Toponymy, toponymics, or toponomastics is the study of toponyms (proper names of places, also known as place names and geographic names), including their origins, meanings, usage and types. Toponym is the general term for a proper name of any geographical feature, and full scope of the term also includes proper names of all cosmographical features.
In a more specific sense, the term toponymy refers to an inventory of toponyms, while the discipline researching such names is referred to as toponymics or toponomastics. Toponymy is a branch of onomastics, the study of proper names of all kinds. A person who studies toponymy is called toponymist.
The term toponymy come from τόπος / tópos, 'place', and ὄνομα / onoma, 'name'.
The Oxford English Dictionary records toponymy (meaning "place name") first appearing in English in 1876. Since then, toponym has come to replace the term place-name in professional discourse among geographers.