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The suffix -onym, in English and other languages, means "word, name," and words ending in -onym refer to
a specified kind of name or word, most of which are classical compounds. For example, an acronym is a
word formed from the initial letter or letters of each of the successive parts or major parts of a compound
term (as radar). The use of -onym words provides a means of classifying, often to a fine degree of resolution,
sets of nouns with common attributes.
In some words, the -onym form has been modified by replacing (or dropping) the "o". In the examples
ananym and metanym, the correct forms (anonym and metonym) were pre-occupied by other meanings.
Other, late 20th century examples, such as hypernym and characternym, are typically incorrectly formed
neologisms for which there are more traditional words formed in -onym (hyperonym and charactonym).
The English suffix -onym is from the Ancient Greek suffix - (nymon), neuter of the suffix
(nymos), having a specified kind of name, from the Greek (noma), Aeolic Greek (nyma),
"name". The form -nymos is that taken by noma when it is the end component of a bahuvrihi compound,
but in English its use is extended to tatpurusa compounds.
The suffix is found in many modern languages with various spellings. Examples are: Dutch synoniem,
German Synonym, Portuguese sinnimo, Russian (sinonim), Polish synonim, Finnish synonyymi,
Indonesian sinonim.
According to a 1988 study[1] of words ending in -onym, there are four discernible classes of -onym words:
(1) historic, classic, or, for want of better terms, naturally occurring or common words; (2) scientific
terminology, occurring in particular in linguistics, onomastics, etc.; (3) language games; and (4) nonce
words. Older terms are known to gain new, sometimes contradictory, meanings (e.g., eponym and
cryptonym). In many cases, two or more words describe the same phenomenon, but no precedence is
discernable (e.g., necronym and penthonym). New words are sometimes created, the meaning of which
duplicating existing terms. On occasion, new words are formed with little regard to historical principles.

1 Words that end in -onym
2 Notes
3 References
4 Further reading
5 External links

Words that end in -onym

acronym: considered to be a "word" in its original sense formed from the initials of one or more
words that is pronounceable like a normal word, such as NATO, sometimes in distinction to initialism;
reflecting a historical development from its component word initials

allonym: an author's name of another person's, often a well-known person's, name; an alternative term
for a pseudonym
anacronym: an acronym that is so well-established that its origin as an abbreviation is no longer
widely known (a portmanteau of anachronism + acronym), for example scuba and laser; historically
an acronym whose component initials are in danger of no longer being recognized
anonym: something created anonymously, or its creator; an unknown author; this term now generally
replaced by pseudonym
anepronym: a portmanteau of anacronym and eponym; an original eponym of a trademark term that
becomes so well established that it is used to define other objects that share its own definition (e.g.,
anthroponym: a name of a human being; as reflected in surnames or proper names of people
antonym: a word with the exact opposite meaning of another word; an antithesis: often shown in
opposite word pairs such as "high" and "low" (compare with "synonym")
apronym: a word, which as an acronym or backronym, has a meaning related to the meaning of the
words constituting the acronym or backronym; such as PLATO for "Programmed Logic for
Automated Teaching" alluding to Plato, the philosopher and teacher
aptronym: a name appropriate to its owner's occupation or physical properties, such as "Goldsmith"
or "Longman" (compare with "charactonym") coined by Franklin P. Adams
astronym: a name of a star (or more loosely of a constellation or other heavenly body)
autonym: Botanical nomenclature for an automatically created name
backronym: an ordinary word understood as an (usually amusing or ironic) acronym (a portmanteau
of back + acronym), such as Fiat understood as "Fix It Again Tomorrow"
basionym: the first name published for a biological taxon (species, genus, etc.), which remains the
defining name for the taxon even when the taxon has been transferred to a new name
capitonym: a word that changes its meaning (and sometimes pronunciation) when it is capitalized,
such as March and march or Polish and polish.
charactonym: a name of a fictional character reflected in his personality traits, such as Shakespeare's
Pistol or Bottom (compare with "aptronym")
chrematonym: a name of a politico-economic or commercial or cultural institution or thing; a catchall category
consonym: a word that has the same consonants as another word, in the same order, ignoring all
vowels. An aconsonym is the same concept in an opposite order : language game 1979 by Gary
Pisher; to be specific a: originally, such a word constructed phonetically (as exam, with consonant
pattern /gzm/ = eczema and gizmo). Revised rules by Philip M. Cohen always consider /w/ and /y/
consonants. b: such a word constructed alphabetically (as thence, with consonant pattern "thnc" =
ethnic), sometimes distinguished as strict consonym, where "y" is always a consonant, and permissive
consonym, where "y" is always a vowel.
contronym or antagonym or autoantonym: a word that may have opposite meanings in different
contexts, such as cleave meaning "stick together" or "split apart"

