Abstract : The creation of the independent state of the Republic of Macedonia in 1991 provoked strong reactions from the neighbouring state of Greece, which refused to recognise this new state claiming that its name and national symbols belong exclusively to its own hellenic cultural heritage. From the collective hysteria of the early 1990's to the mass-mediated forgetting of more recent years, the “macedonian question” has left visible traces in the collective memory and social representations of Greek national identity. In this article, the central concern is with the capital importance of names in relation to their symbolic, identificatory, and threatening contents for national groups. The collective sentiment of a contested identity, represented by the sharing of a common name, is obvious in the Greeks' effort to refuse to recognise a national name, “Macedonia”, too charged from an historical point of view, and their persistence in using a different one, “Skopje”. In this way, any semantic, phonetic, historical and identificatory resemblance between the two regions, states and people is eliminated. Behind proper names there are hidden significations, specific language uses and social representations. We will examine the contribution of the work of sociolinguists and philosophers of mind related to the social dimension of naming, and we will draw on empirical research to illustrate the capital role of naming in the elaboration of a common reality and to suggest a better understanding of the complex nature of intergroup relations in social psychology.