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Sep 21, 2005
This week's theme
Words about words

This week's words
autonym
backronym
ananym
charactonym
anonym
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

ananym

Pronunciation Sound Clip RealAudio

ananym (AN-uh-nim) noun

A name formed by reversing letters of another name, often used as a pseudonym.

[From Greek ana- (back) + -onym (name).]

Examples:

  • Talk show host Oprah's production company is named Harpo.
  • Doctor Seuss (Theodore Geisel) wrote many books under the name Theo LeSieg.
  • Samuel Butler wrote a satirical novel Erewhon (near reverse of Nowhere).
"Rongis was an ananym -- so named by an employee of the stagecoach company whose own name was Ali Signor."
John McPhee; Rising from the Plains; Farrar, Straus and Giroux; 1986.

X-Bonus

The bitterest tears shed over graves are for words left unsaid and deeds left undone. -Harriet Beecher Stowe, abolitionist and novelist (1811-1896)

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