cryptonym: a code name; a word or name used clandestinely to refer to another name or word
demonym: a name, derived from a place name, for residents of that place (e.g., Utahn, from Utah, or
Sioux Cityan, from Sioux City) coined by George H. Scheetz, according to Paul Dickson in What
Do You Call a Person From...? A Dictionary of Resident Names.[2] The term first appeared in print in
1988 in Names' Names: A Descriptive and Prescriptive Onymicon by George H. Scheetz.[3] See also
endonym: A self-assigned name by locals of a place. Also known as an autonym (not to be confused
with the autonym in botany).
eponym: a botanical, zoological, artwork, or place name that derives from a real or legendary person;
a name for a real or hypothetical person from whom a botanical, geographical, artwork or zoological
name is derived; a person after whom a medical condition is named, or the condition so named. A type
of taxonym.
ergonym: sometimes used for the name of an institution or commercial firm
ethnonym: a name of an ethnic group. A type of taxonym.
exonym: a name used by one group of people for another group, but who call themselves by a
different name, such as "Germans" for "Deutsche"; a place name used by one group that differs from
the name used by the people who live there, such as "Cologne" for "Kln"
geonym: a name of a geographic feature
glossonym or glottonym: a name of a language
heteronym: a word that is spelled in the same way as another but that has a different sound and
meaning, for example "bow" as in "bow of a ship" or "bow and arrow" (compare "homonym")
hodonym: a name of a street or road
holonym: a word for the whole of which other words are part, in the way house contains roof, door
and window; or car contains steering-wheel and engine (compare "meronym")
homonym: 1: a: a word pronounced like another, but differing in meaning or derivation or spelling
also known as homophone (to, too, two). b: a word spelled like another, but differing in derivation or
meaning or pronunciationalso known as homograph or heteronym (lead, to conduct, and lead, the
metal). Compare autantonym, contronym, and heteronym. c: a word spelled and pronounced like
another, but differing in meaning (pool of water, and pool, the game). 2: a namesake. 3: Biol. a
taxonomic designation that is identical to another one of the same rank, but based on a different type;
only one of the homonyms is considered a valid designation (see homonym (biology)). Compare to
hydronym: a name of river, lake, or other body of water
hypernym: sometimes spelled hyperonym, a generic word that stands for a class or group of equally
ranked items, such as "tree" for "beech" or "elm," or "house" for "chalet" or "bungalow." A hypernym
is said to be "superordinate" to a hyponym.
hypocoronym or hypocoristic: a colloquial, usually unofficial, name of an entity; a pet-name or

hyponym: an item that belongs to and is equally ranked in a generic class or group, for example "lily"
or "violet" in the class of "flowers"; or "limousine" or "hatchback" in the class of "automobiles." A
hyponym is said to be "subordinate" to a hyperonym.
isonym: 1: a word having the same root or stem as another also known as paronym. Compare
exonym, heteronym, paronym, and synonym. 2: one person's surname that is the same as another
person's surname.[4][5] 3: Biol. a taxonomic designation that is identical to another designation, and
based on the same type, but published at a different time by the same or other authors (see isonym
meronym: a word that names a part that belongs to and is therefore subordinate to a larger entity; a
part-whole relationship, such as "door" or "window" in "house", or "engine" or "steering-wheel" in
"car" (compare "holonym")
metonym: a word that substitutes a part for the whole it is associated with, for example "crown" for
"monarch"; metonymy is the figure of speech incorporating a metonym
matronym or matronymic: a name of a human being making reference to that person's mother
(contrast "patronym")
mononym: a word indicating the "single name" as generally applied to people e.g. Madonna or Plato.
microtoponym: a word indicating an uninhabited place cf. toponym.
necronym: a reference to or name of a person who has died.
numeronym: is a number-based word.
odonym: a name of a street or road.
oikonym or (Latinized) oeconym: a name of a house or other building
oronym: (1) a name of a hill, mountain, or mountain-range; (2) a neologism for homophonic words or
paronym: a word that is related to another word and derives from the same root; a cognate word, such
as dubious and doubtful
patronym or patronymic: a name adopted from the father's or ancestor's name, for example
"Johnson" from "John," "MacDonald" from "Donald," "O'Brien" from "Brien," or "Ivanovich" from
phytonym: a name of a plant
pseudonym: a false and fictitious name, especially one adopted by an author; a pen name
retronym: a compound or modified noun that replaces an original simple noun, for example "analog
watch" now means what "watch" used to mean before the invention of the digital watch; and
motorcycles became "solo motorcycles" when others were built with sidecars
synonym: 1: a word equivalent in meaning or nearly so to another word; a word that may be
substituted for another word that has the same or a similar meaning, such as near and close (compare
"antonym"). 2: In Biology, one or more names given to the same taxon, and so considered equivalent.
Usually only one of them in considered as correct (senior synonym in animal taxonomy, accepted
name in plant taxonomy), while the other are considered deprecated (see synonym (taxonomy).

