toponymic query

Zitin, Abigail abigail.zitin at OUP.COM
Wed Nov 12 20:30:16 UTC 2003

I happened to come across the following in Charles Harrington Elster's
_Big Book of Beastly Mispronunciations_ this morning (s.v. Moscow, p.

"The Russian name for _Moscow_ is _Moskva_, pronounced muhsk-VAH or
mahsk-VAH. _Moscow_ therefore is an exonym, a useful term that has
appeared in various monographs on language (incluing William Safire's
column in _The New York Times_) but that to my knowledge has yet to be
recorded in a dictionary [n.b. it's in American Heritage but not
OED--I have yet to do a more thorough search.] In _Crazy English_
(1989), wordsmith Richard Lederer defines _exonym_ as 'a place name
that foreigners use instead of the name that natives use: _Cologne_
for Koln, _Florence_ for Firenze, _Morocco_ for Maroc.'"

...etc. Seems related, though not precisely what's being sought, which
would be more like an endonym--at least according to the terms of the
original query.

Abigail Zitin

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