Origin of pseudonym
historical usage of pseudonym
The Greek origin of pseudonym (and even of its parts) is pretty obvious: Greek pseudṓnymos “under a false name, falsely called” is a compound whose first element pseudo- “false, lying” is a combining form of pseûdos “a lie.” The second element -ṓnymos is a combining form deriving from the noun ónoma (Doric and Aeolic ónyma ) “name.”
The English noun appeared in the early 1800s, but the adjective pseudonymous was recorded more than a century earlier, in Edward Phillips’s 1706 dictionary New World of Words.
Words nearby pseudonym
MORE ABOUT PSEUDONYM
What is a pseudonym?
A pseudonym is a false or fictitious name, especially one used by an author.
There are many reasons an author may choose to use a pseudonym instead of their own name, such as to avoid controversy or to create a persona. Many women authors throughout history have used a male or gender-neutral pseudonym to get their work published due to bias against women writers. A famous example is Mary Ann Evans, who used the pseudonym George Eliot.
The word pseudonym can refer to a fake or false name used by anyone, not just writers. It’s typically used so a person can remain anonymous. In legal proceedings, the pseudonyms John Doe, Jane Doe, Richard Roe, and Jane Roe are used in when a person’s name is being kept anonymous. Such names can also be called anonyms.
Example: A lot of people use pseudonyms when posting controversial opinions online.
Where does pseudonym come from?
The first records of the word pseudonym come from the 1800s. It comes from the Greek pseudṓnymon, meaning “false name.” The prefix pseudo- means “false,” and -onym means “name” (it can also mean “word,” and is used in words like synonym and acronym). The adjective pseudonymous is recorded earlier, in the early 1700s.
The pseudonyms of actors and entertainers are often called stage names (Cary Grant’s real name was Archibald Leach; Lady Gaga’s real name is Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta). For writers, they’re often called pen names or noms de plume. Some famous ones are George Orwell (real name Eric Arthur Blair), Lewis Carroll (real name Charles Lutwidge Dodgson), and Evelyn Waugh (real name Arthur St. John).
Authors use pseudonyms for many reasons. Sometimes, a famous author uses a pseudonym to publish a work in a genre that’s different from the one they’re known for, like when Agatha Christie published non-mystery novels as Mary Westmacott. Or just to write more books, like Stephen King did with the pseudonym Richard Bachman.
Sometimes, the fake name is intended to create a persona, such as Diedrich Knickerbocker (real name Washington Irving), Dr. Suess (real name Theodor Geisel), or Lemony Snicket (real name Daniel Handler).
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to pseudonym?
What are some synonyms for pseudonym?
What are some words that share a root or word element with pseudonym?
What are some words that often get used in discussing pseudonym?
How is pseudonym used in real life?
Pseudonyms can be used for all kinds of reasons, but they’re most often associated with writers.
I mean…sure, make their real names more visible, but the fact that women had to publish under male pseudonyms is a really important part of women’s history & shouldn’t be scrubbed out https://t.co/vsNSIPfFyf
— Caroline Criado Perez (@CCriadoPerez) August 14, 2020
A Colorado Springs police officer has been suspended after he used a pseudonym to post—on more than one occasion—the words “KILL THEM ALL” in response to stories about Black Lives Matter protesters: https://t.co/oJKHE1woEg pic.twitter.com/6GVwHJWMRn
— The Root (@TheRoot) August 12, 2020
Domain name > real name
A domain name may be the most useful type of pseudonym.
It pulls up your site as the first hit when punched into a browser; indeed, it bypasses search altogether.
It’s also globally unique, programmable, persistent, and cross-culturally understood.
— balajis.com (@balajis) August 11, 2020
Try using pseudonym!
Which of the following terms is NOT a synonym of pseudonym?
D. pen name
How to use pseudonym in a sentence
Maria, who asked Vox to use a pseudonym for her in this story, understands her disadvantages.
Bitcoin's still anonymous inventor, who went by the pseudonym Satoshi Nakamoto, figured out a completely new way for a decentralized network to reach a consensus about a shared transaction ledger.Want to really understand how bitcoin works? Here’s a gentle primer|Timothy B. Lee|December 26, 2020|Ars Technica
Not wanting to be misconstrued, I almost used a pseudonym for this article but finally chose not to, so please give me a break as I try to sort this.
Other projects have been more coy, such as those of Barnaby Francis, an artist-activist who works under the pseudonym Bill Posters.Inside the strange new world of being a deepfake actor|Karen Hao|October 9, 2020|MIT Technology Review
This could be a problem for anyone who uses a pseudonym on social media to aid free expression.Brazil’s “fake news” bill won’t solve its misinformation problem|Amy Nordrum|September 10, 2020|MIT Technology Review
Random House agreed that all future editions of the book will state that “Barry” was a pseudonym.
I used to run a blog in Arabic called “Nour Alakl” and ran a satirical Facebook page under the pseudonym “Allah.”
Her nervousness about its content made her decide to publish it under a pseudonym, for reasons that would later become clear.
A person claiming to be a TRN employee published a release on PR Newswire under the pseudonym ‘Mary Donovan’.
Julio Cesar Rosas (a pseudonym) owns a medium-sized business in Los Cortijos, a district in east-central Caracas.Who Will Maduro Blame for Venezuela’s Blackout This Time?|Daniel Lansberg-Rodríguez|June 28, 2014|DAILY BEAST
Now, he used the same pseudonym on the title-page of a third volume, Cobwebs from an Empty Skull.The Letters of Ambrose Bierce|Ambrose Bierce
At this juncture mention must be made of the many short sketches by Gurewitsch, who writes under the pseudonym of Z. Libin.
Two writers in succession undertook the theatrical chronicle, and signed it with the pseudonym of “Almaviva.”The English Stage|Augustin Filon
An′onym, a person whose name is not given: a pseudonym; Anonym′ity, the quality or state of being anonymous.
The name conveyed nothing to Marie Louise except a suspicion that Mr. Verrinder had chosen some pseudonym.The Cup of Fury|Rupert Hughes