8. Working Group on Exonyms


Peter Jordan (Austria) E-mail Mr. Jordan (peter.jordan@oeaw.ac.at)


The Working Group was formed in September 2002, as recommended by resolution 4 of the Eighth Conference (Berlin, 27 August - 5 September 2002). The need for such a group had also been expressed at earlier discussions (Frankfurt am Main, 2000 and Berchtesgaden, 2001).

Current work plan

Various conference resolutions now exist on the treatment, use and reduction of exonyms in the context of geographical names standardization and effective UN communication. The Working Group encourages progress in addressing these UN resolutions. As a current concrete project it aims to elaborate guidelines for the use of exonyms.


Four publications of articles on exonyms were prepared from presentations to the Working Group meetings.

Trends in Exonym Use. Proceedings of the 10th UNGEGN Working Group on Exonyms Meeting, Tainach, 28-30 April 2010. Edited by Peter Jordan, Hubert Bergmann, Caroline Burgess and Catherine Cheetham. Published in 2011. Hamburg: Verlag Dr. Kovač. = Name & Place, vol. 1 (EUR 68.-), ISBN 978-3-8300-5656-0.

Exonyms and the International Standardisation of Geographical Names. Approaches towards the Resolution of an Apparent Contradiction. Edited by Peter Jordan, Milan Orozen Adamic, Paul Woodman. Published in 2007, Münster: LIT-Verlag = Wiener Osteuropa Studien, vol. 24 (EUR 24.90), ISBN 978-3-8258-0035-2, ISSN 0946-7246

The Great Toponymic Divide. Reflections on the definition and usage of endonyms and exonyms. Edited by Paul Woodman. Published in 2012. Warszawa: Head Office of Geodesy and Cartography. Free of charge. ISBN 978-83-254-1967-7.

The Quest for Definitions. Proceedings of the 14th UNGEGN Working Group on Exonyms Meeting, Corfu, 23-25 May 2013. Edited by Peter Jordan and Paul Woodman. Published in 2014. Hamburg: Verlag Dr. Kovač. = Name & Place, vol. 3 (EUR 68.-), ISBN 978-3-8300-7747-3.

The books may be ordered directly from the publisher Verlag Dr. Kovač, Leverkusenstr. 13, D-22761 Hamburg (http://www.verlagdrkovac.de) and from LIT publishers (http://lit-verlag.de/), respectively,  or via Peter Jordan, Austrian Academy of Sciences, Institute of Urban and Regional Research, Postgasse 7/4/2, A-1010 Wien peter.jordan@oeaw.ac.at

Meetings of the Working Group

The most recent meetings of the Working Group were held in Corfu, 23-25 May 2013, and Gdańsk, 2012.

Several other meetings have been held since the Working Group was formed in 2002:

  • Vienna [Wien], in association with 26th UNGEGN Session, 2011
  • Tainach, Austria, April 2010
  • Nairobi, Kenya, in association with 25th UNGEGN Session, 2009
  • Timişoara (Romania), in conjunction with a UNGEGN toponymy training course and the ICA Commission on National and Regional Atlases, 2008
  • During the Ninth Conference, New York, 2007
  • Prague [Praha], 2007 in conjunction with the East Central and South-East Europe Division
  • Vienna [Wien], in association with the 24th UNGEGN Session, 2006
  • Ljubljana, Slovenia, May 2005
  • Prague [Praha], 2003 in conjunction with the East Central and South-East Europe Division
Reports of the Working Group

The Working Group website can be accessed at http://ungegn.zrc-sazu.si/Home.aspx