AskDefine | Define onomatology

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. the study of the origins of names; onomastics

Extensive Definition

Onomastics or onomatology is the study of proper names of all kinds and the origins of names. The word is Greek: ὀνοματολογία (from ὄνομα (ónoma) "name"). Toponymy or toponomastics, the study of place names, is one of the principal branches of onomastics. Anthroponomastics is the study of personal names.
For some cultures (and celebrities), only one name is needed to indicate a certain person without ambiguity. In others, a single personal name may be insufficient, requiring alteration to a hypocoristic/diminutive nickname or addition of a byname based on a specific individual's traits, family, home, occupation, or other. In most of the world, individually-based bynames have become hereditary family names, perhaps retaining little descriptive resemblance to the ancestral namesake's original byname.
Most Western European cultures use the name order indicated by the common synonymous phrases "first name" for personal name and "last name" or "surname" for family name. However, this differs from traditional East Asian and Hungarian usages, which place the family name before the personal name.

See also

onomatology in Belarusian: Анамастыка
onomatology in Breton: Anvadurezh
onomatology in Bulgarian: Ономастика
onomatology in Catalan: Onomàstica
onomatology in Czech: Onomastika
onomatology in German: Namenforschung
onomatology in Estonian: Onomastika
onomatology in Spanish: Onomástica
onomatology in Basque: Onomastika
onomatology in French: Onomastique
onomatology in Galician: Onomástica
onomatology in Croatian: Onomastika
onomatology in Indonesian: Onomastik
onomatology in Italian: Onomastica
onomatology in Latvian: Onomastika
onomatology in Lithuanian: Onomastika
onomatology in Hungarian: Névtan
onomatology in Dutch: Onomastiek
onomatology in Norwegian: Onomastikk
onomatology in Occitan (post 1500): Onomastica
onomatology in Polish: Onomastyka
onomatology in Portuguese: Onomástica
onomatology in Romanian: Onomastica
onomatology in Russian: Ономастика
onomatology in Saterfriesisch: Noomenkunde
onomatology in Slovak: Onomastika
onomatology in Slovenian: Onomastika
onomatology in Swedish: Onomastik
onomatology in Turkish: Onomastik
onomatology in Ukrainian: Ономастика
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