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Vinyl record[edit]

"Vinyl record: A term that arose to distinguish 33⅓- and 45-rpm phonograph records (LPs and 45s) from the compact discs (CDs) that have since replaced them for nearly all physical records and record albums."

I don't know that this is appropriate for this article. I believe that vinyl (PVC) records were called vinyl records when they first came into popular use - so as to distinguish them from other (generally earlier) phonograph disks made of other materials like shellac, rubber, metal, glass, etc. So yeah - not really a retronym. As hard as it may be for us to believe now a days, the vinyl record was at one point a technological inovation over earlier forms of recording. :)

See for more background... --Blackcats 03:10, 4 Mar 2005 (UTC)

Here in Australia there was a somewhat inacurate retronym black record.

Compact Disc versus LaserDisc—not a retronym[edit]

"The name compact disc was used to distinguish from the older Laserdisc, the first commercial optical storage medium".

This is a ridiculous assertion. It is not as if Compact Disc might have been called Mini LaserDisc or something. They are completely different products, based upon different technologies, by different companies, and both are trademarks. More relevantly, neither was renamed as a result of the existence of the other; so is not a retronym scenario, and does not belong in this article at all.
überRegenbogen (talk) 11:16, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

I went ahead and yanked the sentence.
überRegenbogen (talk) 11:31, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Rotary-dial telephone[edit]

Re: "Rotary-dial telephone"-- For a time these were the newer, more modern variety of telephone, while they were replacing the previously usual standard type of telephone. -- Hello Central, gimme Infrogmation

This raises some interesting questions. Is "rotary phone" actually a retronym, or was it a neologism created when phone companies began replacing the manual switchboard systems with automated switching systems directed by dialing? And did the old-style phones acquire a retronym themselves? -- Jeff Q 22:22, 7 Jul 2004 (UTC)

Female "Sr."?[edit]

When I added the retronymic use of "Sr." (senior) for fathers who (foolishly and egotistically, IMHO) name their sons after themselves, I found myself wondering if there are any famous uses of "Sr." for women. I can't think of any, nor can I think of any "feminine" substitute for this practice. It isn't because of lack of need. (My own family includes three generations of Marys and two of Carolyns, as well as four Davids! My Marys have nicknames to distinguish themselves, and the Carolyns just get confused. Who ever invented this practice?!) I suppose it's less frequently necessarily in societies where women adopt the surnames of their husbands when they marry, or where they acquire compound or hyphenated names, but surely this comes up from time to time. Someone famous must have dealt with this issue! -- Jeff Q 09:03, 23 May 2004 (UTC)

Well, certainly before a girl marries she has to be disambiguated from her mother by some means. And if they're going to do it by giving the child a double-barrelled name, then this ought to be just as common for boys. For that matter, how were Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon and Elizabeth Alexandra Mary Windsor commonly known before George VI ascended the throne? -- Smjg 15:43, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)
They were, respectively, HRH The Duchess of York and HRH Princess Elizabeth of York - the mother was never "Princess Elizabeth", because she wasn't born a princess, she was instead "Princess Albert". It was only when the younger ascended the throne that the two Queens Elizabeth needed disambiguating - this was achieved through styling the elder HM Queen Elizabeth, The Queen Mother. Hope this helps! – DBD 21:44, 14 January 2007 (UTC)
Is being disambiguated from one's mother a painful process
(;-)? Joking aside though, wasn't she known precisely as Elizabeth Bowes-Lyon ? Dieter Simon 01:25, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
Before her marriage, yes. —Tamfang 06:21, 15 August 2007 (UTC)
There was an American actress in the 1940s named Cobina Wright Sr. whose actress daughter Cobina Wright Jr dropped the "junior" after her mother's retirement. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:24, 1 July 2011 (UTC)
In King of the Hill, there was "Khan, Junior", who was a young lady. Her father's last name was Khan. I don't remember if she had a first name. Bobby Hill always just called her "Khan". That isn't directly applicable, as it pertains to women named after men, rather than women named after women. I've seen less relevant examples in talk pages of Wikipedia, so I decided to chime in anyway. --FeralOink (talk) 07:20, 13 April 2013 (UTC)


