toponymic query

Laurence Horn laurence.horn at YALE.EDU
Fri Nov 14 00:29:38 UTC 2003

At 5:49 PM -0500 11/13/03, Beverly Flanigan wrote:
>Exonym, endonym--I prefer shibboleth.  But when I use this word in my
>classes, no one recognizes it.  But then, when I mentioned Kofi Annan in
>class this morning, no one recognized that name either.

These are shibboleths to be sure, but so are all those non-toponyms
out there (hoi toider, wicked vs. hella, dahtahn and needs washed,
ayuh (for Maine), a-huntin' and a-fishin', fer sher, etc. etc.).
Luckily we don't suffer the fate of the Ephaimites (or was it the
Gileadites?) if we flunk the test...


>At 03:30 PM 11/12/2003 -0500, you wrote:
>>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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