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AbstractThis short investigation of languages referred to as Tai Loi shows that at least seven different languages from three Palaungic subgroups are referred to by this exonym. Simply meaning ‘mountaineers’, Tai Loi appears to denote Buddhist speakers as a sociopolitical identity rather than a linguistic one. As a linguistic designation, it may lead to confusion and should therefore be avoided. Since ISO 639 forms a part of the language tags distinguishing dialectal, regional and script variation in languages, there is the potential for even broader confusion.