Posted by: Jack Henry | March 21, 2018

Editor’s Corner: Names

During my recent trip south of the border, I was sitting at breakfast with my dad, and he was reminding me of the waiters’ names at the place where he hangs out. When he got to Francisco (nicknamed Paco) he called him “Tocayo.” “I thought that was Paco, Dad.” I said. My dad goes by Frank, but his real name is Francis. He explained that in Mexico, if two people go by the same name, they call each other “Tocayo” (or “Tocaya” if they are female).

I asked if that meant “brother from another mother,” but Dad explained it as someone sharing the same name, or namesake.

Today, I have some other terms for you related to names. These are the ones I could think of off the top of my head, but there are probably more. The definitions are brought to you by Merriam-Webster.

  • namesake: one that has the same name as another; especially: one named after another
  • nickname

1: a usually descriptive name (as Shorty, Tex) given instead of or in addition to the one belonging to a person, place, or thing

2: a familiar form of a proper name (as Bill, Tommy)

  • pseudonym: a fictitious name assumed (as by an author) for the time: pen name
  • alias: another name: an assumed name
  • nom de guerre: a fictitious name: pseudonym [KC – French. Translates as “war name.”]
  • nom de plume: a pseudonym assumed by a writer: pen name [KC – French. Translates as “pen name.”]
  • pen name: an author’s pseudonym

Brothers from another mother

Kara Church

Technical Editor, Advisory

Symitar Documentation Services

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