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matronym (MA-truh-nim) noun
A name derived from the name of a mother or maternal ancestor. Also metronym.
[From Latin metr- (mother) + Greek -onym (name, word).]
It's easy to see that the terms maternal, maternity, matron, and matrimony have something to do with the sense "mother" and are related to today's word but what could metropolis, material, matter, matriculate, and matrix have in common with them? A metropolis is, literally, a mother city; matter and material derive from Latin materia, woody part of a tree, its source of growth; one matriculates to what is to be an alma mater; and matrix comes from Latin matrix, a female animal kept for breeding. All of these terms are ultimately offsprings of the Indo-European root mater-.
"Then there was Stephanie, the cow, contentedly chewing her cud in the
pastures at Ottawa's experimental farm until along came Stephanie, of the
engendered human variety, to object that she considered it 'offensive'
to have to share her matronym with a cow. So -- presto! -- faster than
you can say 'tax cut,' the farm's director announced that henceforth all
cows will be called by gender-neutral names like Poopsie or Moo or
"I know a few people who have gone for the lottery approach, naming all
the children after the first, who gets the patronym or the matronym
depending on its sex. This is quite neat, as no one can blame anyone
else later on in life."
This week's theme: Words to describe words
An artist is not paid for his labor but for his vision. -James McNeill Whistler, painter (1834-1903)