Word Nymph’s ’nym words

Yesterday’s auto-antonym is just one in a large class. We already know about synonyms, homonyms, antonyms, pseudonyms, and acronyms. As of yesterday, we can also name a few auto-antonyms, or contranyms.

Did you know there are literally dozens of other ’nyms?

Just a few examples:

Aptronym. An aptronym is a name that describes or aptly suits its owner. German Psychiatry Professor Jules Angst. BBC Meteorologist Sara Blizzard. Here in the Washington area we have a podiatrist named Dr. Ronald Footer and, believe it or not, an OB/GYN, Dr. Harry Beaver.

Capitonym. A capitonym is a word that changes meanings when it is capitalized—Lent and lent, Polish and polish, Job and job, May and may and on and on.

Toponym. Toponyms take on their names based on where they originated. Examples include champagne, cashmere, and perhaps the two most famous, hamburger and frankfurter.

There’s another one I plan to share another time because it’s just too fun to lump in with other ’nyms. It’s the oronym. I’d describe the oronym as a cross between a homonym and a mondegreen. I’ll show you why later.

In the meantime, are there other ’nyms you’d like to explore or share?


Filed under All Things Wordish

2 responses to “Word Nymph’s ’nym words

  1. dave

    Thanks for this. I regularly see vans for aptronymic Peed Plumbing here in Northern Virginia.

    Is there a term describing words or names that cause discomfort? When I lived in Georgia, my company was regularly visited by a salesman named Morgan Death.

  2. Lou

    If there is/are terms describing words or names that cause discomfort, we had a bank lender named Mr. Grimm. Conversely, we ran into a bank lender named Mr. Love. The outcomes of the loan applications matched the names of those two lenders.

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