Ethnonym

I was looking up a list of different indigenous people globally.  When I came across a few new vocabulary words… This are copied right from the site. If you are anything like me, you would only come across these words looking for specific things. So I thought I’d share. I’m always open to new words in our language.

An ethnonym is the name applied to a given ethnic group. Ethnonyms can be divided into two categories: exonyms (where the name of the ethnic group has been created by another group of people) and autonyms or endonyms (self-designation; where the name is created and used by the ethnic group itself).

As an example, the ethnonym for the ethnically dominant group in Germany is the Germans. This ethnonym is an exonym used by the English-speaking world, although the term itself is derived from Latin. Conversely, Germans themselves use the autonym of die Deutschen. Germans are indicated by exonyms in many European languages, such as French (Allemands), Italian (tedeschi), Swedish (tyskar) and Polish (Niemcy).

I never knew that Germans, French, Italian, Swedish and Polish people had a different name they preferred.  I spend a lot of my own time being confused by all the different names black (debatable) people in America have been called and have identified as. I thought we were the only group being named.  We often talk about the identify crisis of our people, all of us answering and identifying different. It’s kind of cool to learn it’s not unique.  It also helps me put in better perspective how I identify in contrast to how I am perceived and named.

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