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Our glossary provides meanings and examples for uncommon terms used throughout our site. Some terms and names are linked to relevant baby name searches. Click any to give them a try.

Term MeaningExample(s)
Acronym An abbreviation that sounds like a word formed usually formed from the first letters of a series of words.PET: Post-Embryo Transfer
Agamemnonym Names with three parts that are the same forwards and backwards. Agamemnon.
Alliterative Name Two names starting with the same letter or same sounding letter. Lex Luthor
Anagram Different words using exactly the same letters. Sabrina & Bansari.
Anonymous Name withheld; sometimes used by authors.The Federalist Papers
Astronym Name of a star.Minchir (Sigma Hydrae) meaning "snake's nose" which is a star in the constellation Hydra
Birth Name A person's name at birth. In some Asian cultures, this may also be refered to as a "milk name" or "little name" which is changed to the child's permanent name roughly a month after birth when the infant is registered.Little gem.
Charactonym Name indicative of a person's personality or character. Although common in modern literature, a similar naming concept has been used by Native American Indians and as nicknames between friends. One example is a character in Romeo and Juliet named Mercutio derived from the adjective "Mercurial" meaning "erratic".
Cognomen The third and usually last name of a citizen of ancient Rome, or a nickname acquired through usage over a period of time.Caesar in Gaius Julius Caesar.
Cryptonym A word or name that is secretly used to refer to a particular person, place, activity, or thing; a code word or name.TRIGON was the code name for Aleksandr Ogorodnik, a member of the Soviet Union's Ministry of Foreign Affairs whom the CIA developed as a spy.
Demonym Refers to inhabitants of a place.Irish for people from Ireland.
Eponym Someone who gives their name to something like an object or discovery.Achilles tendon named after a Greek hero thought to be invincible until struck near his heel by an arrow.
Ethnonym Name given to an ethnic group.Bushmen refers to some primitive ethnic groups of Southern Africa.
Etymology The study of the history of words, their origins, and how their form and meaning have changed over time.
Family Name Hereditary surname of a family often reflective of an ancestor's occupation.Smith. Carter.
Genealogy Record of a person's descent from a progenitor; lineage; ancestry.Often a family tree traced via the male surname.
Heterogram Word in which no letter occurs more than once. Daniel
Homograph Words with the same written form but have different meanings (and possibly different pronunciations) which can be very true with names formed from Chinese characters.Bass might be a type of fish or someone with a low, deep voice. Notice, these have different pronunciations.
Homophone Words that can be spelled differently but sound the same and have different meanings.Cee like the letter "C", ci Spanish for yes, sea, and see.
Homonym Words that sound the same and are even spelled the same but have different meanings."Fluke" can mean a fish, end of an anchor, fins on a whale's tail, or a stroke of luck.
Hydronym Name given to a body of water. Douglas meaning "from the dark river".
Logology The scientific study of words.
Maiden Name A woman's birth surname prior to adopting her husband's surname upon marriage. Victoria Beckham (née Adams), who took the name of her husband David Beckham.
Memnonym Names with two parts that are the same forwards and backwards. Memnon, Momoko.
Miami Sequence Where the left-hand side of the name is the same as the right-hand side of the name and each side is separated by a random character. Bimbi, Thoth.
Name Sake A person named after someone else usually within the same family.Fathers sharing the same first name with their first son.
Nick Name Often a shortened form of your given name, indicating closeness, affection, or humorous attention to a personal characteristic. Steve instead of Stephen. "Bones" for your skinny friend, or better yet for your chubby friend.
Occupational Name Surname originally derived from a person's occupation.Abbott meaning priest.
Odonym Name of a street or road.Main Street. Park Avenue.
Onomastics The study of proper names and their origin, history, and use.
Palindrome Names spelled the same forwards and backwards. Bob, Eve, Otto.
Patronym Surname derived from the father's given name. Wilson (son of William)
Pen Name Pseudonyms used by authors to conceal their identity usually to protect them from retribution about their writings. Also known as nom de plume, or literary double. Brian O'Nolan used the pen name Flann O'Brien.
Pet Name Nickname used to express affection for a person. Shortie.
Pseudonym Fictitious name often used to hide an individual's real identity.King George VI of the United Kingdom (born Albert Frederick Arthur George); Famed con man Jefferson R. Smith, who was known as Soapy Smith.
Tautonym Repetition of a word or part of a word often used in Taxonomy when generic and specific names are the same. Linguistically, it is refered to as reduplication. Naja naja (an Indian Cobra); Bye-bye, Dada, Isis.