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Oct 14, 2020
This week’s theme
Words about words and language

This week’s words
endonym
basilect
metonymy
homeoteleuton
heterophemy

“A word after a word after a word is power.” ~Margaret Atwood
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

metonymy

PRONUNCIATION:
(muh-TAHN-uh-mee)

MEANING:
noun: A figure of speech in which someone or something is referred to by the name of something associated.
For example, the use of the word crown to refer to monarchy.

ETYMOLOGY:
From Latin metonymia, from Greek metonymia (change of name), from meta- (after, beyond) + onama (name). Ultimately from the Indo-European root no-men- (name) which also gave us name, anonymous, noun, synonym, eponym, renown, nominate, misnomer, moniker, and ignominy. Earliest documented use: 1553.

NOTES:
When a part is used to refer to the whole, it is synecdoche. For example, the use of the word eyeballs to refer to viewers or website visitors. In metaphor, the substitution is based on analogy, in metonym on association.

USAGE:
“Before I mailed the letters to Violet in Paris, I xeroxed them and put the copies in my drawer. ... I keep the letters as objects, charmed by their various metonymies.”
Siri Hustvedt; What I Loved; Henry Holt; 2004.

See more usage examples of metonymy in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
The world is mud-luscious ... puddle-wonderful. -E.E. Cummings, poet (14 Oct 1894-1962)

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