Friday, September 05, 2003


It's official: the word for "what local people call a geographic feature" is endonym. A word that non-local people use is an exonym. Here's a glossary of toponymic terminology compiled by the United Nations. Apparently there's a whole UN agency that worries about endonyms and exonyms (and, by the way, they encourage the standard use of endonyms).

And by the way, here's a map that kicks my map's ass. You can use the pulldown menu on the left to get names in a bunch of different languages (but be patient); "International" uses endonyms (in their native script).