The origins of the conference, on both a nationwide and international scale, date back to 1979. The first Nationwide Conference on Onomastics was organised in Szczedrzyk near Opole following on the initiative of Professor Henryk Borek who, at that time, was the President of the Onomastic Commission within the Committee of Linguistics of the Polish Academy of Sciences.

Over the years, the formula of the conference has undergone many changes – the annual meeting of onomastics enthusiasts from Poland was transformed into the biennial, international conference. It has become a tradition that each conference is organised in a new place. The former meetings were hosted in Ameliówka, Poznań, Szczecin, Łódź, Warszawa, Olsztyn, Białystok, Bydgoszcz, Opole, Mogilany, Wrocław, Białowieża, Gniezno, Kraków, and Kazimierz Dolny. Professor’s efforts were cultivated by his followers, including Professor Kazimierz Rymut, Professor Aleksandra Cieślikowa, and Professor Barbara Czopek-Kopciuch. From the very beginning, the conference was intended to be an educational event that would allow onomasts to exchange ideas regarding a theoretical and practical study of proper names. During the recent meetings, a particular focus was put on emphasising the interdisciplinary nature of onomastics.

The popularity and prestige of the conference are rapidly increasing, and so is the number of scholars from national and foreign academic centres willing to contribute to the meeting success. In 2008, the Onomastic Commission within the Committee of the Polish Academy of Sciences decided to change the name of the conference to the International and Nationwide Conference on Onomastics.