Is there a single word or term for the country name (either official or short name) in the language of that country?

For example, Germany is called Deutschland (short name) or Bundesrepublik Deutschland (official name) in German. Is there a special name for it?

Of course, I could say: "Country name of Germany in German" but if I want to make "a list of country names (in?)" such word/term would be very handy.

  • Country name in original language. Not one word of course. What with countries that have several official languages (Belgium has three, India has 20)? I am also not sure such a list would ever serve any actual purpose.
    – oerkelens
    Mar 3, 2014 at 10:09
  • @oerkelens maybe I should have introduced some context. My question have arised when solving crosswords. Such term would be good in crossword questions, as well as in crossword lexicon. I'm aware of multi-language countries, therefore 'original language' isn't a very good choice. The term could match any of country's official language. But the question is, does such term exist in first line? Mar 3, 2014 at 10:15
  • 'Switzerland' is 'Schweiz' in German the majority language of the country. But a very large minority of Swiss are French speaking and they call the country 'La Suisse'. Yet other Swiss are Italian speaking and they call the place La Svizzera. I don't know how you say it in Romansh. But Switzerland also employs at a formal level the Latin name of the country 'Confederation Helvetia'. 'Helvetia in turn can be represented in French, German and Italian. So what are you going to have as the 'native' name of Switzerland?
    – WS2
    Mar 3, 2014 at 22:55

1 Answer 1


How about "native" which, used as an adjective, would be unambiguous (I think!):

Country name in its native speech/parlance

This is more-or-less how Wikipedia does it in its List of countries and dependencies and their capitals in native languages.

As the Wikipedia article shows, the technical term for "native name" is endonym, and for "non-native name", exonym.*

* Credit: @oerkelens perceptively picked this up.

  • 3
    Good find, a pity you do not mention the answer to the OP's question. It is there in your link: endonym, as opposed to the exonym, representing what others call the country :)
    – oerkelens
    Mar 3, 2014 at 10:36
  • Please add that to the answer :) Mar 3, 2014 at 10:50
  • 1
    Endonym is the right answer here, but it should be noted that it does not necessarily refer to the name of a country. Peoples, languages, cultures and cultural concepts, food, etc.—all those things can be described as having endo- and exonyms, too. Mar 3, 2014 at 13:26

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