Exonym and endonym

An exonym or xenonym is an external name for a geographical place, a group of people, an individual person, or a language or dialect. It is a common name used only outside the place, group, or linguistic community in question. An endonym or autonym is an internal name for a geographical place, a group of people, or a language or dialect. It is a common name used only inside the place, group, or linguistic community in question; it is their name for themselves, their homeland, or their language.

For instance, Germany is the English language exonym, Allemagne is the French language exonym, and Deutschland is the endonym for the same country in Europe.

Marcel Aurousseau, an Australian geographer, first used the term exonym in his work The Rendering of Geographical Names (1957).[1] The term endonym was devised subsequently as an antonym for the term exonym.


All four of the terms (exonym, endonym, autonym and xenonym) are from the Greek root word ónoma (ὄνομα), 'name'. The prefixes are from the Greek éndon (ἔνδον), 'within'; autós (αὐτός), 'self'; éxō (ἔξω), 'out'; and xénos (ξένος), 'foreign'.


Exonyms and endonyms can be names of places (toponym), ethnic groups (ethnonym), languages (glossonym), or individuals (personal name).[2]

As pertains to geographical features, the United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names defines:

  • Endonym: Name of a geographical feature in an official or well-established language occurring in that area where the feature is located.
  • Exonym: Name used in a specific language for a geographical feature situated outside the area where that language is spoken, and differing in its form from the name used in an official or well-established language of that area where the geographical feature is located.[3]

For example, India, China, Egypt, and Germany are the English-language exonyms corresponding to the endonyms Bharat, 中国 (Zhōngguó), مَصر (Masr), and Deutschland, respectively. Chinese, Persian, Turkish, Arabic, and German are exonyms in English for the languages that are endonymously known as "中文" ("Zhōngwén"), "فارسی" ("Fārsi"), "Türkçe", "العَرَبِيَّة" ("al-Arabiyah"), and "Deutsch", respectively.

Exonyms may derive from different roots, as in the case of Germany for Deutschland, or they may be cognate words which have diverged in pronunciation or orthography, or they may be fully or partially translated (a calque) from the native language. For example, London (originally Latin Londinium) is known by the cognate exonyms Londres in Catalan, Filipino, French, Galician, Portuguese, and Spanish; Londino (Λονδίνο) in Greek; Londen in Dutch; Londra in Italian, Maltese, Romanian, Sardinian and Turkish; Londër in Albanian; Londýn in Czech and Slovak; Londyn in Polish; Lundúnir in Icelandic; Lontoo in Finnish. An example of a translated exonym is the French name Pays-Bas for the Netherlands, Nederland in Dutch, all of which mean "Low Countries".

Exonyms can also be divided into native and borrowed, i.e. from a third language. For example, Slovene uses the native exonyms Dunaj (Vienna) and Benetke (Venice), and the borrowed exonyms Kijev (Kiev) and Vilna (Vilnius), from Russian. A substantial proportion of English exonyms for places in continental Europe are borrowed (or adapted) from French; for example: Navarre (Spanish: Navarra/Nafarroa), Belgrade (Serbian: Beograd), Cologne (German: Köln), Munich (German: München), Prague (Czech: Praha), Rome (Italian: Roma), Naples (Italian: Napoli), and Florence (Italian: Firenze).

Tendencies in the development of exonyms

According to James A. Matisoff, who introduced the term "autonym" into linguistics, "Human nature being what it is, exonyms are liable to be pejorative rather than complimentary, especially where there is a real or fancied difference in cultural level between the ingroup and the outgroup." For example, Matisoff notes Khang "an opprobrious term indicating mixed race or parentage" is the Palaung name for Jingpo people and the Jingpo name for Chin people; both the Jingpo and Burmese use the Chinese word yeren 野人 (literally "wild men") "savage; rustic people" as the name for Lisu people.[4]

