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cryptonym (KRIP-tuh-nim) noun

A code name or a secret name.

[From Greek crypto- (secret, hidden) + -onym (word, name).]

"`Bek' was Sergei Kurnakov, a Soviet journalist working in New York; `Camp-2' was the US scientific research centre at Los Alamos, and `Enormous' was Moscow's cryptonym for the Manhattan Project, America's top-secret programme to develop the atomic bomb."
Obituary: Theodore Hall US Scientist-Spy Who Escaped Prosecution And Spent 30 Years in Biological Research at Cambridge; The Guardian (London, UK); Nov 16, 1999.

"During my first visit to Mount Wilson Observatory, in the late '50s, solar observer Tommy Cragg took me to its library. I remember being blown away; this kid had never dreamed that so many astronomy books existed! One huge set was labeled `AGK2,' and this cryptonym piqued my curiosity."
Leif J Robinson; The Hipparcos Firehose; Sky and Telescope (Cambridge, Massachusetts); Jun 1999.

This week's theme: words to describe words.


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