Name Glossary

Definition of terms having to do with names and naming.

Acronym - a word formed by the first letters of a group of words, name or phrase. Examples: NASA (National Aeronautics and Space Administration) or SCUBA (Self Contained Underwater Breathing Apparatus).
Alliterative Name - two names starting with the same letter. Example: Marilyn Monroe.
Anonymous - without name, usually used for a published work or quote with no known author.
Astronym - name of a star.
Birth Name/Maiden Name - the original surname of a woman (as opposed to her married name).
Charactonym - a name of a fictional character reflected in his or her personality traits. Example: Dr. Horrible
Cognomen - Term from Ancient Rome referring to a person by their family or last name. Example: Caesar for Gaius Julius Caesar. Popular in modern times as a nick name for athletes or friends.
Code Name/Cryptonym - A false name given to a person who is undercover or part of a covert operation. Example: The Eagle has landed.
Eponym - a word that is derived from a name. Examples: Elizabethan, McCarthyism.
Ethnonym/Demonym - a name given to an ethnic group. Example: The Greeks.
Family Name - the hereditary surname of a family.
First Name - The first or given name given to you by your parents.
Formal Name - The formal name is the full name -- prefix, first, middle, last and suffix as used on official documents.
Gamer Name - a pseudonym chosen to represent a persona or character in a video game. Example: WaterMagick
Homonym - an occurence where two names are spelled differently, but sound the same. Example: Aiden and Aidan.
Hydronym - a name given to a body of water. Example: The Nile.
Hyphenated Name - when a couple choose to use both their surnames to create a new last name. Most commonly they use the names with a hyphen in between. Example: Jennifer Smith marries John Pierce. They change their names to Jennifer Smith-Pierce and John Smith-Pierce.
Initials/Monogram - the first letters of a person's first, middle and last names.
Last Name/Surname - Your family name -- for Europeans, it comes last in your formal name. For Chinese names, it is first in the formal name.
Middle Name - the part of a person's name occurring between the first and family names, as a second given name.
Name Sake - a person who is named after someone else--usually within the same family.
Nick Name - a form of your given name, indicating closeness or affection. Example: Jimmy for James. Can also be a name for ridicule or to draw attention to a personal characteristic. Example: Red for someone with red hair.
Odonym - the name of a street or road.
Onomastics - the study of the origin, history, and use of names.
Patronym - a surname that indicated the father's given name. Examples: Harrison (son of Harry) or O'Brien.
Pen Name - a pseudonym used by an author to conceal his/her identity.
Pet Name - a name used to express affection for a person. Example: Sweetie.
Occupational Name - a surname originally derived from the occupation of a person. Example: John Baker or George Mason.
Palindrome Name - a name that is spelled the same forwards and backwards. Example: Al Kukla.
Pseudonym - a name used by a person that is other than their legal name.
Screen Name - a pseudonym used to indicate your persona online on any given website. Example: RedFox88
Slave Name - a name given to a slave by a slaveholder. In America, the slave was historically given an Anglo-European first name and the slaveholder's surname.
Stage Name - the pseudonym of a performer. Example: Cary Grant (born Archibald Leach).
Street Name - an urban, slang name for a person. Example: Killer D or Sammy the Bull.
Textonym - a word or name generated by a sequence of numerals keyed into a phone keypad. Example: 2229 = BABY
Toponym - a place or location name.
Zoonym - a name of an animal. Example: Giraffe.