Exonyms develop for places of significance for speakers of the language of the exonym. Consequently, many European capitals have English exonyms, e.g. Athens (Αθήνα/Athína), Belgrade (Београд/Beograd), Bucharest (Romanian: București), Brussels (Bruxelles, Brussel), Copenhagen (Danish: København), Lisbon (Portuguese: Lisboa), Moscow (Russian: Москва/Moskva), Prague (Praha), Rome (Roma), Vienna (Austrian German: Wien), and Warsaw (Polish: Warszawa), while for instance historically less prominent capitals Ljubljana and Zagreb do not (but do have exonyms in languages spoken nearby e.g. German: Laibach and Agram, though "Agram" is old fashioned and not used any more). Madrid, Berlin, Oslo, and Amsterdam, with identical names in most major European languages, are exceptions. Some European capitals might be considered partial exceptions in that whilst the spelling is the same across languages, the pronunciation can differ; thus Paris in English sees the 's' vocalised, whilst in Swedish Stockholm is pronounced with a more emphasised glottal stop which is missing in English. For places considered to be of lesser significance, attempts to reproduce local names have been made in English since the time of the Crusades. Livorno, to take an instance, was Leghorn because it was an Italian port essential to English merchants and, by the 18th century, to the British Navy; not far away, Rapallo, a minor port on the same sea, never received an exonym.

In earlier times, the name of the first tribe or village encountered became the exonym for the whole people beyond. Thus the Romans used the tribal names Graecus (Greek) and Germanus, the Russians used the village name of Chechen, medieval Europeans took the tribal name Tatar as emblematic for the whole Mongolic confederation (and then confused it with Tartarus, a word for Hell, to produce Tartar), and the Magyar invaders were equated with the 500-years-earlier Hunnish invaders in the same territory, and were called Hungarians.

The Germanic invaders of the Roman Empire applied the word "Walha" to foreigners they encountered and this evolved in West Germanic languages as a generic name for all non-Germanic speakers; thence, the names Wallachia, Vlachs, Wallonia, Walloons, Cornwall, Wales, Wallasey, Welche in Alsace-Lorraine, and even the Polish name for Italy, Włochy.


During the late 20th century the use of exonyms often became controversial. Groups often prefer that outsiders avoid exonyms where they have come to be used in a pejorative way: for example, Romani people often prefer that term to exonyms such as Gypsy (from Egypt), and the French term bohémien, bohème (from Bohemia). People may also avoid exonyms for reasons of historical sensitivity, as in the case of German names for Polish and Czech places that at one time had been ethnically or politically German (e.g. Danzig/Gdańsk and Karlsbad/Karlovy Vary), and Russian names for locations once under Russian control (e.g. Kiev/Kyiv).

In recent years, geographers have sought to reduce the use of exonyms to avoid this kind of problem. For example, it is now common for Spanish speakers to refer to the Turkish capital as Ankara rather than use the Spanish exonym Angora. According to the United Nations Statistics Division, "Time has, however, shown that initial ambitious attempts to rapidly decrease the number of exonyms were over-optimistic and not possible to realise in the intended way. The reason would appear to be that many exonyms have become common words in a language and can be seen as part of the language’s cultural heritage."

In some situations the use of exonyms can be preferred. For instance, for multilingual cities such as Brussels, which is known for its linguistic tensions between Dutch- and French-speakers, a neutral name may be preferred so as to not offend anyone. Thus an exonym such as Brussels in English could be used instead of favoring either one of the local names (Brussel in Dutch/Flemish and Bruxelles in French).

Other difficulties with endonyms have to do with pronunciation, spelling and word category. The endonym may include sounds and spellings that are highly unfamiliar to speakers of other languages, making appropriate usage difficult if not impossible for an outsider. Over the years, the endonym may have undergone phonetic changes, either in the original language or the borrowing language, thus changing an endonym into an exonym, as in the case of Paris, where the s was formerly pronounced in French. Another example is the endonym for the German city of Cologne, where the Latin original of Colonia has evolved into Köln in German, while the Italian and Spanish exonym Colonia closely reflects the Latin original. In some cases no standardized spelling is available either because the language itself is unwritten (even unanalyzed) or because there are competing non-standard spellings. Use of a misspelled endonym is perhaps more problematic than the respectful use of an existing exonym. Finally, an endonym may be a plural noun and may not naturally extend itself to adjectival usage in another language, like English, which has a propensity to use the adjectives for describing culture and language. The attempt to use the endonym thus has a bizarre-sounding result. (example?)

