From Biscaja to Baskien. Changes in name usage over the centuries

By Joakim Lilljegren

In: Ortnamnssällskapets i Uppsala årsskrift 2018


The commonest Swedish exonym for the Basque Country, Baskien, was added as an entry in the latest edition of the Swedish Academy glossary SAOL (2015), when toponyms were included for the first time. However, several other exonyms have also been used in Swedish for the Basque Country, for example Biscaja, Baskiska provinserna, Baskerlandet, Baskerland and Basklandet. Most of these have been in use since the beginning of the 19th century, but since 1975 Baskienhas been the dominant form and use of the other names has declined, although they be seen occasionally. The variety of Swedish exonyms reflects the many endonyms for the region in Basque, French and Spanish, including Euskal Herria, Euskadi, Pays basque, País Vasco, Provincias Vascongadas, Vasconiaetc.