The Phrontistery




Names for Names

When my brother and I were little, our parents used to joke that if one of us had been a girl, they could have named us Chris and Alice, so that we would be "Chris and Alice Chrisomalis". Fortunately for all concerned, they did not do so, because names are very powerful things (here are some more of my thoughts on the subject). Anyway, this short and probably incomplete list defines about 40 words relating to names. These words contain the root "nym", which comes from the Greek onoma, a name.


Word Definition
acronym word formed from initial letters of another word
allonym other person's name used by an author
ananym name written backward; often used as synonym
anonym person whose name is not given; pseudonym
antonym word whose meaning is the opposite of a given word
aptronym name that suits its owner
autonym a writer's real name; work published under writer's own name
caconym wrongly derived name
cohyponym word which is one of multiple hyponyms of another word
cryptonym secret name
dionym name containing two parts or terms
eponym personal name from which another name is derived
euonym a pleasing or beautiful name
euonymous appropriately named
euphonym euphonious synonym
exonym name for a town or country in a foreign language
heteronym word having same spelling but different sound and meaning
homonym words having the same sound but different meanings
hypernym word representing a class of words or things
hyponym term which is a member of a larger class
isonym word having the same derivation or form as another
meronym word whose relation to another is a part to the whole
metonymy figurative use of word to name an attribute of its subject
metronymy system of naming after the mother's or female line
onymous bearing the authorís name
paedonymic name taken from one's child
paranym euphemism; word whose meaning altered to conceal evasion
paronym word from same root or having same sound as another
patronym name derived from father's name
poecilonym synonym
polyonym name consisting of several words
pseudonym fictitious name used by an author
retronym new name as modification of older term used alone
synonym word whose meaning is the same as another word
tautonym taxonomic name in which genus and species are the same
teknonymy the naming of the parent from the child
toponym place name derived from geographical feature
trionym name consisting of three words


I hope you have found this site to be useful. If you have any corrections, additions, or comments, please contact me. Please note that I am not able to respond to all requests. Please consult a major dictionary before e-mailing your query. All material on this page © 1996-2014 Stephen Chrisomalis. Links to this page may be made without permission.

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