The names for a country and a people are often different terms, which is a complication for an outsider, with a noticeable example being people from the Netherlands being called the Dutch by native English speakers.

As modern technology removes many of the barriers between peoples, it is increasingly becoming the case that younger people may be more familiar with an endonym than with its official exonym. For example, many Italian cities are now more famous for their football teams and Torino and Napoli are becoming more common than Turin and Naples.

Sometimes the government of a country tries to endorse the use of an endonym instead of traditional exonyms outside the country:

  • In 1782 King Yotfa Chulalok of Siam moved the government seat from Thonburi Province to Phra Nakhon Province. In 1972 the Thai government merged Thonburi and Phra Nakhon, forming the new capital, Krungthep Mahanakhon. However, outside of Thailand, the capital retained the old name and is still called Bangkok.
  • In 1935 Reza Shah requested that foreign nations use the name Iran rather than Persia in official correspondence. The name of the country had internally been Iran since the time of the Sassanid Empire (224–651), whereas the name Persia is descended from Greek Persis (Περσίς), referring to a single province which is officially known as Fars Province.
  • In 1949 the government of Siam changed the name to Thailand, although the former name's adjective in English (Siamese) was retained as the name for the fish, cat and conjoined twins.
  • In 1972 the government of Ceylon (the word is the anglicized form of Portuguese Ceilão) changed the name to Sri Lanka, although the name Ceylon was retained as the name for that type of tea.
  • In 1985 the government of Côte d'Ivoire requested that the country's French name be used in all languages instead of exonyms such as Ivory Coast, so that Côte d'Ivoire is now the official English name of that country in the United Nations and the International Olympic Committee (see Name of Côte d'Ivoire). In most non-Francophone countries, however, the French version has not entered common parlance.
  • In 1989 the government of Burma requested that the English name of the country be Myanmar, with Myanma as the adjective of the country and Bamar as the name of the inhabitants (see Names of Burma).
  • The Government of India officially changed the English name of Bombay to Mumbai in November 1995.
  • The Ukrainian government maintains that the capital of Ukraine should be spelled Kyiv in English because the traditional English exonym Kiev was derived from the Russian name Kiyev (Киев) (see Name of "Kiev").
  • The Belarusian government argues that the endonym Belarus should be used in all languages. The result has been rather successful in English, where the former exonym Byelorussia/Belorussia, still used with reference to the Soviet Republic, has virtually died out; in other languages exonyms like Danish Hviderusland, Dutch Wit-Rusland, Estonian Valgevene, Faroese Hvítarussland, Finnish Valko-Venäjä, German Weißrussland, Greek Lefkorosía (Λευκορωσία), Hungarian Fehéroroszország, Icelandic Hvíta-Rússland, Swedish Vitryssland, Turkish Beyaz Rusya, Chinese 白俄罗斯 (all literally 'White Russia'), or French Biélorussie, Italian Bielorussia, Portuguese Bielorrússia, and Spanish Bielorrusia are still much more common than Belarus.
  • In 2006 the South Korean national government officially changed the Chinese name of its capital, Seoul, from the exonym Hancheng (漢城/汉城) to Shou'er (首爾/首尔). This use has now been made official within the People's Republic of China.

Following the declaration in 1979 of Hanyu Pinyin spelling as the standard romanisation of Chinese, many Chinese endonyms have successfully replaced English exonyms, especially city and most province names in mainland China, e.g. Beijing (北京 Běijīng), Guangdong (广东 Guǎngdōng) (province), Qingdao (青岛 Qīngdǎo), although older English exonyms are sometimes used in certain contexts – e.g. Peking (duck, opera, etc.), Canton, etc. (In some cases the traditional English exonym is based on a local Chinese dialect instead of Mandarin, in the case of Xiamen, where the name Amoy is closer to the Hokkien pronunciation.) In the case of Beijing, the adoption of the exonym by media outlets quickly gave rise to a hyperforeignized pronunciation, with the result that many English speakers actualize the j in Beijing as [ʒ].[5]