tautonym: a binomial or scientific name in the taxonomy of living things in which the generic and
specific names are the same, such as Gorilla gorilla; a scientific name in which the specific name is
repeated, such as Homo sapiens sapiens as distinct from Homo sapiens neanderthalensis; a noun
component that is repeated, such as aye-aye or tom-tom; a personal name where both forename and
surname are identical, such as Francis Francis
taxonym: a name used for classification or identification purposes, usually signifying a relationship to
something. Taxonyms include binomens, names of clades or taxons, demonyms, ethnonyms, and
eponyms. Examples include canine, hominid, and Dryad.
tecnonym: a teknonym, q.v.[6]
teknonym (or tecnonym): 1: Ethnol. a parent's name derived from a child's name (practiced among
some indigenous peoples) (from teknonymy). Compare paedonym.[6][7] 2: a child's name when used
to identify a person as the parent of that child, rather than by that person's personal name ("Look,
there's Tim's father").[8]
textonym: a word that is generated by a single sequence of numerals keyed in to a mobile telephone;
for example, 726 produces pam, ram, sam, and ran. Also called homonumeric words.[9]
theonym: a name of a god. The names societies give their gods at times is useful in understanding the
origin of their language as well as their view of a particular deity. Analysis of theonyms has been
useful in understanding the connections of Indo-European languages, and possibly their religions, in
particular. In Abrahamic faiths the origin and meaning of the Tetragrammaton is sometimes deemed to
have important historical or even metaphysical meaning.
theronym: a name especially a product name that has been derived from the name of an
toponym: a place or geographical name; the name of an area of the body, as distinguished from the
name of an organ
troponym: a verb conveying a meaning that is a particular case of the meaning of another verb. For
example, to duel is a troponym of to fight; to write is a troponym of to communicate; etc.
zoonym: a name of an animal

1. ^ Scheetz, Names' Names, p. 1
2. ^ What Do You Call a Person From...? A Dictionary of Resident Names by Paul Dickson (Facts on File, February
1990). ISBN 978-0-8160-1983-0
3. ^ Names' Names: A Descriptive and Prescriptive Onymicon by George H. Scheetz (Sioux City: Schtz Verlag, 1988)
4. ^ Crow, James F., and Arthur P. Mange. "Measurement of Inbreeding from the Frequency of Persons of the Same
Surname." Eugenics Quarterly, 12 (1965): 199-203.
5. ^ Lasker, Gabriel W. Surnames and Genetic Structure. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1985.
6. ^ a b Funk & Wagnalls New Standard Dictionary of the English Language. New York: Funk & Wagnalls Company,

7. ^ The Oxford English Dictionary. Oxford: The Oxford University Press, 1933.
8. ^ The World Book Dictionary. Chicago: World Book-Childcraft International, Inc. (A Thorndike-Barnhart
Dictionary), 1982.
9. ^ Txting: The Gr8 Db8 by David Crystal (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2008, pp. 68, 187). ISBN 978-0-19954490-5
10. ^ The Online Dictionary of Language Terminology - Theronym (
Accessed 2009-06-08. Archived ( 2009-06-09.

Scheetz, George H. "Onomasticon I." Word Ways, 10 (August 1977): 16567. Enlarged as "An
Onomastic Onomasticon."
. "An Onomastic Onomasticon." ANS Bulletin, No. 65 (28 October 1981), pp. 47. Revised
and enlarged as Names' Names: A Descriptive and Prescriptive Onymicon.
. Names' Names: A Descriptive and Prescriptive Onymicon. (Whats In a Name? Chapbook
Series; 2.) Sioux City, Ia.: Schtz Verlag, August 1988. The first separately published, comprehensive
historical overview of words ending in -onym, including an annotated list of 137 such words.

Further reading
Brown, A. F. (1963). Normal and Reverse English Word List 18. Philadelphia: University of
Herbst, Richard C. (1979). Herbst's Backword Dictionary for Puzzled People. New York: Alamo
Publishing Company.
Lehnert, Martin (1971). Reverse Dictionary of Present-Day English. Leipzig: Verlag Enzyklopdie.
Laurence Urdang, ed. (1981). -Ologies & -Isms: A Thematic Dictionary (2nd ed.). Detroit: Gale
Research Company.

External links
Words That End In nym : Words That End With nym (
Nym Words (
Onyms (
Retrieved from ""
Categories: Greek suffixes Types of words
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