Friday, January 14, 2011


Apart from learning about the "isms" I remember mentioning that I wanted to improve my vocabulary this year. Well, I recently found this site while I was doing a general blog search for stuff to show the kids and fell in love with it.
 One list I found particularly humorous (and relevent considering the categorising aspect of the 'isms' project) was this list of 'names for names':

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 author’s 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

Wow! I hardly knew any of these!!! but i am already getting ready to put them into the vernacular....especially retronym, caconym, and polyonym!!!! And I can just see myself going back to school and telling the kids we are now going to talk about 'poecilonyms' instead of 'synonyms'. 

But seriously i do get anoyed when people define a word by what it is equal to or what it is not equal to.  I am coming up against this with the 'isms' and it seems the 'nyms' are no different.  I have the utmost respect for the composers of dictionaries.  But it does make for interesting thinking.....?

What to to?


  1. you can use our family cred if you like.....

    'when in doubt.... make it up'

    (my nana t was a mad-demon wordsmith)

  2. lol. and who said the language is shrinking?

  3. What a great list! I must say I do agree with Ronnie that making it up isn't such a bad thing.