Exonyms as pejoratives

Matisoff wrote, "A group's autonym is often egocentric, equating the name of the people with 'mankind in general,' or the name of the language with 'human speech'."[6] For example, various Native American autonyms are sometimes explained to English readers as having literal translations of "original people" or "normal people", with implicit contrast to other first nations as not original or not normal. Exonyms often describe others as "foreign-speaking", "non-speaking" or "nonsense-speaking". The classic example is the Slavic term for the Germans, Nemtsi, possibly deriving from a plural of nemy ("mute"): standard etymology has it that the Slavic peoples referred to their Germanic neighbors as "mutes" because their language was unintelligible. The term survives to this day in the Russian nemtsy (немцы), Bulgarian nemtsi (немци), Ukrainian nimtsi (німці), Polish Niemcy, Czech Němci, Slovak, Slovenian and Serbo-Croatian Nijemci/Nemci (Нијемци/Немци), Montenegrin Njemci (Њемци), as well as in the Hungarian Német and Romanian Nemţi (both adopted from the Slavic), and even in the Turkish Nemçe and Arabic al-Nimsa (النمسا). The Turkish was adapted from the Slavic, and the Arabic from the Turkish, the words in both cases referring specifically to Austria.

One of the more prominent theories regarding the origin of the term "Slav" suggests that it comes from the Slavic root slovo (hence "Slovenia," "Slovakia"), meaning "word" or "speech". In this context, the Slavs are describing Germanic people as "mutes"—in contrast to themselves, "the speaking ones".

Another example of such development is the exonym "Sioux", an abbreviated form of Nadouessioux, derived most likely from a Proto-Algonquian term, *-a·towe·, "foreign-speaking".

Two millennia earlier, the Greeks thought that all non-Greeks were uncultured and so called them "barbarians," which eventually gave rise to the exonym "Berber".

While the Irish and Scottish Gaelic words for England and its people are Sasana/Sasann and Sasanach/Sasannach ("Saxons"), the word for the English language is Béarla/Beurla, which derives ultimately from a word meaning "lips". In Old Irish, this word was applied to any foreign language, but by the medieval period it had come to be used exclusively for the English language.

Confusion with renaming

Exonyms and endonyms must not be confused with the results of geographical renaming as in the case of Saint Petersburg, which became Petrograd (Петроград) in 1914, Leningrad (Ленинград) in 1924, and Saint Petersburg (Санкт-Петербург Sankt-Peterbúrg) again in 1991. In this case, although St Petersburg has a German etymology, it was never a German exonym for the city between 1914 and 1991, just as Nieuw Amsterdam, the Dutch name of New York City until 1664, is not its Dutch exonym.

Old place names that have become outdated after renaming may afterwards still be used as historicisms. For example, even today one would talk about the Siege of Leningrad, not the Siege of St. Petersburg, because at that time (1941–1944) the city was called Leningrad. Likewise, one would say that Immanuel Kant was born in Königsberg in 1724, not in Kaliningrad (Калининград), as it has been called since 1946.

Although the pronunciation for several names of Chinese cities such as Beijing and Nanjing has not changed for quite some while in Mandarin Chinese, they were called Peking and Nanking in English due to the confusion brought about by the older Chinese postal romanization convention, which was used for transcribing Chinese place names before Pinyin became the official romanization method for Mandarin in the 1970s. Nonetheless, many older English speakers still refer to the cities by their older English names and even today they are often used in naming things associated with the cities like Peking opera, Peking duck, and Peking University to give them a more antiquated or more elegant feel. Like for Saint Petersburg, the historical event called the Nanking Massacre (1937) uses the city's older name because that was the name of the city at the time of occurrence. Likewise, many Korean cities like Busan and Incheon (formerly Pusan and Inchǒn respectively) also underwent changes in spelling due to changes in romanization, even though the Korean pronunciations have largely stayed the same.

Sometimes, however, historical names are deliberately not used because of nationalist tendencies to linguistically lay claim to a city's past. As a case in point, the Slovak Wikipedia article on the 1805 Peace of Pressburg does not use any of the city's names then in use (the Hungarian Pozsony, the Slovak Prešporok or the German Pressburg), but today's name Bratislava, which became the city's name in 1919.