Would the term "Catholic" be a retronym, since the Catholic church only started using that term after the advent of Protestantism? ☞spencer195 03:46, 30 May 2004 (UTC)

It was first used (in 1551, according to OED) to mean "universal" in non-ecclesiastical use. So the word itself wasn't invented by Catholics. Not sure if this info helps. --Menchi 04:31, 30 May 2004 (UTC)
A lot of non-Roman Catholics also consider themselves to be Catholic, Eastern and Greek Orthodox for example, and high Anglicanism. A strong case could be made for saying the RC church changed so much after the Schisms that the new term "Roman Catholicism" doesn't refer to the same entity that used to be called ... er something else.
The term was long used to distinguish the church from "heresies" like Arianism, Donatism, and so on. The OED will, of course, only list uses in English. --Iustinus 19:08, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)

The term was certainly in use by the Council of Nicaea (325 AD) since it appears in the Creed there agreed. Mark O'Sullivan 11:45, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

The earliest extant use of the term Catholic was in the early 2nd century by Ignatius of Antioch, who must have known the apostles, in a letter written shortly before his martyrdom. Dates for this are as various as 107 and 115 AD.—Copey 2 09:20, 22 April 2006 (UTC)


What about charcoal? Before the advent of the then so-called "sea-coal" in the Middle Ages, charcoal should have been generally known as just "coal". --Cendol 10:19, Sep 13, 2004 (UTC)

Acoustic guitar?[edit]

The acoustic guitar is distinguished from the classical guitar in that it has metal strings. I assume that this is the origin of the name, not a retronym after the electric guitar. Asbestos | Talk 08:37, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Actually, this would seem to suggest both acoustic guitar and classical guitar are retronyms. Somewhere along the way, these adjectives were added to distinguish a new kind of guitar from whatever was just called a "guitar" before. Perhaps the problem is that the arrival of the electric guitar was not the retronym-spawning event. Does anyone know the etymologies of these variations? — Jeff Q 09:08, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)
You're probably right. The American Heritage Dictionary has electric->acoustic as their first example of a retronym anyway, so perhaps best to leave it. Asbestos | Talk 09:50, 5 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Posthumous names[edit]

Would the posthumous names entry really be a retronym? It's a name awarded after death, not a name added to distinguish it from something modern.

I agree, it does not meet the definition given in the article.

Catherine of Aragon[edit]

Is Catherine of Aragon a retronym? I suppose she was called "of Aragon" under certain circumstances to begin with, but the period sources I've seen tend to just call her "Queen Catherine" (even in treatises about the annullment of her marriage to Henry VIII) I assume "of Aragon" started to become a common epithet for her once Henry married Catherine Howard and Catherine Parre. If anyone has a period source, preferably one in Latin, that refers to her witih her epithet, I would like to see it. --Iustinus 19:18, 21 Jan 2005 (UTC)


Wouldn't classic rock and classical music be retronys? I doubt Mozart called himself "classical".

That's a minefield. What most people would call "classical" music is actually broken up into a number of periods (Classical, baroque, et cetera). Also I don't think it's necessary to list every freaking retronym on the page. —Casey J. Morris 22:03, July 14, 2005 (UTC)
The words "classic" and "classical", literally, refer to things that are representative of some class (a class being a group of things that are all the same kind of thing, like cars of a certain era, or students of the same grade). But people tend to think of them as just meaning significant old stuff—which many things that get classified (an other mis-perceived word) tend to be.
When used in marketting—including musical genres—they tend to degenerate into mostly arbitrary buzzwords. "Classic Rock" tends to get pegged on most anything that was on the rock charts in the 1970s that doesn't conveniently fit into another genre, just to have something to call it. Likewise, all scored music involving only instruments invented more than 300 years ago—even if it was written last week—gets called "Classical" on the record store shelves. As a culture, we tend to suck that way. :\ (Oh yeah, a record is a chunk of stored information.)
überRegenbogen (talk) 12:50, 31 August 2009 (UTC)

