Last updated

Onomastics or onomatology is the study of the etymology, history, and use of proper names. [1] An orthonym is the proper name of the object in question, the object of onomastic study.


Onomastics can be helpful in data mining, with applications such as named-entity recognition, or recognition of the origin of names. [2] [3] It has also been used in historical research to identify ethnic minorities within wider populations. [4] [5]


Onomastics originates from the Greek onomastikós (ὀνομαστικός, 'of or belonging to naming'), [6] [7] itself derived from ónoma (ὄνομα, 'name'). [8]


See also


Related Research Articles

Lexicology is the part of linguistics that studies words. This may include their nature and function as symbols, their meaning, the relationship of their meaning to epistemology in general, and the rules of their composition from smaller elements . Lexicology also involves relations between words, which may involve semantics, derivation, use and sociolinguistic distinctions, and any other issues involved in analyzing the whole lexicon of a language.

In grammar, the nominative case , subjective case, straight case or upright case is one of the grammatical cases of a noun or other part of speech, which generally marks the subject of a verb or the predicate noun or predicate adjective, as opposed to its object or other verb arguments. Generally, the noun "that is doing something" is in the nominative, and the nominative is often the form listed in dictionaries.

Noun Part of speech

A noun is a word that functions as the name of a specific object or set of objects, such as living creatures, places, actions, qualities, states of existence, or ideas. However, noun is not a semantic category, so it cannot be characterized in terms of its meaning. Thus, actions and states of existence can also be expressed by verbs, qualities by adjectives, and places by adverbs. Linguistically, a noun is a member of a large, open part of speech whose members can occur as the main word in the subject of a clause, the object of a verb, or the object of a preposition.

Numismatics is the study or collection of currency, including coins, tokens, paper money, medals and related objects. While numismatists are often characterized as students or collectors of coins, the discipline also includes the broader study of money and other payment media used to resolve debts and the exchange of goods. Early money used by people is referred to as "Odd and Curious", but the use of other goods in barter exchange is excluded, even where used as a circulating currency. As an example, the Kyrgyz people used horses as the principal currency unit and gave small change in lambskins; the lambskins may be suitable for numismatic study, but the horses are not. Many objects have been used for centuries, such as cowry shells, precious metals, cocoa beans, large stones, and gems.

The concept of an archetype appears in areas relating to behavior, historical psychology, and literary analysis. An archetype can be:

  1. a statement, pattern of behavior, prototype, "first" form, or a main model that other statements, patterns of behavior, and objects copy, emulate, or "merge" into. Informal synonyms frequently used for this definition include "standard example," "basic example," and the longer-form "archetypal example;" mathematical archetypes often appear as "canonical examples."
  2. the Platonic concept of pure form, believed to embody the fundamental characteristics of a thing.
  3. a collectively-inherited unconscious idea, pattern of thought, image, etc., that is universally present, in individual psyches, as in Jungian psychology
  4. a constantly-recurring symbol or motif in literature, painting, or mythology. This definition refers to the recurrence of characters or ideas sharing similar traits throughout various, seemingly unrelated cases in classic storytelling, media, etc. This usage of the term draws from both comparative anthropology and from Jungian archetypal theory.
Amphitheatre Open air entertainment venue

An amphitheatre or amphitheater is an open-air venue used for entertainment, performances, and sports. The term derives from the ancient Greek ἀμφιθέατρον (amphitheatron), from ἀμφί (amphi), meaning "on both sides" or "around" and θέατρον (théātron), meaning "place for viewing".

Erebus Personification of darkness in Greek mythology

In Greek mythology, Erebus, , was often conceived as a primordial deity, representing the personification of darkness; for instance, Hesiod's Theogony identifies him as one of the first five beings in existence, born of Chaos.

Toponymy, also toponymics or toponomastics is the study of toponyms, their origins and meanings, use and typology. In a more specific sense, the term toponymy refers to an inventory of toponyms, while the discipline researching such names is referred to as toponymics or toponomastics. Toponymy is a branch of onomastics, the study of proper names of all kinds. A person who studies toponymy is called toponymist. Toponym is the general term for a proper name of any geographical feature, and full scope of the term also includes proper names of all cosmographical features.

In linguistics, homonyms, broadly defined, are words which are homographs or homophones, or both. For example, according to this definition, the words row, row (argument) and row are homonyms, as are the words see (vision) and sea.