The name Madras, now Chennai, may be a special case. When the city was first settled by Englishmen, in the early 17th century, both names were in use. Possibly they referred to different villages which were fused into the new settlement. In any case, Madras became the exonym, while more recently, Chennai became the endonym.

Likewise, Istanbul (İstanbul in Turkish) is still called Constantinople (Κωνσταντινούπολη) in Greek, although the name was changed in Turkish to disassociate the city from its Greek past between 1923 and 1930 (the name Istanbul itself derives from a Medieval Greek phrase[7]). Prior to Constantinople, the city was known in Greek as Byzantion (Greek: Βυζάντιον, Latin: Byzantium), named after its mythical founder, Byzas.

Lists of exonyms

Other lists



  1. ^ Marcel Aurousseau, 1957, The Rendering of Geographical Names, London, Hutchinson, pp. 2–3, and; Kelsey B. Harder, 1996, "The term", in: Ernst Eichler & Walter de Gruyter (eds), Namenforschung/Name Studies/Les noms propres. 2. Halbband+Registerband, Berlin, Walter de Gruyter, p. 1012.
  2. ^ "The names of monarchs, popes, and non-contemporary authors as well as place-names are commonly translated. Foreign names for geographic proper names are called exonyms. Fourment-Berni Canani (1994) discusses the (im)possibility of translating proper names. He gives the examples of the place-names Venice and London. The Italian city Venezia has been renamed Venice in English and Venise in French. A city in the American state California is also called Venice, but this name is not changed into Venezia in Italian and Venise in French. Similarly, the English city London has been renamed Londres in French and Londra in Italian. However, the Canadian city called London is not translated into French and Italian in this way. Thus, as Fourment-Berni Canani concludes, a place-name can be translated if the place, as a unique referent, has already been renamed in the target language." Loulou Edelman (2009). What's in a name? Classification of proper names by language. In E. Shohamy & D. Gorter (Eds.), Linguistic landscape: expanding the scenery (pp. 141–153). London: Routledge. Goh, CL (2009).
  3. ^ Working Group on Exonyms, United Nations Group of Experts on Geographical Names (UNGEGN).
  4. ^ Matisoff, James A. (1986). "The languages and dialects of Tibeto-Burman: an alphabetic/genetic listing, with some prefatory remarks on ethnonymic and glossonymic complications." In John McCoy and Timothy Light, eds., Contributions to Sino-Tibetan Studies, presented to Nicholas C. Bodman, p 6. E.J. Brill.
  5. ^ The Reality of Linguistic Rules, eds. Susan D. Lima, Roberta Corrigan, Gregory K. Iverson, 1994, p. 80
  6. ^ Matisoff (1986), p. 5.
  7. ^ "The Names of Istanbul". Dünden bugüne İstanbul ansiklopedisi. 5. Ciltli. 1994.


  • Jordan, Peter / Bergmann, Hubert / Burgess, Caroline / Cheetham, Catherine (eds.): Trends in Exonym Use. Proceedings of the 10th UNGEGN Working Group on Exonyms Meeting, Tainach, 28–30 April 2010. Hamburg 2011 (= Name & Place 1).
  • Jordan, Peter / Orožen Adamič, Milan / Woodman, Paul (eds.): Exonyms and the International Standardisation of Geographical Names. Approaches towards the Resolution of an Apparent Contradiction. Wien, Berlin 2007 ( = Wiener Osteuropastudien 24).

External links


Autonym may refer to:

Autonym, the name used by a person to refer to themselves or their language; see Exonym and endonym

Autonym (botany), an automatically created infrageneric or infraspecific name


A demonym (; from Greek δῆμος, dêmos, "people, tribe" and όνομα, ónoma, "name") is a word that identifies residents or natives of a particular place, which is derived from the name of that particular place.Examples of demonyms include Cochabambino, for a person from the city of Cochabamba; American for a person from the country called the United States of America; and Swahili, for a person of the Swahili coast.

Demonyms do not always clearly distinguish place of origin or ethnicity from place of residence or citizenship, and many demonyms overlap with the ethnonym for the ethnically dominant group of a region. Thus a Thai may be any resident or citizen of Thailand of any ethnic group, or more narrowly a member of the Thai people.

