Onomastics or onomatology is the study of the etymology, history, and use of proper names.[1]


Onomastics originates from the Greek ὀνομαστικός (onomastikós), which translates to "of or belonging to naming",[2][3] from ὄνομα (ónoma) meaning "name".[4] Toponymy or toponomastics, the study of place names, is one of the principal branches of onomastics. Anthroponomastics is the study of personal names. Onomastics can be helpful in data mining, with applications such as named-entity recognition, or recognition of the origin of names.[5] It has also been used in historical research to identify ethnic minorities within wider populations.[6][7] Literary onomastics is the branch that researches the names in works of literature and other fiction.[8] An orthonym is the proper name of the object in question, the object of onomastic study.

See also



  1. "onomastics". Random House Webster's Unabridged Dictionary.
  2. ὀνομαστικός, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus project
  3. "Online Etymology Dictionary". etymonline.com. Retrieved 26 July 2015.
  4. ὄνομα, Henry George Liddell, Robert Scott, A Greek-English Lexicon, on Perseus project
  5. Carsenat, Elian (2013). "Onomastics and Big Data Mining". arXiv:1310.6311 [cs.CY].
  6. Crymble, Adam (2017-02-09). "How Criminal were the Irish? Bias in the Detection of London Currency Crime, 1797-1821". The London Journal. 43: 36–52. doi:10.1080/03058034.2016.1270876.
  7. Crymble, Adam (2015-07-26). "A Comparative Approach to Identifying the Irish in Long Eighteenth-Century London" (PDF). Historical Methods. 48 (3): 141–152. doi:10.1080/01615440.2015.1007194.
  8. Alvarez-Altman, Grace; Burelbach, Frederick M. (1987). Names in Literature: Essays from Literary Onomastics Studies.
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