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A.Word.A.Day--teknonym

Pronunciation RealAudio

teknonym (TEK-nuh-nim) noun

A name derived from a child's name that is used to address a parent. For example, Johnsdad (as opposed to Johnson).

[From Greek teknon (child) + -onym (name).]

Contrast today's term with patronym.

"A Baatonu does not automatically receive a teknonym when he or she becomes a parent, as is the custom among other ethnic groups." Wendy Schottman; Baatonu Personal Names From Birth to Death; Africa (Edinburgh, UK); 2000.

"Informants spoke at great length about how respectful Fijian practice requires avoiding using the personal names of certain categories of people (or even avoiding their presence altogether). Once people have children, for instance, they are to be addressed by the teknonym `father of' or `mother of' their eldest child." Karen J Brison; Constructing Identity Through Ceremonial Language in Rural Fiji; Ethnology (Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania); Fall 2001.

This week's theme: words to describe words.

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