Conversely, some groups of people may be associated with multiple demonyms. For example, a native of the United Kingdom may be called a British person, a Briton or, informally, a Brit. In some languages, a demonym may be borrowed from another language as a nickname or descriptive adjective for a group of people: for example, "Québécois(e)" is commonly used in English for a native of Quebec (though "Quebecker" is also available).

In English, demonyms are capitalized and are often the same as the adjectival form of the place, e.g. Egyptian, Japanese, or Greek. Significant exceptions exist; for instance, the adjectival form of Spain is "Spanish", but the demonym is "Spaniard".

English commonly uses national demonyms such as "Ethiopian" or "Guatemalan", while the usage of local demonyms such as "Chicagoan", "Okie", or "Parisian", is rare. Many local demonyms are rarely used and many places, especially smaller towns and cities, lack a commonly used and accepted demonym altogether.

Geographical renaming

Geographical renaming is the changing of the name of a geographical feature or area. This can range from the change of a street name to a change to the name of a country. Some names are changed locally but the new names are not recognised by other countries, especially when there is a difference in language. Other names may not be officially recognised but remain in common use.

Many places have different names in different languages, and a change of language in official or general use has often resulted in what is arguably a change of name.

There are many reasons to undertake renaming, with political motivation being the primary cause; for example many places in the former Soviet Union and its satellites were renamed to honour Stalin. Sometimes a place reverts to its former name (see for example de-Stalinization). One of the most common reasons for a country changing its name is newly acquired independence. When borders are changed, sometimes due to a country splitting or two countries joining together, the names of the relevant areas can change. This, however, is more the creation of a different entity than an act of geographical renaming.

Other more unusual reasons for renaming have included:

To get rid of an inappropriate or embarrassing name

As part of a sponsorship deal or publicity stuntA change might see a completely different name being adopted or may only be a slight change in spelling.

In some cases established institutions preserve the old names of the renamed places in their names, such as the Pusan National University in Busan, South Korea; the Peking University in Beijing; Bombay Stock Exchange, IIT Bombay and the Bombay High Court in Mumbai; University of Madras, Madras Stock Exchange, the Madras High Court, and IIT Madras in Chennai; the University of Malaya, Keretapi Tanah Melayu, in Malaysia; and SWAPO (South West Africa People's Organization), the ruling party of Namibia.

Often the older name will persist in colloquial expressions. For example, the dish known in English as "Peking duck" retained that name even when the Chinese capital changed its transliteration to "Beijing".

German names for Central European towns

This article deals with the historic German language names of towns and cities in Central Europe.

Many place names in Central Europe, mostly in the former German Empire and Austria-Hungary, but now located in non-German-speaking countries, have traditionally had equivalents in the German language. Many of them have been used for centuries by the German presence in the area, while some others were simply German transliterations of local names or names invented in the 19th or 20th centuries.

The earlier was the case with towns inhabited by Germans since the early Middle Ages until the end of Second World War, for instance Breslau, Eger, Hermannstadt or Stettin. The latter was the case of, for instance, Polish towns annexed by Prussia or Austria after the Partitions of Poland, like Chodziesen, Jarotschin or Hohensalza or in annexed Bosnia and Herzegovina.In some cases, especially in Eastern Central Europe, towns or cities were inhabited by significant numbers of members of two or more ethnics groups, including Germans. As long as the places were part of Germany or Austria-Hungary, these German names were used invariably in German — and usually in English and most other languages too — while the local Slavic, Magyar, or Romanian inhabitants used their own names for the places in question.

After World War II, when the German population of this region was largely expelled, the German names gradually fell into disuse in German and other languages, especially for the minor towns. German names of major cities like Danzig, Königsberg or Breslau are still recognizable and frequently used in Germany (Danzig about half the time; Breslau somewhat less). In only a few cases, the use of the German name persists invariably, i.e. in the case of capital cities like Prague or Warsaw, which are almost exclusively referred to by their German names (Prag, Warschau), just as they have separate names in English and other languages.

