Sunday, December 20, 2015

aptronym

An aptronym (also: aptonym) or charactonym is a name aptly suited to its owner. The medieval Latin poem Eupolemius uses aptronyms based on Greek words to allegorise the story of the Gospel. In the book What's in a Name? (1996), author Paul Dickson cites a long list of aptronyms originally compiled by Professor Lewis P. Lipsitt, of Brown University. Psychologist Carl Jung wrote in his 1952 book, Synchronicity, that there was a "sometimes quite grotesque coincidence between a man's name and his peculiarities". Fictional examples of aptronyms include Mr. Talkative and Mr. Worldly Wiseman in John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress (1678), Truman Burbank (true-man), the lead character in the 1998 film The Truman Show, the principal cast of the Mr. Men (1971), and all the characters in Marc Blitzstein's 1937 play The Cradle Will Rock.

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