An aptronym (also: aptonym) or charactonym is a name aptly suited to its owner. Fictional examples of aptronyms include Mr. Talkative and Mr. Worldly Wiseman in John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress (1678), Truman Burbank (true-man), the lead character in the 1998 film The Truman Show, the principal cast of the Mr. Men (1971), and all the characters in Marc Blitzstein's 1937 play The Cradle Will Rock.
- Jules Angst, German professor of psychiatry, who has published works about anxiety
- Jack Armstrong, retired MLB (Major League Baseball) pitcher
- Jeff Bagwell, Retired MLB 1st Baseman
- Grant Balfour, MLB Middle Reliever, although as a pitcher ball four is generally not a good thing
- Colin Bass, British bassist in the rock band Camel
- Layne Beachley, Australian world champion surfer
- Chip Beck, professional golfer
- Sara Blizzard, meteorologist (television weather presenter) for the BBC
- Lorena Bobbitt, arrested for "bobbing" a certain part of her husband's anatomy
- Usain Bolt, Jamaican sprinter, 2008 and 2012 Olympic Gold medalist, 100m and 200m world record holder
- Peter Bowler, cricketer (in fact, primarily a batsman)
- Russell Brain, neurologist
- Marc Breedlove, neuropsychologist involved in experimentally modifying the prenatal environment in rats to produce female rats who exhibit male sexual behavior (mounting), and male rats who exhibit female sexual behavior (lordosis)
- John Carbon, American organic chemist, biochemist, and molecular biologist
- Novella Carpenter, author
- Rich Coleman, British Columbia's Minister of Energy and Mines
- Chuck Close, American artist most well known for his lifelike, close-up paintings of people's faces
- Michael Christopher Coke, Jamaican drug lord
- Barry Commoner, Citizens Party candidate for President in 1980. (The liberal Citizens Party focused on the rights of "common people"—in other words, average citizens.)
- Reggie Corner, cornerback for the Buffalo Bills
- Margaret Court, tennis player
- Thomas Crapper, manufacturer of Victorian toilets. (Note that the word crap predates Mr. Crapper.)
- Mansfield Smith-Cumming, advocated the use of semen as invisible ink
- Thomas Diamond, Major League Baseball player (a baseball infield is known as a "diamond")
- Paddy Driver, former Grand Prix motorcycle road racer and race car driver
- Billy Drummond, American jazz drummer
- Tim Duncan, F/C of the San Antonio Spurs, who often dunks the ball
- Nicholas Economides, professor of economics, New York University, Stern School of Business
- Rich Fairbank, founder and CEO of Capital One Financial Corp.
- Andrew Fast, endurance and trail runner
- Storm Field, meteorologist
- Cecil Fielder and son Prince Fielder, baseball players
- Bob Flowerdew, gardener and Gardeners' Question Time panelist
- Martyn Fogg, an expert on the atmosphere of Mars
- Samuel Foote, a comic actor who lost a leg in a horseriding accident in 1766, and made jokes on stage about “Foote and leg, and leg and foot”
- Ronald A. Footer, MD, podiatrist
- Allen Forward, rugby forward
- Amy Freeze, meteorologist
- Yekaterina Gamova, Russian volleyball player whose nickname is "game over"
- States Rights Gist, Confederate Army brigadier general
- Eiichi Goto, computer scientist (goto or "go to" is a common piece of code in many programming languages)
- Learned Hand, judge
- Henry Head, an English neurologist
- Ryder Hesjedal, professional cyclist from Canada
- Jim Horn, saxophonist and woodwind player
- Quentin Jammer, San Diego Chargers cornerback
- Chip Jett, professional poker player
- Igor Judge, Lord Chief Justice of England and Wales
- Lateef Kayode, Boxer, a knockout is often abbreviated KO, and is used as a verb after abbreviation as "Kay-Ohhed"
- Christopher Landsea, Science and Operations Officer at the National Hurricane Center
- Tom Lehrer, teacher of mathematics and music theater ("Lehrer" is German for "teacher")
- Chuck Long, former NFL quarterback for the Detroit Lions and the Los Angeles Rams
- Ryan Longwell, NFL placekicker who holds the record for longest field goal in Green Bay Packers history
- Mildred and Richard Loving, interracial couple who challenged miscegenation laws in a landmark American Supreme Court case
- Andrew Luck, Indianapolis Colts quarterback. The Colts' logo, as well as the team's unofficial alternate nickname "The Horseshoe", is a symbol of good luck.
