Q: List some words ending in -nym.


A list of words ending in "-nym." Uncommon words are followed by references in brackets ([]) to the list of sources at the end.

This list originally composed by William M. Kolb (bkolb@arinc.com), 14 March 1990

A dyadic nym (d) must have at least one referent or related word e.g., a synonym, whereas a monadic nym (m) is independent of other words, e.g., a contronym.

Acronym (d) Formed from the letters of several words (radar). Allonym (d) Someone else's name (George Washington Carver). Ananym (d) A pseudonym that has the letters of the

name arranged backwards (Salgoud:Douglas).

Anatonym (m) A part of the body used as a verb (toe the

line; face the music; foot the bill). Led?

Anonym (m) A person whose name is not given, who

remains nameless.

Anthroponym(ic) (m) A person's name, esp. surname. [Web2? [Web3? Antonym (d) A word opposite in meaning to another word


Aptronym (d) A name devised to be characterizing or

descriptive (Miss Neat; Felicity Foote). [Ber?, [Led?

Autonym (m) A book published under the author's real

name. [OED? A word that describes itself (mispelled; hippopotomonstrosesqui- pedalian).[Led?

Bacronym (d) Reverse acronym in which letters are

arranged to form a word that already exists in the language and cleverly underscores some quality of the words that form it (ZIP; VISTA; NOW; MADD). [Led?

Basonym (d) The earliest validly published name of a

taxon, being in the case of a binomial or trinomial the source of the valid specific or subspecific epithet when the taxon is transferred to a new combination and in technical usage always accompanied by the name of the original author. (Crataegus spicata Lamark:Amelanchier spicata] [Web3?

Caconym (m) A taxonomic name that is objectionable for

linguistic reasons [Web3?. Bad or wrongly derived name.

Capitonym (d) A word that changes pronunciation and

meaning when it is capitalized (job; august; colon; herb; lima; mobile; nice; ravel; reading). [Led?

Charactonym (d) The name of a literary character that is

especially suited to his personality (Mr. Scrooge; Marcus Welby). [Led?

Chironym (m) Manuscript named for a species, having no

taxonomic validity until published. [Web2?

Consonym (d) Words that have the same pattern of consonants

(eTHNiC:THeNCe; SPoNGe:eSPioNaGe). [Led?

Contranym (m) See Contronym. Contronym (m) A single word with diametrically opposed

meanings (awful; left; dust; handicap; oversight; moot; critical; impregnable; gaum; artificial; amusing). [Led?

Cryptonym (m) A private or secret name (Agent 007). Demonym (d) The name (of an Athenian citizen)

according to the deme to which he belonged. [OED?

Desynonym(ous) (d) Words that were previously synonymous but are now

differentiated; originally alike but have taken

on unlike meanings (bishop/presbyter) [OED?

Dionym (m) A name consisting of two terms as the

names in zoology or botany, the two terms of which denote respectively the genus and species (Tyrannosaurus Rex). [OED?

Domunym (m) Literally "home name," is a word used to

identify people from particular places

(Philadelphians; Annapolitans). [Led?

Eponym (d) One who gives, or is supposed to give, his

name to a people, place, or institution

(Romulus is the eponym of Rome).

Euonym (m) Lucky or auspicious name (Celeste Holmes;

Harry Truman).

Exonym (d) A place name that foreigners use instead

of the name that natives use (Cologne:Koln; Florence: Firenze; Morocco:Maroc). [Led?

Filionym(ic) (d) A name derived from that of a son [OED? Heteronym (d) A word having the same spelling as

another, but a different sound and meaning: opp. to homonym and synonym (lead); a name of a thing in one language which is a translation of the name in another language (rue-street).

Homonym (d) Same sound but different meaning

(to:too:two); spelled and pronounced like another word but of different origin and meaning (bat; mint).

Hydronym(y) (m) Names of bodies of water. [Web3? Hyponym (d) Unilateral as opposed to bilateral

substitute (tulip->flower; scarlet->red).

