The Nyms

Nyms are words that define a special relationship among words.  The most common Nyms include:

Acronym An abbreviation of a title or phrase formed from the initial letters of a series of words.  (FBI-Federal Bureau of Investigation, UNCLE-United Network Command for Law and Enforcement as in Man from)

Antonym Either of a pair of words that have opposite meanings Antonyms (hot-cold, tall-short, happy-sad)

Aptronym A person’s name that matches it’s owner’s occupation or character very well(Woody Carpenter)

Autoantonym  A word that can take two (or more) opposite meanings.  (fast means “moving quickly” or “fixed firmly in place)

Autonym   A word that describes itself  (word is a word)  OR A person’s real name; the opposite of pseudonym   (Nicole Polizzi is the autonym of Snooki from Jersey Shore.)

Capitonym  A word which changes its meaning when capitalized. (august and August)

Eponym  A name from which another name or word is derived.  (The word sandwich coming from the Earl of Sandwich. OR The city of Baltimore was named after Lord Baltimore.)

Exonym  A place name used by foreigners that differs from the name used by natives.  (The city Florence is Firenze in Italian.)

Heteronym  A heteronym is a word which changes definition based on pronounciation. (Wind a clock. OR The wind blows.)

Homonym  Words that have the same pronunciation or spelling, but are different in meaning. (To, too, two OR  tow, toe)

Oronym (Homophones) Unrelated words or phrases which are spelled differently yet pronounced the same.   (Hear, here)

Paronym  A word from the same root, and  a similar pronunciation as the other.  (face, facial)

Patronym   A name derived from the name of one’s father, or another male ancestor. (Anderson OR Watson)

Pseudonym  An assumed name, also called a pen name.  (Julie Woodcock writes as Angela Knight. OR Nora Roberts writes as J.D. Robb.)

Synonym  One of two (or more) words that have the same (or very similar) meaning (tall-large, red-scarlet)

Tautonym   Word composed of two identical parts. (yo-yo, tutu, bye-bye)

Toponym  A place name (New York)  OR  A word derived from a place name (champagne from Champagne in France)

For less common nyms, check out this commercial website:\

Tomorrow:  Ronald Reagan:  Excerpt from “The Right to Choose”  Rita Bay

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