A List Of Words That End In -Nym. How Many Do You Know?

List of words in white outline, with central word in bold purple font, on lilac background: “pseudonym, synonym, caconym, inaptonym [in bold], metonym, backronym, retronym"

We love to look at words, and today the name of the game is words that end in -nym. The ending -nym or, most often, -onym is a combining form from Greek that means “name.” Apparently, we love naming names because there are a whole bunch of words that end in -nym. Some of these words are pretty common, but we managed to find quite a few that you may have never heard of before. If learning about new words is your middle name, then this list of words that end in -nym will be just what you’re looking for!


An acronym is a series of initials taken from the first letters of major words in a name in order to form a shortened version. The letters of an acronym might be pronounced as if it was a word as in UNICEF [ yoo-nuh-sef ] or have each letter spoken separately as in CIA [ seeahyey ].


An allonym is a name of another person used by an author as their pen name. For example, an author might write a book under the allonym “Catherine the Great.”


An ananym is a fake name created by spelling a person’s real name backwards. For example, the ananym Yrogerg is created from the name Gregory.


An andronym is a man’s name. Technically, any name could be called an andronym as long as a man uses it.


An anonym is a fake or false name someone uses when they want to remain anonymous. This word is rarely used, and the similar term pseudonym—which we’ll get to—is much more common.


An anthroponym is the name of a person. For example, the anthroponym of America’s first president was George Washington.


An antonym is a word that has an opposite meaning to another. For example, the word loud is an antonym of the word quiet.

Ever thought about the antonyms for slang terms? Read through these and see what you think.


An aptonym, also called a euonym, is a name that fits nicely with what it refers to. For example, Melody would be an aptonym for a talented singer.


An autonym is a person’s actual, real name. This word is the contrast of the words anonym and pseudonym, which refer to fake names.


A backronym is a phrase created from an actual word as if it was an acronym. For example, the phrase “clever agile traveler” is one possible backronym you could form from the word cat.


Basionym is a scientific term that refers to the first name given to a genus, species, etc. Sometimes, scientific names change as new discoveries are made; a given thing’s basionym is the original name it had before being changed or renamed to something else.


A caconym is a name that is considered undesirable for some reason. The term caconym is often used to refer to silly or embarrassing names, such as Seymour Butt or Leslie Winklebottom.


A capitonym is a word whose meaning, and possibly pronunciation, changes when it is capitalized. For example, cancer is a medical disease; Cancer is a constellation and sign of the zodiac.


A charactonym is a name of a fictional character that reveals a notable trait or quality. For example, a friendly character might be referred to by the charactonym “Kind Nicely.”


A contranym is a word that can be its own opposite. For example, the word consult means to offer advice to someone or to ask advice from someone else. Contranyms, also called Janus words, are sometimes referred to by other terms such as autoantonyms or autantonyms.

There are many more contronyms to discover! Learn about a few here.


A cryptonym is a code name. For example, an undercover spy might refer to themselves by the cryptonym “Silent Fox” in secret communications so as not to reveal their identity.


A demonym is the name used to refer to people who live in a particular place. For example, people who live in Canada are referred to by the demonym Canadian(s).


An endonym is the name that a group uses to refer to themselves or the place where they live. For example, German-speaking people refer to their own home country as the endonym Deutschland in German.


An eponym is a name of something that is based on the name of another person. For example, the name of the state of Louisiana is an eponym created from the name of the French king Louis XIV.


An ethnonym is the name used to refer to a particular ethnic people or group. For example, the largest ethnic group in China is commonly referred to by the ethnonym Han Chinese or Han.


An exonym is a name given to a place by people who don’t live there. For example, the country known natively as Deutschland is referred to by the exonym Germany by English speakers.


A gynonym is a woman’s name. Like andronym, technically any name that a woman uses could be referred to as a gynonym.


A heteronym is a word that is spelled the same as another but has a different pronunciation and/or meaning. For example, the word address (to speak to someone) is a heteronym of the word address (the name of something’s location).