Isonym (d) Word of same derivation or form as

another; cognate word. [DDW?

Malonym (d) A humorous homophone or sound-alike

mistake: "Our menu is guaranteed to wet (whet) your appetite." [Led?

Matronym (d) Name taken from mother (also metronym). Metanym (d) A generic name rejected because based on a

type species congeneric with the type of a previously published genus. [Web3?

Metonym (d) A word used in a transferred sense

(Crown:England; White House: US Executive Branch; jock:athlete).

Metronym (d) See Matronym. Mononym (m) A term consisting of one word only. [OED? Neuronym (m) Name of a nerve or part of the nervous

system. [Web2?

Onym (m) A proposed term or a technical name, as of

a species or other group in zoology, etc., forming part of a recognized system of nomenclature. [OED?. Scientific name. [DDW?

Organonym (m) The technical name of an organ. [OED? Oronym (d) phrases or sentences that can be read in

two ways with the same sound (I scream: ice cream rec.puzzles Archive (language)?

Paedonym(ic) (d) A name derived from one's child (Althea

Meleagris, mother of Meleager). [Web2?

Paronym (d) A word which is derived from another, or

from the same root; a derivative or cognate word (just: justice). [OED? Formed from a word in another language. [Web3?

Patronym (d) Family name; surname; name taken from

father (Richardson; O'Grady). [Led?

Poecilonym (d) One of various names for the same thing; a synonym. [OED? Polyonym (d) Each of a number of different words having

the same meaning (Jupiter:Zeus:Oden). [OED?

Polypseudonym(ous) (d) Having many pseudonyms. [Web2? Protonym (d) The first person or thing of the name;

that from which another is named (the space shuttle Enterprise's protonym hangs in the museum). [OED?

Pseudoantonym (d) A word that appears to mean the opposite

of what it actually means (unloosen; inflammable; ingenious; despoil; impassive). [Kolb?

Pseudoeponym (m) A name erroneously given to the year. [OED? Pseudonym (d) A false or fictitious name (Mark

Twain:Samuel Clemens).

Retronym (d) Adjective-noun pairing generated by a

change in the meaning of the noun, usually because of technology (soap->bar soap; book->hardcover book). [Led?

Sideronym (d) A pseudonym consisting of the name of a

celestial body (Madam Altaira). [Web2?

Synonym (d) Strictly, a word having the same sense as

another in the same language; but more usually, either or any of two or more words having the same general sense, but possessing each of them meanings which are not shared by the other or others, or having different shades of meaning or implications appropriate to different contexts (serpent-snake; silent-quiet).

Tautonymn (m) Repetition of the word for genus and

species (Cholis Cholis; Mephistis Mephistis; Rattus Rattus). [OED? [Web3? A word composed of two identical parts (tomtom; tutu; muumuu). [Led?

Teknonym (d) The practice among certain primitive

peoples of giving to the parent the name of the child [WebE?. Naming a thing by substituting one of its attributes or a term it suggests (Chief Sitting Bull) [Ber?

Tetronym(ic) (m) Name consisting of four parts. [OED? Toponym (d) A personal name derived from a place (John

Denver); name of or designating a place

Trionym (m) A name consisting of three terms; a

trinomial name in botany or zoology. [OED?

Typonym (m) Taxonomic name based on a type of specimen

instead of a diagnosis.

[Ber? "Bernstein's Reverse Dictionary", Theodore M. Bernstein, 1988. [DDW? "A Dictionary of Difficult Words", Robert H. Hill [Kolb? Self-declared unless someone finds the word for it [Led? "Crazy English", Richard Lederer, 1989. [OED? Oxford English Dictionary [Web2? Merriam-Webster's New International Dictionary, 2nd ed. [Web3? Merriam-Webster's Third New International Dictionary [WebE? Webster's Encyclopedic Unabridged Dictionary (1989)

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