Sit-down restaurant[edit]

I believe that this item ought to be qualified as US usage. In the UK, "fast-food" outlets are generally referred to as "cafés" despite the best efforts of one major US chain to dignify its establishments, and "take-away" [southern England] or "carry-out" [Scotland and Northern Ireland] facilities are generally referred to as "shops". Mark O'Sullivan 11:55, 20 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Not in the parts of the UK I've experienced - "fast food restaurant" and "café" tend to refer to different things, though maybe there is some overlap. And "fast food outlet" also seems to be a quite common term, which I suppose could refer to fast food restaurants and takeaways alike. and for the record, here are some Google statistics:
  • "McDonald's restaurant" 111,000 (UK 4,640)
  • "McDonald's outlet" 3,510 (UK 121)
  • "McDonald's café" 139 (UK 6)
  • "fast food restaurant" 558,000 (UK 22,300)
  • "fast food outlet" 42,800 (UK 10,300)
  • "fast food café" 933 (UK 390)
Some of these ratios surprise me a bit, but still imply that "restaurant" is the usual British and worldwide term. -- Smjg 10:01, 21 Jun 2005 (UTC)
But as Mark O'Sullivan said, "Sit-down restaurant" is specifically American, I've certainly never heard it used here. There may be written references to McDonalds Restaurants, but not in common speech usage. 02:18, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

George H.W. Bush[edit]

Since today the name "George Bush" is more commonly used to mean the son rather than the father, could the adding of the "H.W." or saying "George Bush Senior" be considered a retronym? I know someone mentioned that "Senior" is retronymic, but does the same apply to the later-added middle intials?

It's not like he went out and had his name changed when his son was elected President; those were always his initials. —Casey J. Morris 22:04, July 14, 2005 (UTC)

American Football[edit]

Would this be an example of a retronym? As "soccer" becomes more popular and Americans watch European "football", the term "American Football" seems to be more appropriate. I heard the term quite often while living in Europe and even the Americans started using it.

I'm afraid plausibility just in itself doesn't really help. Yes, you are right, "soccer" is becoming more popular in the U.S., and both "soccer" and "football" in the UK mean the same thing, that it might indeed follow to call the American game of soccer "American football", but that is not enough. The actual and still popular game of American Football as it is played resembles after all more the English game "Rugby" and has indeed a similar shape ball. It would be very confusing 'retronymically' to call soccer as played in the U. S. "American Football" while the original game is still being played and loved under American rules. Dieter Simon 22:55, 18 August 2005 (UTC)
The idea that "American Football" is a retonym can only be justified from the US perspective because everywhere else in the world, it has always been called this. The true retronym is in fact "soccer" which comes from a truncation of "Association". The original game of football was the soccer version. When a new game, rugby, was derived, socccer became known officially as Association Football to distinquish it from Rugby Football (from which American Football is descended). The interesting thing is that with Rugby Football, there was a further split into Rugby Union and Rugby League so in fact the term Rugby Union Football became a retronym in itself. --GringoInChile 10:08, 6 December 2005 (UTC)
Actually, all these codes (and others such as Aussie rules) were for a great time called merely 'football'. Only when they had diverged very significantly, perhaps the 1880s, did the separate names become used (albeit only to describe the codes not native to one's own area). And the game Rugby, etc., descended from was not the same game as soccer; it was something of a nebulous, regionalized, ad hoc game called simply 'football'. Each club had its own rules preferences, and had to agree with each opponent whether to allow the use of hands, the level of physical contact, the dynamics and values of scoring goals, etc. For further evidence, the game in the United States was never called Rugby, even when (pre-1906) it was virtually identical to it. (At the same time, for some odd reason, Canada did call its game Rugby, even long after it had diverged significantly along with the American game) This whole thing reminds me of 12th century Europe, where there were two 'Roman Empires', one in Germany, and one at Constantinople, and neither included Rome itself. Xyzzyva 03:47, 19 May 2006 (UTC)
Neither "soccer" nor "rugby football" are retronyms. Association Football is the name applied to the game played by the rules set by the Football Association. "Soccer" is a slang abbreviation of "Association". When something is, upon creation, given an adjectival name in order to disambiguate it from something else, that's not a "retronym", it's just a name. 02:14, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

