Posted by: episystechpubs | June 26, 2013

Editor’s Corner: Caconyms and Cryptonyms

Today we have a couple more of those “nym” words. Who knew there were so many words for other words?

  • caconym: (Greek) kakos bad + (Greek) nym name, word
  • cryptonym: (Greek) kryptos hidden + nym name, word

a : a taxonomic name that is objectionable for linguistic reasons
b : a misnomer
c : a bad word

First Known Use: 1887

Example: The ballerina changed her stage name to “Eva”; at birth, her parents saddled her with the caconym “Millicent Hurdygurdy Applebottom.”

a : a secret name
b : a code name for a place, activity, or person

First Known Use: 1876

Example: The plan to illegally extract the overbred dogs from the puppy mill was given the cryptonym Operation Yapper.

Kara Church
Senior Technical Editor
619-542-6773 | Ext: 766773


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