Githabul language

Githabul, also known as Galibal, Dinggabal, and Condamine – Upper Clarence Bandjalang, is an Australian Aboriginal language spoken by the Githabul living in South Queensland and North-East New South Wales.

Kresh languages

Kresh is a small language group of South Sudan. It is generally considered to be a branch of the Central Sudanic languages. Boyeldieu (2010) judges that this has yet to be demonstrated satisfactorily, but Starostin (2016) finds convincing evidence, and that its closest relative within that family appears to be Birri.

Kresh is generally considered a dialect cluster, but it is dialectically diverse. Blench (2000 ms) lists five Kresh languages, four of which (Kresh, Gbaya, Woro, and Dongo) Ethnologue counts among seven dialects of Kresh/Gbaya (or eight, counting Aja). Kresh and Gbaya, however, are merely exonym and endonym, not coherent languages; they are equivalent to five varieties listed by Ethnologue. Ethnologue notes that the varieties are not mutually intelligible, but that Kresh-Ndogo (Gbaya-Ndogo) is universally understood as a prestige variety, and that Naka is also commonly understood as the most populous variety. Blench (2000) also includes Furu (Bagero) as a Kresh language, though Ethnologue classifies it as Kara.

In addition, Aja is spoken by ethnic Kresh, but though it remains Kresh grammatically, it has been relexified by the unrelated Banda languages (Santandrea 1976).

Linguistic purism

Linguistic purism or linguistic protectionism is the practice of defining or recognizing one variety of a language as being purer or of intrinsically higher quality than other varieties. Linguistic purism was institutionalized through language academies (of which the 1572 Accademia della Crusca set a model example in Europe), and their decisions often have the force of law. Purism is a form of linguistic prescriptivism.The perceived or actual decline identified by the purists may take the form of change of vocabulary, syncretism of grammatical elements, or loanwords. The unwanted similarity is often with a neighboring language whose speakers are culturally or politically dominant. The abstract ideal may invoke logic, clarity, or the grammar of "classic" languages. It is often presented as conservative, as a "protection" of a language from the "aggression" of other languages or of "conservation" of the national Volksgeist, but is often innovative in defining a new standard. It is sometimes part of governmental language policy which is enforced in various ways.

List of English exonyms for Arabic-speaking places

The list includes countries and territories, and their capitals or administrative centres, where at least one official language is Arabic. Standard Arabic (pausal) pronunciation was chosen.

List of English exonyms for German toponyms

This list is a compilation of German toponyms (i.e., names of cities, regions, rivers, mountains and other geographical features situated in a German-speaking area) that have traditional English-language exonyms.

Usage notes:

While in the case of regions, rivers and mountains, English exonyms are the definite choice (not least of all because the features they describe often cross language borders), some lesser-known city exonyms whose difference is merely orthographic and does not affect pronunciation (Cassel, Coblenz, Leipsic, Hanover, Mayence) have begun to retreat in favour of the endonymic forms. The media are divided about the use of the English exonyms Basle, Berne, and Zurich. (The Times Style guide encourages the continued use of Basle and Berne. [1]) Usage may also depend on context; the spelling Kleve could be used in a news story about an incident in that city, but the fourth wife of Henry VIII of England is always referred to in English as Anne of Cleves, never Anne of Kleve.

Exonyms that are used exclusively in historical and/or ecclesiastical contexts are marked accordingly (h/e).

The definite article is given where necessary. Often, the article is correct in only one of the two languages (Styria – die Steiermark).

List of English exonyms for Italian toponyms

This list of English exonyms for Italian toponyms is a compilation of Italian toponyms, names of cities, regions, rivers, mountains and other geographical features, in an Italian-speaking area (principally in Italy and Switzerland) which have traditional English exonyms.

The English exonyms are generally more common than the Italian names. Some lesser-known exonyms have begun to retreat in favour of the endonyms. These are marked below with asterisk.

List of alternative names for oceans

The world's oceans have different names in different languages. This article attempts to give all known different names for the five oceans.

List of names of European cities in different languages

Many cities in Europe have different names in different languages. Some cities have also undergone name changes for political or other reasons. This article attempts to give all known different names for all major cities that are geographically or historically and culturally in Europe. It also includes some smaller towns that are important because of their location or history.