Why is hard cider not a retronym?[edit]

Hi, Flapdragon, please explain why for example, "hard cider" isn't a retronym. Don't just remove it, if you have a good reason why you have deleted it, you should explain. It's not at all clear why you have deleted it. Dieter Simon 22:53, 6 September 2005 (UTC)

OK, on further reflection I withdraw my objection and have reinstated "hard cider". I still think it's a weak example, but I was wrong to delete it. However I do think there are way too many examples shown; the article is really more a List of retronyms than an explanation of Retronym. Flapdragon 01:07, 7 September 2005 (UTC)
I completely agree with you on that point, Flapdragon. This "list" should be moved or removed. --Avochelm 15:32, 14 April 2006 (UTC)


Would Feudal count? Conglacio 04:14, 26 November 2005 (UTC)

Four-player mahjong[edit]

Mahjong (among other spellings) is actually a four-player game, but it seems that when people talk of it they often actually mean mahjong solitaire. As such, there ought to be a term that's used to clarify that one is talking of the four-player game. Assuming that it really does predate the solitaire game, then if there's a term in significant use that is understood to mean specifically the four-player game, then it could go on the list. -- Smjg 13:20, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Film camera[edit]

Film camera doesn't belong here. There was more than one type of camera before digital - plate cameras, for a start, did not (and do not) use film.

This page would be better if there were dated sources for the claimed retronyms. --Pfold 07:53, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

The existence previously of other types of camera does not invalidate the retronymy of the term. Film cameras were not generally so called till the advent of digital. The name is used to distinguish what was all-but-universally called a camera from the later-invented digital types.
It does raise an intriguing issue, however, in defining the history of terms. If film cameras were so called to distinguish them from plate cameras before the invention of digital; and if the term subsequently arose independently of this earlier use to distinguish them from digital cameras, then we have the interesting phenomenon of a single term with a single meaning but two uses. Both uses refer to the same object, but there is an older use distinguishing them from an older piece of technology, and a newer one distinguishing them from a more recent invention. It is the newer use that constitutes the retronym.—Copey 2 09:20, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

Pocket watch[edit]

Deleted. The term pocket watch existed 2 centuries before wrist watch. Don't people check these things in a dictionary before posting them here? --Pfold 08:14, 24 March 2006 (UTC)


This a retronym? When did shellfish first exist? I thought they existed before fish did. Though if so then there can't have been a huge gap - apparently [1] fish were invented 510 mya, 32 my into the Cambrian. -- Smjg 14:56, 24 March 2006 (UTC)

Shellfish are certainly not a late invention from which a previously universal type now has to be distinguished. The term fish by itself still doesn't include shellfish.—Copey 2 09:20, 22 April 2006 (UTC)
The point is not which creature existed earlier but which word existed earlier - certainly there were not humans in Cambrian! —Preceding unsigned comment added by Kotika98 (talkcontribs) 18:27, 26 September 2008 (UTC)

Splitting of article[edit]

Was there really any point in splitting this article into Retronym, consisting of 3 short paragraphs and List of retronyms, with the bulk of the original? In the meantime, I will paste this talk page with the List article.—Copey 2 09:20, 22 April 2006 (UTC)

First Battle of Bull Run[edit]

Please please tell me this is a reference to the "Encyclopedia Brown" story where Bugs Meany tries to pass off a civil war sword that has the retronym etched into the side? Man I loved those books... —Preceding unsigned comment added by Dslawe (talkcontribs) 15:38, 15 November 2006

So that you shouldn't feel alone, I remember that incident, though I had forgotten the source. —Tamfang 02:25, 19 November 2006 (UTC)
Yup - first thing I thought of. --Sc straker (talk) 16:32, 25 May 2008 (UTC)
It has been 40 years, but now I'm remembering that story. That is just like so many of Encyclopedia Brown's stories.
But wasn't that one a case where Encyclopedia was only half right? Wasn't it supposedly a presentation sword given to a Confederate officer, and thus should have said Manassas? Or did Encylopedia catch that as well?

