionally known as the Basque Country (Basque: Euskal Herria), a region that is located around the western end of the Pyrenees on the coast of the Bay of Biscay and straddles parts of north-central Spain and south-western France. The Basques are known in the local languages as: The English word Basque comes from French Basque (pronounced /bask/), which itself comes from Gascon Basco (pronounced /_basku/) and Spanish Vasco (pronounced /_basko/). These, in turn, come from Latin Vasco (pronounced /wasko/), plural Vascones (see History section below). The Latin labial-velar approximant /w/ generally evolved into the bilabials /b/ and /b_/ in Gascon and Spanish, probably under the influence of Basque and Aquitanian, a language related to old Basque and spoken in Gascony in Antiquity (similarly the Latin /w/ evolved into /v/ in French, Italian and other languages).
Contributions by Jmabel, Error, and Briaboru.