The word homonym can refer to a word that is pronounced the same as another word with a different spelling and meaning, such as feet and feat. Alternatively, homonym can refer to a word that has both the same spelling and pronunciation as another word but a different meaning, as in beat (to strike forcefully) and beat (to defeat in a contest).

Homonyms vs. homographs vs. homophones …. Time to hone in on the differences.


A hydronym is the name used to refer to a body of water, such as Pacific Ocean or Ohio River.


A hypernym, also known as a superordinate, is the name of a general class that can be divided into specific categories. For example, the word dog is the hypernym of words such as pug or beagle.


A hyponym is the opposite of a hypernym; a hyponym is the name given to a specific subcategory of a more general group. For example, the words banana and pineapple are hyponyms of the word fruit.


An inaptonym is a name that is poorly suited to what it refers to. For example, the name Speedy would be an inaptonym for a sloth.


A linguonym, also known as a glossonym or glottonym, is the name of a language or language family. For example, the language spoken in the country of Japan is referred to by the linguonym Japanese.


A matronym is a name derived from the name of a person’s mother or maternal ancestor. For example, a child might have the surname of Annadottir, a matronym based on a mother or ancestor named Anna.


A meronym is a term that uses a part of something to refer to a greater whole. For example, the sentence The king gathered an army of ten thousand spears uses the word spears as a meronym to refer to soldiers holding spears.


A metonym is a word or phrase that uses one word to represent something that it is related to. For example, the sentence The land was property of the crown uses the word crown as a metonym to refer to a royal ruler (who wears a crown).


A mononym is a single name used to refer to a famous person. For example, the Italian painter Michelangelo di Lodovico Buonarroti Simoni is commonly referred to by the mononym Michelangelo.

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A numeronym is a “word” based on numbers. For example, the word canine is sometimes written as the numeronym K-9. As another example, the numeronym 101 is often used to refer to basic or introductory knowledge as in Using a mouse is Computers 101.


An odonym is the name of a street, such as Main Street or Indiana Avenue.


An oronym is the name of a mountain or hill, as in Mount Everest or Mount Kilimanjaro. This term can also refer to a homophone, a word pronounced the same as another but differing in meaning, whether spelled the same way or not, such as heir and air.


A paranym is a euphemistic word or phrase whose literal meaning is the opposite of what it is being used to refer to. For example, the paranym fair and balanced coverage might be used to refer to biased or slanderous news reporting.


A paronym is a word that linguistically shares a root or stem with another word. For example, the words vision and visual are paronyms.


A patronym is a name derived from a person’s father or male ancestor. For example, a child might have the surname of Ivanovich, a patronym created from a father/male ancestor named Ivan.


A plesionym is a word that has nearly the same meaning as another word. For example, the word fog is a plesionym of the very similar word mist.


A pseudonym is a fake name used by an author to conceal their identity. For example, author Stephen King wrote several novels under the pseudonym Richard Bachman.


A retronym is a term that modifies an original word to account for new technologies or developments. For example, the term British English is a retronym that resulted from the emergence of variants of the English language such as American English and Australian English. Learn about some more retronyms, many that may just surprise you!


A synonym is a word that has the same meaning as another word. For example, the word big is a synonym of the word large.

We’re pretty big on synonyms here. Check out these purple synonyms, for example.


A tautonym is a scientific name in which the name of the genus and the species are the same word. The scientific name of the red fox, Vulpes vulpes, is an example of a tautonym.


A theonym, or deonym, is the name of a god or deity. The names Zeus, Odin, and Vishnu are some examples of theonyms.


A toponym, also known as a placename, is the name of a geographic location. For example, the city in which the Louvre museum is located is referred to by the toponym Paris.


A trionym is a name consisting of three terms. This term is mostly used to refer to scientific names. For example, modern humans may sometimes be referred to by the trionym Homo sapiens sapiens in anthropology.

Take the quiz!

If you find yourself scrolling up and down trying to remember each of these exquisite “name” words, you should head over to our concise and helpful word list, which includes these terms as well as useful tools like spelling quizzes and flashcards. We know you may like more of a challenge, though—that’s what our short but snappy quiz is for! Take it and prove you have a nym-ble mind!

Have some more word fun with these cool words about words!

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