Star Wars not a retronym example?[edit]

The original star wars intro credits included the sub-heading "Episode IV - a new hope"

Does this mean it shouldn't be given as an example in this article? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 05:04, 13 April 2007 (UTC).

No they didn't -- "Episode IV" was only added in rereleases of the movie, after Lucas knew for sure that there were going to be more movies. AnonMoos 14:50, 18 October 2007 (UTC)
Although the original release of TESB did say "Episode V", unless my memory on this point is even worse than usual. —Tamfang 10:13, 20 October 2007 (UTC)
My understanding of it was that in the original 1977 release, the opening crawl lacked the "A New Hope" or "Episode IV" subtitles, but that sometime around the release of Empire a re-release of the original added them. I'm pretty positive that Tamfang's right, and that the original ESB crawl said Episode V. It's just a question of whether Ep. IV was added in the 1978 or 1981 re-release. I've left SW as an example but changed the wording slightly to reflect that. Tophtucker (talk) 22:59, 21 April 2008 (UTC)
To elaborate on my last comment – I remember an article, probably in Time (magazine), saying something like: "The first surprise in TESB is in the opening crawl: 'Episode V'. What's this? ..." —Tamfang (talk) 07:42, 23 May 2008 (UTC)
Doesn't Wikipedia's article Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back give you the details? It certainly mentions the "opening crawl" and seemingly explains it. Dieter Simon (talk) 00:37, 26 May 2008 (UTC)
er, where? —Tamfang (talk) 18:34, 27 May 2008 (UTC)
The "Episode IV: A New Hope" subtitle was added in the 1981 re-release. The 2006 "original"/"special edition" dual-version DVD release confirms this, and it's documented at Star_Wars_Episode_IV:_A_New_Hope#Releases and List_of_changes_in_Star_Wars_re-releases#Star_Wars. EJSawyer (talk) 14:26, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

Contemporary names of the First World War[edit]

The assertion that "The War in Europe" was a contemporary name for WW1 is not supported by a Google search, and I have not encountered it before in that context.

However Google does support: The Kaiser War, The Kaiser's War, The Great War, The 1914-18 War, The 14-18 War, among others no doubt. The latter two are obviously post Great War retronyms. All are names I am familiar with via my grandparents etc who lived through that war.

I know that this is not authoritative, but it is evidence that may point to authoritative sources. I suggest replacing "The European War" with one or more of the above. Incidentally, should "The" be capitalised? GilesW 20:28, 12 August 2007 (UTC)

The term "World War" was also used. About 1920, Encyclopædia Britannica published the 12th edition, which was the 11th edition plus a three volume supplement. In the preface to the supplement, the editors explained that the supplement was published due to "the World War", and the expression "World War" is used many times in the supplement. See  Randall Bart   Talk  02:00, 26 May 2008 (UTC)

bar soap[edit]

While the new popularity of liquid soaps obviously encouraged the use of the term bar soap, I'm skeptical of the assertion that the first soap was bar soap; so I wouldn't count it as a retronym. —Tamfang (talk) 07:45, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

To clarify: I believe that liquid and/or powder soaps existed before bar soap. —Tamfang (talk) 01:16, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

What does one call the term that causes the emergence of a complementary retronym?[edit]

When the term "electric guitar" became nearly as popular as the original unmodified word "guitar", the term "acoustic guitar" emerged because "guitar" (unmodified) was considered ambiguous. "Acoustic guitar" is labeled the retronym. What is "electric guitar" labeled?

Certainly, both "electric guitar" and "acoustic guitar" are neologisms. But I think it would be useful to have a word to denote the neologism ("electric guitar") that caused the retronym to come into being. I looked around and didn't find any such word. Before I coined one myself, I wanted to make sure that there wasn't one already out there. So I am asking here.

BTW, if there is nothing else out there, I'm thinking of coining the word "specinym" for "specialized term." Retronyms come into being when someone puts a specialized qualifier in front of a word denoting a concept that previously did not have any "species" and then the specialized term becomes popular.

