An aptronym, aptonym or euonym is a personal name aptly or peculiarly suited to its owner.
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. Psychologist Carl Jung wrote in his book Synchronicity that there was a "sometimes quite grotesque coincidence between a man's name and his peculiarities".
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.
- Jules Angst, German professor of psychiatry, who has published works about anxiety
- Michael Ball, football player
- Colin Bass, British bassist in the rock band Camel
- Sara Blizzard, meteorologist (television weather presenter) for the BBC
- Rosalind Brewer, executive at Starbucks and a former director at Molson Coors Brewing Company
- Margaret Court, Australian tennis player
- Thomas Crapper, sanitary engineer
- Charles de Gaulle, French general and politician (Gaul being an ancient name for the territory that is now France)
- Josh Earnest, the third press secretary for the Obama Administration (Stephen Colbert observed, "What a name for a press secretary. Josh Earnest. His name literally means, 'Just kidding, but seriously.'")
- Igor Judge, English judge and Lord Chief Justice
- Amy Freeze, American meteorologist
- Chris Moneymaker, American poker player and 2003 World Series of Poker champion
- Hans Münch, A Nazi SS doctor present at Auschwitz; but refused to participate in murders, and instead aided the prisoners. Completely exonerated at a post-war trial on the basis of accounts of Holocaust survivors whom he had helped. The Yiddish word "Mensch" means "a person of integrity and honor".
- Sol Price, Founder of the wholesale-price Costco chain
- Francine Prose, American novelist
- Marilyn vos Savant, American columnist who has been cited for having the world's highest recorded IQ
- Donald Trump, American businessman and politician whose name Slate called an aptronym because "When Trump resorts to name-calling, holds raucous rallies that draw audiences in the thousands, and employs media savvy that makes him the subject of every conversation, he is playing the trump card."
- Anthony Weiner, American politician involved in sexting scandals
- William Wordsworth, English poet and advocate for the extension of British copyright law
Some aptronyms are ironic rather than descriptive, being called inaptronyms by Gene Weingarten of the Washington Post. 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".
- Frank Beard, an American musician who, until recently, was only member of rock band ZZ Top without a beard
- Don Black, White supremacist
- Peter Bowler, cricketer (in fact, primarily a batsman)
- 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"
- Larry Playfair, NHL defenseman known for his fighting
- "aptronym". Encyclopædia Britannica (Encyclopædia Britannica Online ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 2008. Retrieved 2008-07-19.
- Dickson, Paul (1996). What's in a Name? Reflections of an Irrepressible Name Collector. Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster. ISBN 0-87779-613-0.
- "When the name fits the job" BBC. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
- Nunn, Gary. "Reckless by name, reckless by nature? (But at least he's not called Rich White)".
- Maxwell, Kerry (4 March 2008). "BuzzWord: Aptronym". MacMillan Dictionary.
- Berman, Laura (September 6, 2017). "Starbucks Adds Fittingly Named Rosalind Brewer, Sam's Club Veteran, as COO". The Street. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
- Noah, Timothy (May 17, 2006). "Wayne Schmuck, Used-Car Distributor". Slate. Retrieved 2017-09-14.
- Wilton, David (2008). Word Myths: Debunking Linguistic Urban Legends. Oxford University Press. p. 138.
- Topaz, Jonathan (24 June 2014). "Stephen Colbert to 'quitter' Jay Carney: Man up!". Politico. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
- Johnston, Philip (2013-08-02). "Farewell to a doughty champion of liberty and the public interest". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 2018-01-06.
- Johnson, Theodore R. (14 March 2016). "Do Our Names Shape Our Destinies? Trump's Might". Slate.
- Wilgoren, Jodi (2003-05-25). "A Player Called 'Money' Wins World Poker Title". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 2018-01-06.
- "Shocking historical facts". Webb, Wilson.
- Sánchez Canales, Gustavo (2016). ""What's in a Name?": Aptronyms and Archetypes in Bernard Malamud's The Assistant and The Fixer". In Aarons, Victoria; Sánchez Canales, Gustavo. Bernard Malamud: A Centennial Tribute. Detroit, Michigan: Wayne State University Press. ISBN 9780814341148. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
- Elster, Charles Harrington (2005). What in the Word?. Orlando, FL: Harcourt. p. 109.
- Wordsworth, William (1876). Alexander B. Grosart, ed. The Prose Works of William Wordsworth. London: Edward Moxon, Son and Co. p. 21.
- Swartz, Richard G. (1992). "Wordsworth, Copyright, and the Commodities of Genius". Modern Philology. 89 (4): 482–509. JSTOR 438162.
- Gene Weingarten (July 18, 2006). "Chatological Humor* (UPDATED 7.21.06)". Washington Post.
- "ZZ Top Drummer Frank Beard Finally Grows One". 103.7 The Hawk. Retrieved 2018-01-06.
- Clarke, Norma (28 December 2014). "Samuel Foote, the one-legged wonder". The Times Literary Supplement. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
- "6 Biggest Goons In Buffalo Sabres' History". Rant Sports. 19 January 2014. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
- Aptonyms-wiki (based on the extinct Canadian Aptonym Centre)
- "Charol Shakeshaft, Topped!", A Yellow Pages of aptronyms. reader-submitted aptronyms by Slate's Timothy Noah
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