Some of the terms on my site appear with the same exact slug, in multiple taxonomies.

For example: 'education' appears in both the 'department' taxonomy and the 'topic' taxonomy.

Now, I can't seem to modify or delete a term from one taxonomy without affecting the term in the other taxonomy.

  • If I change 'education' to 'department-of-education' in the 'department' taxonomy, it changes to 'department-of-education' in the 'topic' taxonomy as well.
  • If I delete 'education' from departments, it disappears from topics as well.

How can I separate the terms?

Wordpress does seem to prevent same-named terms in different taxonomies in the admin, but my taxonomies and terms were imported in the course of a site migration using a WXR file, and Wordpress let them in—so now I'm stuck with them.

  • Do both terms have the same ID ? Sep 19, 2011 at 0:05
  • Yes, they do. So the edit and delete links read, e.g., ?...taxonomy=department&tag_ID=82 and ?...taxonomy=topic&tag_ID=82
    – supertrue
    Sep 19, 2011 at 8:28

1 Answer 1


As it turns out, though terms could not be edited without affecting all instances, they could be deleted without deleting all instances.

So, it looks as though the answer is this:

  • you cannot separately edit a term that's in multiple taxonomies, but
  • you can remove that term from a taxonomy without removing it from the other taxonomies it appears in.

For related ideas, see http://www.wpquestions.com/question/show/id/3005.

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