Here's how I would use "specinym" in a sentence: "The popularization of a specinym is what leads to the creation of a retronym." --Nick (talk) 03:32, 18 October 2008 (UTC)

Hi Nick, I am afraid you can't invent anything as a Wikipedian, you can only cite other sources who have already created/invented it. If you create a new word that would be tantamount to "Original Research (WP:OR). I am sorry I don't know the answer to your question at this stage, but if I have a mo I will look into it. Dieter Simon (talk) 00:17, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Sorry, I didn't mean to imply that I'd coin it on Wikipedia. I would coin it on my blog! Any help in tracking down an existing word for the concept would be greatly appreciated. I searched for abut 20 min and didn't find anything.--Nick (talk) 03:10, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
No problem, why don't you ask you question in Wikipedia:Reference desk? That's what it is for, someone will probably know the answer. Dieter Simon (talk) 22:45, 19 October 2008 (UTC)
Good idea. I will --Nick (talk) 03:40, 21 October 2008 (UTC)
Hi Nick. If you still have that question, you could try asking on English Language & Usage StackExchange. It didn't exist when you had the question. Someone asked about retronym on Quora, and I just am not convinced it is a real word, despite the citations. Anyway, I'm just thinking out loud. But as Dieter Simon said, Wikipedia reference desk, or a library reference desk, would be a good place to start for inquires such as the one you have. --FeralOink (talk) 07:45, 13 April 2013 (UTC)

confusinger and confusinger[edit]

A retronym is a type of neologism coined for an older object or concept, in its new form usually containing a modifier to distinguish it from its original unmodified form.

What does "its" mean, and is "it" the same in both places? A neologism doesn't have new and old forms; the old object itself has no new form. —Tamfang (talk) 02:58, 9 November 2008 (UTC)

You were right, the definition didn't help a lot. I hope to have put that right by rewriting that introductory section and to have made it as clear as I possibly could. Dieter Simon (talk) 14:49, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Coca Cola Classic[edit]

I know this is possibly a controversial subject but "Coca Cola Classic" is not just a retronym, it has a registered trademark a such. But to source that fact would probably involve the citation of articles which might be considered Adspam. Dieter Simon (talk) 16:15, 10 November 2008 (UTC)

Double Retro?[edit]

I would like to take this opportunity to introduce a new coinage of my own. What should we call retronyms which have again become retronyms for something other than the original retronym-ization? I propose that the term re-retronym be adopted for such terms.

For example, at the top of this talk page is mentioned 'vinyl record' and it's use today as contrasted in meaning to it's original use, which itself was a retronym. Originally, the term was a retronym used to distinguish from the older technologies used in cutting records. (Vinyl was a huge technological breakthrough at the time, allowing records to be pressed from a mold, rather than the grooves being cut into each disk individually). The term today is more often used to differentiate CDs from phonograph records in general.

Another example is the word 'Mainframe' as defined in the article. The example given reflects the latest usage, but the term goes back a lot further than the article implies, almost to the beginning of the computer industry. Originally, Main Frame (or mainframe) referred to the main part of the computer, which was always separate from the peripherals, such as memory banks, mass storage, console, etc. Later, when mini-computers appeared on the scene, the term became a retronym to distinguish smaller, usually less powerful systems from their larger counterparts, although the original meaning remained in use as well. As the term is used by many today, it's actually a 'second-generation' retronym, sometimes referring to the first retronym, whereas some techs still use it to indicate the original (non-retronym) meaning, i.e. a certain part of a computer system.

