Word of The Day for Saturday, November 6, 2010


top•o•nym (TOP-uh-nim)  n

1. a name of a place
2. a name that indicates origin, natural locale, etc
3. a name derived from a place or region

toponymic adjective

Related Words: from topos, "place": toponymy, the study of place-names, toponymist, one who studies place-names; topography, topology, isotope, utopia, topiary
from onym, "name": anonymous, antonym, synonym, metonym - and many others

Sentence Examples:
• The absence of the toponym "Samaritan, Samaritans" is conspicuous also in later biblical writings, eg, in the post-Exilic books, including the Aramaean portions. -The Creation of sacred literature, Richard Elliott Friedman, 1981

• The toponym allows the “individualization of a place that is extracted, through the language, from a space that is globally undifferentiated." ... A toponym generates discontinuity and punctuates space. It introduces a network of differences into the continuity of the landscape and topography. -The sovereign map: theoretical approaches in cartography throughout history,Christian Jacob, Edward H. Dahl, 2006

• Many other interpretations of this toponym, however, have been offered. In my earlier study of this toponym, I agreed with several earlier scholars who suggested that this name derived from either a genuine Semitic expression or a Semetic popular etymology of an Egyptian toponym meaning "the mouth of the canal." -Ancient Israel in Sinai, James Karl Hoffmeier, 2005

The Storyline
"He's been going there so often," she continued, "do you think he's becoming Israelified?" And Anna had to grit her teeth at both the xenophobia and her mother's propensity to make up toponyms.

1939, from comb. form of Gk. topos "place" + -onym "name"; back-formation from toponymy, 1876

Sources: Online Etymology, Your Dictionary

Why This Word:
It's a word about words in blog about words. What's not to love? It's a word about place-names and words derived from place-names. Although it should be noted that the Oxford Companion to the English Language makes clear that words like champagne, meaning the wine, are not properly referred to as toponyms, while Champagne, the region in France is.

Word-E: A Word-A-Day

No comments:

Post a Comment