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Onomastics (or, in older texts, onomatology) is the study of the etymology, history, and use of proper names.[1] An orthonym 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]

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.
  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.

External links[edit]