- Auguste and Louis Lumière, pioneering 19th century filmmakers (lumière is the French word for "light")
- Bernie Madoff, who made off with a lot of other people's investment money
- John W. Marshall, former United States Marshal for the Eastern District of Virginia
- George McGovern, former South Dakota politician and presidential candidate
- Jim McGovern, Scottish politician
- Bill Medley, singer, one half of The Righteous Brothers
- Benjamin Millepied, French ballet dancer and choreographer (millepied is the French word for "thousand foot")
- Thomas Moorer, Admiral and former U.S. Chief of Naval Operations (mooring is an operation on ships)
- Chris Moneymaker, 2003 World Series of Poker Main Event champion
- Vince Offer, infomercial host
- Josh Outman, Oakland Athletics pitcher
- James Cash Penney, businessman, entrepreneur, retailer
- J. P. Pickens, musician, writer, banjo and guitar player
- Michael Pollan, gardener, botanist, investigative journalist
- John Henry Poynting, physicist who invented the Poynting vector which specifies the direction and magnitude of electromagnetic energy flux, i.e., "points" in the direction energy is traveling
- Francine Prose, writer
- Dallas Raines, chief meteorologist at KABC-TV in Los Angeles, California
- Bob Rock, rock music producer, including Metallica and Bon Jovi
- Philander Rodman, father of Dennis Rodman and 28 to 46 other children
- James Roe, Paralympic rower
- Steve Roper, mountain climber, rock climber, mountaineering historian, founding editor of the Sierra Club journal Ascent
- David Sheppard, Anglican Bishop of Liverpool (bishops are sometimes known as shepherds)
- Tod Slaughter, actor known for playing killers and maniacs in early melodramas
- Richard Smalley, Rice University pioneer in nanotechnology
- Anna Smashnova, tennis player
- Brenda Song, singer
- Larry Speakes, presidential spokesman under President Ronald Reagan
- Lake Speed, former Nascar driver
- Scott Speed, Nascar driver, formerly in Formula One, GP2, and A1GP
- Margaret Spellings, Education Secretary under George W. Bush
- Charlie Spikes, former Major League Baseball player
- Takeo Spikes, NFL linebacker
- Marina Stepanova, former Soviet hurdler, first woman to run under 53 seconds in the 400 m hurdles
- Louise Story, a business reporter for the New York Times
- Dana Strum, bass guitarist of the rock band Slaughter
- Eugène Terre'Blanche, South African white nationalist (Terre'Blanche is French for "white land" and Eugene means "born well")
- Willie Thrower, former NFL quarterback; first African-American quarterback in NFL during modern era (post World War II)
- John Tory, former leader of the Ontario Progressive Conservative Party (Tories)
- Dr. Unk, Ohio doctor. Elizabeth Unk convicted for drunk driving.
- Marco Velo, professional cyclist (vélo meaning bike in French)
- Marilyn vos Savant, a columnist famous for her extremely high IQ and penchant for puzzle solving
- Rick Wagoner, former CEO of General Motors
- Bob Walk, retired MLB pitcher
- Stan Waterman, underwater photographer
- Anthony Weiner, U.S. Congressman embarrassed in a 2011 sex-scandal by a self-taken snapshot of a closeup of his underpants. ('Weiner' can be a slang term for a man's penis.)