There are many examples of words which have evolved through more than one meaning, to become retronyms of retronyms (Don't even get me started on the word 'hack'), so why don't we have a way of distinguishing them from other retronyms? Terry Yager (talk) 00:37, 30 November 2008 (UTC)

Hi Terry, it is at this point that I should draw your attention to Wikipedia guideline Wikipedia:No original research. Please have a look at this before you introduce a term such as re-retronym or double retronym of your own invention. This is well-meant advice as your introduction of an unknown term amounts to own research (or invention), and will almost certainly be reverted as such as soon as it appears. You can only cite what has been written in other publications and what has been researched by others. If you can find any such sources please cite them. Dieter Simon (talk) 01:34, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
Mmndnfpplpt, muunonlem, <removing tongue from cheek> Oh, my bad. I thought that's what Talk Pages were here for. Terry Yager (talk) 04:05, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
Forgive me if I misread you. Yes, of course, talk pages are there to outline your thoughts, and "talk" about them ("fly a kite" in fact). Sorry, I thought you meant creating a section in the article itself about "double retro". That you can also do provided you can substantiate this by citing sources. I agree also with you that it sounds perfectly plausible that there are such things as re-retronyms or double retronyms as you described them. I wonder though whether they are under some other name or a synonym in some way, and that someone may well have written about the subject and we can't find "the wood for trees"? Off-hand I can't think of another name at this instant, I'll keep an eye out for it. Dieter Simon (talk) 23:32, 30 November 2008 (UTC)
Originally, the term ['vinyl record'] was a retronym used to distinguish from the older technologies used in cutting records. If it was used to distinguish from older technologies, then it wasn't a retronym. —Tamfang (talk) 03:20, 27 March 2009 (UTC)

Forward slash[edit]

eh? Tomertalk 20:54, 25 March 2009 (UTC)

Can you clarify "eh" and "forward slash" Dieter Simon (talk) 00:51, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Sure. In the context of an online encyclopedia, I think forward slash should be mentioned here. Before I spend time adding it, I'd like to know whether anyone opposes the idea. Tomertalk 05:42, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Go and include it, there's never any guarantee that there isn't someone who objects, but if you can substantiate the fact that "forward slash" is a retronym of another type of "slash". Just do it and explain why, can't see any problem. Dieter Simon (talk) 23:35, 27 March 2009 (UTC)
Anecdotally, I remember when there was no such thing as a "backslash", only a "slash". Nobody ever even thought to say "forward slash" until the backslash came along. Tomertalk 16:51, 30 March 2009 (UTC)


I removed homophobia and User:Silent Key reverted, saying,

RRV. "Homophobia" meets the definition of a retronym given in the article.

To fit the definition, there must exist some X such that:

  • homophobia was formerly the only known type of X;
  • some other type(s) of X came into existence (or human awareness);
  • the word homophobia was coined to distinguish what was formerly called X from the other type(s) of X.

So: what is X? —Tamfang (talk) 01:14, 14 July 2009 (UTC)

pan and scan[edit]

as letterbox […] releases became more prevalent […], "pan and scan" was determined to be a relatively esoteric (and sometimes inaccurate) term for consumers, so the retronyms "full screen" and "full frame" were coined as alternatives. I'd rather say these are euphemistic blurb, and more confusing. In fact saying "full frame" for pan&scan is the inaccurate term, because the frame is always cropped. And "full screen" is only meaningful if you assume a 4:3 screen.-- (talk) 08:03, 4 May 2010 (UTC)

no "pre"[edit]

I think constructions that simple add the word "pre" to an existing word should be excluded (e.g. pre-Dreadnought). This is a standard English construction, that dates to the pre-retronym era (perhaps pre-Ben Jonson or even even pre-Shakespeare).--agr (talk) 14:18, 26 August 2010 (UTC)

regnal numbers[edit]

The previously existing reference to regnal numbers was confusing. It could only really apply to the first occasion - when Monarch starts to be referred to as Monarch I upon the accession of Monarch II. Monarch IV is always referrred to as Monarch IV because of the pre-existence of Monarchs I,I and III. They don't suddenly become referred to as Monarch IV upon the accession of Monarch V.

Similarly, the term First World War was used (though not widely) in the inter-war period to denote the first global (rather than limited-theatre) conflict, not with reference to a Second World War which hadn't happened yet. A true retronym comes into being only in response to a change in circumstances which requires further clarification of which object or event is being referred to. So 'silent movie', 'black-and-white television' and 'analog radio' are true retronyms.

Peter R Hastings (talk) 13:33, 11 November 2011 (UTC)