Aptronym

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An aptronym, aptonym or euonym is a personal name aptly or peculiarly suited to its owner. The Encyclopaedia Britannica attributes the term to Franklin P. Adams, a writer who coined it as an anagram of patronym, to emphasize "apt".[1]

According to Frank Nuessel, in The Study of Names (1992), an aptonym is the term used for "people whose names and occupations or situations (e.g., workplace) have a close correspondence."

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.[2] Psychologist Carl Jung wrote in his book Synchronicity that there was a "sometimes quite grotesque coincidence between a man's name and his peculiarities".[3]

Nominative determinism is a hypothesis which suggests a causal relationship based on the idea that people tend to be attracted to areas of work that fit their name.

Notable examples[edit]

Inaptronyms[edit]

Some aptronyms are ironic rather than descriptive, being called inaptronyms by Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post.[10] A notable example is the former Archbishop of Manila, Jaime Sin who in 1976 was made a cardinal by Pope Paul VI, thus becoming known as "Cardinal Sin".[4]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "aptronym". Encyclopædia Britannica (Encyclopædia Britannica Online ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-19. 
  2. ^ Dickson, Paul (1996). What's in a Name? Reflections of an Irrepressible Name Collector. Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster. ISBN 0-87779-613-0. 
  3. ^ "When the name fits the job" BBC. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
  4. ^ a b c d e f Nunn, Gary. "Reckless by name, reckless by nature? (But at least he's not called Rich White)". 
  5. ^ Topaz, Jonathan (24 June 2014). "Stephen Colbert to 'quitter' Jay Carney: Man up!". Politico. Retrieved 17 January 2015. 
  6. ^ a b c Johnson, Theodore R. (14 March 2016). "Do Our Names Shape Our Destinies? Trump's Might.". Slate. 
  7. ^ Elster, Charles Harrington (2005). What in the Word?. Orlando, FL: Harcourt. p. 109. 
  8. ^ Wordsworth, William (1876). Alexander B. Grosart, ed. The Prose Works of William Wordsworth. London: Edward Moxon, Son and Co. p. 21. 
  9. ^ Swartz, Richard G. (1992). "Wordsworth, Copyright, and the Commodities of Genius". Modern Philology. 89 (4): 482–509. JSTOR 438162. 
  10. ^ Gene Weingarten (July 18, 2006). "Chatological Humor* (UPDATED 7.21.06)". Washington Post. 
  11. ^ Clarke, Norma (28 December 2014). "Samuel Foote, the one-legged wonder". The Times Literary Supplement. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 
  12. ^ "6 Biggest Goons In Buffalo Sabres' History". Rant Sports. 19 January 2014. Retrieved 14 December 2015. 

External links[edit]