While the exonym Albania
for the general region inhabited by the Albanians does hark back to Classical Antiquity, and possibly to an Illyrian tribe
, the name was lost within the Albanian language, the Albanian endonym being shqiptar
, from the term for the Albanian language, shqip
, a derivation of the verb shqipoj
"to speak clearly", perhaps ultimately a loan from Latin excipio
Thus, the Albanian endonym, like Slav and others
, is in origin a term for "those who speak [intelligibly, the same language]".