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.

Etymology

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'.