This article does not offer any opinion about what the "original", "official", "real" or "correct" name of any city is or was. Cities are listed alphabetically by their current best-known name in English. The English version is followed by variants in other languages, in alphabetical order by name, and then by any historical variants and former names. Several cities have diacritics in their listed name in English. It is very common that the press strip the diacritics and that means a parallel diacritic-free version is very often used in English. Foreign names that are the same as their English equivalents may be listed.

Note: The blue asterisks generally indicate the availability of a Wikipedia article in that language for that city; it also provides additional reference for the equivalence. Red asterisks or a lack of an asterisk indicate that no such article exists, and that these equivalents without further footnotes should be viewed with caution.

Name of Georgia (country)

Georgia ( in BrE or (listen) in AmE) is the Western exonym for the nation in the Caucasus natively known as Sakartvelo ( Georgian: საქართველო, [sakʰartʰvɛlɔ] (listen)). The Russian exonym is Gruziya ( Russian: Грузия, IPA: [grʊzija] (listen)).

Both exonym and endonym for the country are derived from the same state-forming core region. The native name is derived from the core central Georgian region of Kartli i.e. Iberia of the Classical and Byzantine sources around which the early medieval cultural and political unity of the Georgians was formed.

External Western and Russian exonyms are likely derived from gurğān, the Persian designation of the Georgians, evolving from Middle Persian wurğān and Old Persian varkân () meaning "the land of the wolves". This is also reflected in Old Armenian virk' (վիրք), it being a source of Ancient Greek iviria (ιβηρία), that resulted in Latin hiberia (i.e. Iberia).

The full, official name of the country in English is "Georgia", as specified in the Georgian constitution which reads "Georgia shall be the name of the State of Georgia." Before the 1995 constitution came into force the country's name was the Republic of Georgia. The Georgian government works actively to remove Russian-derived exonym Gruziya from usage around the world.

Name of Poland

The ethnonyms for the Poles (people) and Poland (their country) include endonyms (the way Polish people refer to themselves and their country) and exonyms (the way other peoples refer to the Poles and their country). Endonyms and most exonyms for Poles and Poland are usually associated to derive from the name of the West Slavic tribe of Polans (Polanie), also stated by some sources has been the association in some languages for the exonyms for Poland to derive from the name of another tribe – the Lendians (Lędzianie).

Names of Seoul

Seoul has been known in the past by the successive names Wiryeseong (Hangul: 위례성; Hanja: 慰禮城, Baekje era), Namgyeong (남경; 南京, Goryeo era), Hanseong (한성; 漢城, Joseon era) or Hanyang (한양; 漢陽). During the period of Japanese occupation (1910–1945), Seoul was named to the Japanese Keijō (けいじょう or 京城) or Gyeongseong (경성; 京城) in Korean. Its current name is Seoul, and this name has been in use since at least 1882, at times concurrently with other names.


Negro (plural Negroes) is a dated term historically used to denote persons considered to be of Negroid heritage. The term can be construed as offensive, inoffensive, or completely neutral, largely depending on the region where it is used. It has various equivalents in other languages of Europe.

Northern Thai people

The Northern Thai people or Tai Yuan (ไทยวน, [taj˧ ɲuːən˧]), self-designation khon mu(e)ang (ฅนเมือง, [xon˧ mɯːəŋ˧], meaning "people of the (cultivated) land" or "people of our community") are the majority population of eight provinces in northern Thailand, principally in the area of the former kingdom of Lan Na. They belong to the group of Tai peoples and are closely related to Tai Lü and Tai Khün with regards to common culture, language and history. There are approximately 6 million Tai Yuan. Most of them live in Northern Thailand, with a small minority 29,442 (2005 census) living across the border in Bokeo Province and Sainyabuli Province of Laos. Their language is called Northern Thai, Lanna, or Kham Mueang.

Tappan tribe

The Tappan were a Lenape people who inhabited the region radiating from Hudson Palisades and New York – New Jersey Highlands in at the time of European colonialization in the 17th century.


Toponymy is the study of place names (toponyms), their origins, meanings, use, and typology.

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