- Arsène Wenger, manager of Arsenal FC in the Premier League
- Jamie Whincup, four-time V8 Supercar champion and four-time Bathurst 1000 winner
- Sam Whitelock, New Zealand Rugby Union player whose name reflects his race and position.
- John Wisdom, a leading 20th-century British philosopher
- John Minor Wisdom, U.S. Court of Appeals Judge and de-segragationist.
- Wolfgang Wolf, the former manager of German football club VfL Wolfsburg
- Tiger Woods, golfer (Wood is a type of golf club)
- William Wordsworth, poet
- R. Lee Wrights, prominent Libertarian Party member. (Libertarians place a high focus on rights in their party platform.)
- Early Wynn, baseball pitcher; recorded two wins in Opening Day games for the Cleveland Indians (1952, 1954) and two no-decision Opening Day games for the Chicago White Sox that resulted in wins (1960, 1961)
- Steve Wynn, casino owner
- Sue Yoo, lawyer 
Other examples 
The medieval Latin poem Eupolemius uses aptronyms based on Greek words to allegorise the story of the Gospel. In the book What's in a Name? (1996), author Paul Dickson cites a long list of aptronyms originally compiled by Professor Lewis P. Lipsitt, of Brown University. A sampling from the list:
- James Bugg, exterminator
- Dan Druff, barber
- Rev. James R. God, minister of the Congaree Baptist Church in Gadsden, South Carolina and current minister of Bible Baptist Church in New Bloomfield, Pennsylvania
- Priscilla Flattery, Environmental Protection Agency publicist
- William Headline, Washington, D.C. bureau chief for CNN
- C. Sharpe Minor, an organist
- Quentin Jammer, NFL cornerback
- Ima Assman proctologist
- Robert Killingback, chiropractor
- Marge Innovera, statistician (and other fictional staff members) on NPR's Car Talk
Some aptronyms are ironic rather than descriptive, being called inaptonyms by Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post. The former Archbishop of Manila, Jaime L. Sin known as "Cardinal Sin," is a notable example. Lance Armstrong, a cyclist who became famous because of leg, not arm, strength. Dickson's book also lists a Rev. Richard Sinner of Fargo, North Dakota. The British barrister Christmas Humphreys was not only born on 15 February rather than 25 December, but was known as a theosophist and later Buddhist. Actress Tuesday Weld was born on a Friday. The black metal musician and anti-Christian Gaahl's first name is Kristian.
Other issues 
Aptronyms may be called "aptonyms" by other writers. San Francisco columnist Herb Caen used the term "namephreaks". Washington Post columnist Bob Levey prefers the term PFLNs, or Perfect Fit Last Names.
There does not yet seem to be a standard terminology for this linguistic curiosity, although it appears that aptonyms is winning out.
See also 
- "Andrew Fast". La Sportiva. Retrieved March 18, 2013.
- Stone, Deborah (March 2, 2013). "Exploring new terrain via human power". Ends Unknown. Retrieved March 18, 2013. "...an elite trail runner and triathlete with an oh, so apropos last name..."
- "Just for the record, Rodman only has 28 siblings". NBC Sports. 15 August 2011. Retrieved 28 Mar 2012.
- Story, Louise. The New York Times http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/people/s/louise_story/index.html
|url=missing title (help).
- Lattman, Peter (3 May 2006). "Law Blog Lawyer of the Day: Sullivan & Cromwell's Sue Yoo!". The Wall Street Journal.
- "aptronym". Encyclopædia Britannica (Encyclopædia Britannica Online ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-19.
- Dickson, Paul. What's in a Name? Reflections of an Irrepressible Name Collector. Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster, 1996. ISBN 0-87779-613-0
- Aptonyms-wiki was Canadian Aptonym Centre
- "Charol Shakeshaft, Topped!", a list of reader-submitted aptronyms by Slate's Timothy Noah.
- Article about Zimbabwean English naming conventions
- Car Talk Fictional Show Credits from the radio show Car Talk.