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 Definition A name that refers to an ethnic group, which may originate from within the group to which it refers (endonyms) or from an external source (exonyms). [d] [e]

Clarifications, expansions and corrections would be much appreciated. Citations and references would also be very welcome.Joe Quick

I came back to this page today to add some internal links but I really have no idea where to start. I encourage anyone with a better sense for this to have at it. :) (And thank you to Nat Krause for the clarification.) Joe Quick | Talk 16:53, 18 February 2007 (CST)

Okay, I think I've got this one close to where I want it but I need help now. Check out the list of needs below and feel free to add your own -- Joe Quick | Talk 12:54, 24 February 2007 (CST)


  • This article is heavily skewed toward Native American and European examples because those are what I (Joe Quick | Talk) know best. I think this is probably fine, but variety couldn't hurt either.
Presumably, many (most? all?) endonyms have a kind of self-centered or auto-perspective meaning. One example I learned a long time ago is that the Chinese name for China (I'm not certain exactly what that is in some specific Chinese dialect or language) means roughly "Middle Kingdom". That's perhaps very typical since when most ethnic group names came about, travel was mostly by walking, or in some cases by horseback, limiting most people's scope of how big the world was. Many people in China thousands of years ago may well have traveled outside of China, but usually not too far. So it would certainly seem to them that China was situated right in the middle.
Perhaps an overlooked endonym is the name Earth. We just don't have an outside point of view to see it as that. If aliens were to meet us, they might poke fun at us for naming our world after dirt. But it shows why so many endonyms have basic and generic meanings.
I don't suppose we want to use WP's big lists of example endonyms and exonyms. Phil Howard 19:48, 24 February 2007 (CST)
Good examples, but I think they might belong in an article titled toponym. The two terms are very closely related, (and my next edit will be to add toponym under "see also") but they are not quite the same.
On the issue of WP's big list, I vote no. I think it adds very little to the subject. I would much prefer to find clever ways to include a few more examples in the text, if you think we need them. --Joe Quick | Talk 03:10, 25 February 2007 (CST)
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