Abstract: In this article, I discuss the anthropological value of focusing on ontological processes in which seemingly local, native, or indigenous people are reclassified as foreigners. Building on theories of language and time, I show, through the ethnographic example of Jewish naming in Istanbul, how names come to signify foreignness. I also explore naming as a process through which the subjects of reclassification themselves understand present-day ontologies as historically informed and context dependent. By studying moments of categorical reassignment, I detail the social semiotic processes that drive the classification of signs as indices of belonging or exclusion. Anthropologists increasingly study military, juridical, and economic ontologies that reorder, relocate, and restrict human (and nonhuman) groups. I illuminate a quieter space, that of naming, through which classifications are made and undone.