Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  


Home

Today's Word

Subscribe

Archives



Sep 25, 2015
This week’s theme
Words about words

This week’s words
kenning
mot juste
holophrasm
pochismo
antonomasia

bard
This week's comments
AWADmail 691

Next week's theme
Short words
Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

antonomasia

PRONUNCIATION:
(an-toh-noh-MAY-zhuh)

MEANING:
noun
1. The use of an epithet or title for a proper name, for example, the Bard for Shakespeare.
2. The use of the name of a person known for a particular quality to describe others, such as calling someone brainy an Einstein. Also known as eponym.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin, from Greek antonomazein (to name differently), from anti- (instead of) + onoma (name). Earliest documented use: 1589.

USAGE:
“In Florence, a rich and famous city of Italy, in the province called Tuscany, there dwelt two rich and principal gentlemen called Anselmo and Lothario, which two were so great friends, as they were named for excellency, and by antonomasia, by all those who knew them, the Two Friends.”
Miguel de Cervantes; Don Quixote of the Mancha. (Translation: Thomas Shelton)

“One of my favourites among Obama’s tricks was his use of the phrase ‘a young preacher from Georgia’, when accepting the Democratic nomination this August; he did not name Martin Luther King. The term for the technique is antonomasia. One example from Cicero is the way he refers to Phoenix, Achilles’ mentor in the Iliad, as ‘senior magister’ -- ‘the aged teacher’. In both cases, it sets up an intimacy between speaker and audience, the flattering idea that we all know what we are talking about without need for further exposition.”
Charlotte Higgins; The New Cicero; The Guardian (London, UK); Nov 26, 2008.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
A writer needs three things, experience, observation, and imagination, any two of which, at times any one of which, can supply the lack of the others. -William Faulkner, novelist (25 Sep 1897-1962)

A.Word.A.Day by email:

Subscribe

"The most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace."

The New York Times

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 1994-2017 Wordsmith