Posted by: episystechpubs | June 13, 2013

Editor’s Corner: Acronyms, antonyms, and aptronyms

I know we’ve covered homonyms and acronyms and perhaps some other “nym” words, but there are so many more out there to discover! The suffix –nym is from the Greek word for name or word (onoma). Here is a repeat and a couple of new ones for you.

· acronym: a word formed from the initial letter or letters of each of the successive parts or major parts of a compound term

From Greek akros (beginning, tip, peak, summit)


o light amplification by stimulated emission of radiation (laser)

o National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)

o radio detecting and ranging (radar)

o self-contained underwater breathing apparatus (scuba)

o sound navigation and ranging (sonar)

· antonym: a word of opposite meaning

From Greek anti (in opposition of)


(The following words pairs are antonyms of each other.)

o hot, cold

o dark, light

o good, bad

· aptronym (also aptonym or charactonym): the name of a person aptly suited to their character or profession

From apt (suitable) + nym, several sources credited with coining the term.


o Sara Blizzard, meteorologist

  • Russell Brain, neurologist
  • Margaret Court, tennis player
  • Bob Flowerdew, gardener
  • Kara Church [KC – more of an antonym than an aptronym :-)]

Kara Church

Senior Technical Editor

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