Name Word or term used for identification by an external observer

A name is a term used for identification by an external observer. They can identify a class or category of things, or a single thing, either uniquely, or within a given context. The entity identified by a name is called its referent. A personal name identifies, not necessarily uniquely, a specific individual human. The name of a specific entity is sometimes called a proper name and is, when consisting of only one word, a proper noun. Other nouns are sometimes called "common names" or (obsolete) "general names". A name can be given to a person, place, or thing; for example, parents can give their child a name or a scientist can give an element a name.

A matronymic is a personal name based on the given name of one's mother, grandmother, or any female ancestor. It is the female equivalent of a patronymic. Around the world, matronymic surnames are far less common than patronymic surnames. In some cultures in the past, matronymic last names were often given to children of unwed mothers. Or if a woman was especially well known or powerful, her descendants might adopt a matronym based on her name. A matronymic is a derived name, as compared to a matriname, which is an inherited name from a mother's side of the family, and which is unchanged.

68 Leto

Leto is a large main belt asteroid that is orbiting the Sun with a period of 4.64 years. Its spectral type is S, suggesting a stony, silicate composition. The asteroid was discovered by German astronomer Robert Luther on April 29, 1861, and is named after Leto, the mother of Apollo and Artemis in Greek mythology. It has an estimated cross-sectional size of 123 km and a rotation period of 14.8 hours.

<i>A Greek–English Lexicon</i>

A Greek–English Lexicon, often referred to as Liddell & Scott, Liddell–Scott–Jones, or LSJ, is a standard lexicographical work of the Ancient Greek language.

Anthroponymy is the study of anthroponyms, the proper names of human beings, both individual and collective. Anthroponymy is a branch of onomastics.

In Greek mythology, Paean, Paeëon or Paieon (Παιήων), or Paeon or Paion (Παιών) was the physician of the gods.

Metaphorand metonymy are two fundamental opposite poles along which a discourse with human language is developed. It has been argued that the two poles of similarity and contiguity are fundamental ones along which the human brain is structured; in the study of human language the two poles have been called metaphor and metonymy, while in the study of the unconscious they have been called condensation and displacement. In linguistics, they are connected to the paradigmatic and syntagmatic poles.

Theonym A proper name of a deity

A theonym is the proper name of a deity.

Elaine Matthews BA BPhil was a British classical scholar at the University of Oxford and one of the principal contributors to the Lexicon of Greek Personal Names.

Choronym is a linguistic term that designates a proper name of an individual region, or a country. The study of regional and country names is known as choronymy, or choronymics. Since choronyms are a subclass of toponyms, choronymic studies represent a distinctive subfield within toponymic studies, and also belong to the wider field of onomastic studies. Choronymic studies are primarily focused on questions related to the origin (etymology) and meanings (semantics) of choronyms. Since names of regions and countries have great historical, cultural, political and social significance, the field of choronymic studies is closely related to sociolinguistic and ethnolinguistic studies.

Religionym and confessionym are polysemic terms, and neologisms, that have several distinctive meanings, generally related to religious (confessional) terminology, but are defined and used differently among scholars. As a consequence of a wide variety of uses, specific meanings of those terms can be mutually distinctive, but also overlapping. Some scholars have used one or the other term as designations for a particular onomastic class that encompasses the proper names of religions and cults, while others have used the same terms as names for a particular anthroponymic class, encompassing the proper names that designate religious adherents. In scholarly literature, both terms are sometimes also used in much broader meaning, as designations for all terms that are semantically related to religious (confessional) terminology.


  1. "onomastics". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary .
  2. Carsenat, Elian (2013). "Onomastics and Big Data Mining". arXiv: 1310.6311 [cs.CY].
  3. Mitzlaff, Folke; Stumme, Gerd (2013). "Onomastics 2.0 - The Power of Social Co-Occurrences". arXiv: 1303.0484 [cs.IR].
  4. Crymble, Adam (2017-02-09). "How Criminal were the Irish? Bias in the Detection of London Currency Crime, 1797-1821". The London Journal. 43: 36–52. doi: 10.1080/03058034.2016.1270876 .
  5. Crymble, Adam (2015-07-26). "A Comparative Approach to Identifying the Irish in Long Eighteenth-Century London" (PDF). Historical Methods. 48 (3): 141–152. doi:10.1080/01615440.2015.1007194. hdl: 2299/16184 .
  6. ὀνομαστικός, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus project
  7. "Online Etymology Dictionary". etymonline.com. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  8. ὄνομα, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus project
  9. Alvarez-Altman, Grace; Burelbach, Frederick M. (1987). Names in Literature: Essays from Literary Onomastics Studies.