-onym, -onymy, -onymic, -onymically, -onymous, -onymously, -nym

(Greek: name; word)

antonymy (s) (noun), antonymies (pl)
1. The semantic relation that exists between two words that can (in a given context) express opposite meanings.
2. The relationship between lexical items that are binary opposites in meaning (example: alive and dead), gradable opposites in meaning (example: young and old), or converse opposites (example: buy and sell).
aptonym (s) (noun), aptonyms (pl)
1. A personal name of an individual that aptly describes the occupation of that person, especially by happenstance: In was coincidence that Susan House got a job as a real estate agent, an aptonym which fit perfectly to being Mrs. House and to the job itself!

The term aptonym is used for "people whose names and occupations, workplaces, or situations have a close correspondence", according to Frank Nuessel in The Study of Names.
2. Etymology: term used for "people whose names and occupations or situations have a close correspondence".

A compound word that consists of the adjective apt, from Latin via Middle English meaning, "suitable", or "appropriate" + Greek -nym, "name".

Examples of aptonyms or aptronyms

  • Peter Hammer, a hardware store clerk
  • Nita House, a real estate agent
  • Dr. Barret Hyman, an obstetrician and gynecologist
  • Dr. Joseph C. Babey, a pediatrician
  • Thomas Edison, a General Electric employee
  • Ken Lawless, a police chief
  • Fred Couch, an upholsterer
  • Cathy Book, a bookstore clerk
  • Bob Counts, an accountant
  • Leonard Divine, a rabbi
  • Dr. Knapp, an anesthesiologist
  • Lawrence E. Lawhead, an attorney
  • Dr. Carey Parrett, a veterinarian
  • Jerry Frisk, a security guard
  • Joe B. Musselman, a body builder
  • James Splatter, a painter
  • George Wheeler, independent trucker
  • Sue Yoo, a lawyer
  • Will Wynn, former mayor of Austin, Texas (2003-2009)
aptronym (s) (noun), aptronyms (pl)
A name which matches or sounds like its owner’s occupation or character: It was interesting and funny that Mrs. School became a teacher showing that it was true that aptronyms could really occur!

Attributed to Franklin P. Adams, as discussed in the book, What's In a Name, by Paul Dickson.

Some actual names include: Dan Druff, a barber; Felicity Foote, a dance teacher; James Bugg, an exterminator; Will Snow, an arctic explorer; and William Wordsworth, the poet.

aristonym (s) (noun), aristonyms (pl)
A surname or a last name that is used as, or derived from, a formal title of nobility; such as, Thomas Harold Andre Le Duc.
autantonym (s) (noun), autantonyms (pl)
1. A word that means its opposite.

An example is the word fast, which when referring to a fast runner means a runner who runs rapidly or swiftly; but when it refers to a fast color, it means a color that doesn't run at all.

Based on information from Word and Phrase Origins

2. A word which is the opposite in meaning of another word with the same spelling: Example of autantonyms include: cleave which means "to cling" or "to split"; "to dust" can mean to remove dust when cleaning one's house or to add dust as when putting powdered sugar on a cake.
autoantonym (s) (noun), autoantonyms (pl)
A word which can take two, or more, opposite meanings; for example, overlook means "to watch over carefully" or "to fail to notice".
autonym (s) (noun), autonyms (pl)
1. Literally, one’s own name as opposed to a false name: A book or published work with the author’s real name.
2. The name given to itself by a tribe, social group, or people, as distinguished from a name given by foreign tribes or by anyone else.
3. A word that describes itself; such as, "pronoun is a pronoun", "polysyllabic is polysyllabic", "abbrv. is an abbreviation", "word is a word", etc.
autonymous (adjective) (not comparable)
The use of a person's own name instead of a replacement name when writing, publishing a book, etc.
autonymy (s) (noun), autonymies (pl)
The use of one's own name as an author, actor, entertainer, etc. instead of a special composed name.
bacronym, backronym (s) (noun); bacronyms, backronyms (pl)
Taking a word which already exists and creating a phrase, usually humorous, using the letters of the word as initials; and so the process is the opposite of producing an acronym.

Here is an example of a bacronym: SURFSIDE: Small Unified Reactor Facility with Systems for Isotopes, Desalting, and Electricity.

—Bob Levey, "When You Can't Decide, You Just Pick Them All",
The Washington Post, November 8, 1983.

Another example of a bacronym: BANANA or "Build Absolutely Nothing Anywhere Near Anybody"; and GOD or "Guaranteed Overnight Delivery".

binym (s) (noun), binyms (pl)
Having just two names.
caconym (s) (noun), caconyms (pl)
1. An example of bad nomenclature or terminology; especially, in biology and botany: When the editor had the new botany text proofread, she discovered many examples of caconyms which had to be corrected before publication.
2. A name, especially a taxonomic name, that is considered linguistically undesirable or bad: When correcting Tomas' essay on biological terms, the instructor was amused by some of the caconyms which he used and which needed to be corrected because they were not relevant to the context of the subject.
caconymic (adjective), more caconymic, most caconymic
1. Characteristic of a taxonymic name that is objectionable for linguistic reasons.
2. Reference to a wrong (bad) name for something; especially, in the classification of plants and animals.
caconymy (s) (noun), caconymies (pl)
capitonym (s) (noun), capitonyms (pl)
A word that changes its meaning and pronunciation when capitalized; such as, polish and Polish, august and August, concord and Concord and as shown in the two poems below:
Job's Job
In August, an august patriarch
Was reading an ad in Reading, Mass.
Long-suffering Job secured a job
To polish piles of Polish brass.

Herb's Herbs
An herb store owner, name of Herb,
Moved to a rainier Mount Rainier.
It would have been so nice in Nice,
And even tangier in Tangier.

—"Naming the nyms", by Richard Lederer
(http://wordsmith.org/awad; December 13, 2001)

Related "name" units: nom-; onomato-.


Related "word, words" units: etym-; legi-; lexico-; locu-; logo-; onomato-; verbo-.