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From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Onomastics (or, in older texts, onomatology) is the study of the etymology, history, and use of proper names.[1] An alethonym ('true name') or an orthonym ('real name') 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 is a popular approach in historical research, where it can be used to identify ethnic minorities within wider populations[4][5] and for the purpose of prosopography.


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


  • Toponymy (or toponomastics), one of the principal branches of onomastics, is the study of place names.
  • Anthroponomastics is the study of personal names.[9]
  • Literary onomastics is the branch that researches the names in works of literature and other fiction.[10]
  • Socio-onomastics or Re-Onomastics is the study of names within a society or culture.

See also[edit]



  1. ^ "onomastics" Archived 2016-03-04 at the Wayback Machine. 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. hdl:2299/19710.
  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. S2CID 161595975. Archived (PDF) from the original on 2020-03-14. Retrieved 2017-08-27.
  6. ^ ὀνομαστικός Archived 2020-08-05 at the Wayback Machine, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus project
  7. ^ "Online Etymology Dictionary". etymonline.com. Archived from the original on 27 August 2017. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  8. ^ ὄνομα Archived 2021-02-25 at the Wayback Machine, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus project
  9. ^ Bruck, Gabriele (2009). The Anthropology of Names and Naming.
  10. ^ Alvarez-Altman, Grace; Burelbach, Frederick M. (1987). Names in Literature: Essays from Literary Onomastics Studies.

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