Names for Names

Anthroponomastics: the branch of onomastics devoted to the study of anthroponyms.

Anthroponym: proper name for a person or group of people. Sub-areas include the study of names used to label ethno racial groups, nationalities, tribes, families, individuals, etc.

Brand-name: proper name for product, brand, or trademark. Sub-areas include the study of names for medicines, automobiles, foods and beverages, computer hardware and software, corporations, sports teams, etc. A brand-name may also be called an “ergonym”.

Charactonym: a name given to a fictional character in a piece of literature.  These names are frequently studied within literary onomastics, a scholarly field of onomastics devoted to the study of names and naming within literary genres (e.g. drama, poetry, novels, short stories, novellas) across different media (e.g. television, film, print media, etc.)

Choronym: an administrative proper name used to label a geographical area of land. Examples include North America, the United States of America, Canada, Mexico, etc.

Cryptonym: a secret name which is used for the protection of the name-bearer.

Endonym: a proper name used by a group for self-reference. Outsiders to the group are quite often not aware of these names; and if they are aware of this name, they are often not “entitled” to use it without causing offensive.

Ethnonym: proper name used for ethno-racial grouping.

Exonym: a proper name which is used by outsiders to label a group. Such names may or may not be considered acceptable to the members of the group being labeled.

Family name: see last name and surname.

Geographical name: see toponym.

Hodonym: a proper name given to routes such as the names of crossings, bridges, pathways, roads, streets, tunnels, etc.

Hydronym: a proper name used to label a body of standing or moving water such as a brook, pond, lake, ocean, river, sea, spring, strait, swamp, water fall, watering hole, well, etc.

Last name: often used in combination with a first name, a last name is a common synonym for a family name or surname. See surname.

Matronym: a personal name derived from a female relative or ancestor (e.g. a mother, a grandmother, an aunt, etc.)

Metronym: a personal name originating from a mother’s name.

Necronym: a name used to refer to one who has died. In some cultures, it is common to name a child after a deceased relative as a sign of respect and honor.

Onomastician: a person who formally studies names and naming.

Onomastics: the formal study of names and naming.

Patronym: a personal name originating from a father’s name.

Place name: see topoynm

Pseudonym: an alternative name given to or used by a person in addition to or instead of an official or legal name.

Surname: a hereditary name of a family unit shared by its members. Commonly referred to as a “last name”. Many modern surnames were derived from personal names, occupations, place names, characteristics, or events of historical significance for the family unit (e.g. Johnson, Baker, Small, Freeman, etc.).

Theonym: a proper name used for a divine entity, a god or goddess.

Toponomastics: the branch of onomastics devoted to the scholarly investigation of toponyms.

Toponym: a proper name assigned to a place, either with or without inhabitants. Examples includes names for forests, hills, islands, mountains, towns, villages, woods, etc. May also be referred to as a “place name”.

Weather names: a proper name given to a meteorological entity or event (e.g. blizzards, clouds, droughts, earthquakes, fires, floods, storms, hurricanes, tornados, tsunamis, waves, winds, etc.

Zoonym: a proper name given to an animal.