Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

Words that are pronounced the same are homophones.
Words that are spelled the same are homonyms.
What do you call words that are typed the same way on a telephone keypad? (you have to watch out for them when typing text messages!)

Example: good and home are both typed as 4663 using Predictive Text.

share|improve this question
2  
I so want to say the answer is "homophone". –  Greg Hewgill Jan 2 '13 at 10:07
    
Hmmm, can we make something with homo/numero/nota? –  TehMacDawg Jan 2 '13 at 10:32
    
Book / Cool is the classic example. –  coleopterist Jan 2 '13 at 13:03
    
Post MετάEd's numeronym I'd propose padonym after (numeric- /key-) 'pad' of a generic device that follows the standard pattern of arranging numeric keys. –  Kris Jan 2 '13 at 14:06
add comment

3 Answers

A numeronym is a word which is sometimes spelled using numerals.¹ It was originally a term for a telephone number having an alphanumeric meaning. Here are some illustrative examples of different types of numeronym.

  • 800-DIGITAL (344-4825, once the toll-free number for the legendary computer company)² – A telephone number having an alphanumeric meaning: the original use of numeronym was for such numbers.

  • 4#26#4663, pronounced I AM HOME (or I AM GONE) – Using symbols on a telephone keypad to spell words. Notice how this example shows that predictive texting technology can lead to ambiguities. Slang terms are also developing for such ambiguities, such as “textonym” and “tynonym”.³

  • i18n, pronounced internationalization – Abbreviation using numerals to represent the number of omitted letters.

  • K9, pronounced canine – Abbreviation using numerals to represent the sound of omitted letters.

  • l33t, pronounced leet (slang for elite) – Using numerals which resemble letters they replace.

  • 07734, pronounced hello – Using numerals which (upside down) resemble letters they replace, also known as beghilos or “calculator spelling”.

  • G8 and Y2K, pronounced gee-eight and wye-two-kay – Words originally coined using numerals.

share|improve this answer
1  
Numeronym does appear to be the word describing 3444825=digital. So ambiguous numeronym can be used for 4663. –  Andrew Leach Jan 2 '13 at 9:09
    
@AndrewLeach Yes, or in the right situation you could use one of the slang terms I mentioned. –  MετάEd Jan 2 '13 at 9:16
    
While we're on the subject of numeronyms, yet another kind of numeronymic ambiguity can happen with words containing Q or Z, which some keypads put under 1, while others put Q & Z under 7 & 9, respectively. (Evidently, it depends on which standard is used.) –  J.R. Jan 2 '13 at 9:26
    
+1 for all the research! –  Mohit Jan 2 '13 at 11:01
add comment

Clearly, it ought to be phonememe...

;-)

share|improve this answer
add comment

I just had an idea: homonum. Sounds like slang (and is likely to be immediately understood due to its similarity to homonym) but actually makes sense (unlike textonym or padonym).

share|improve this answer
    
Are neologisms allowed? –  Hugh Allen Jan 2 '13 at 21:52
    
I love a good neologism but I think the OP was looking for an established term. –  MετάEd Jan 3 '13 at 3:28
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.