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I was talking with a friend about the word "portmanteau", noticing that it is itself a portmanteau (making it autological), but in particular its meaning seems to have nothing to do with the concept other than being an example of it. If history had run a different course, we might be calling "smog" a blaxploitation.

I'm wondering if there is a word for words in which an example of the concept is used as the concept's name. Would "synecdoche" be appropriate? It doesn't feel quite right.

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You mean beside autological ?? –  Jim Jan 5 '13 at 3:37
    
+1 for Autological ^ –  ipso Jan 5 '13 at 5:22
    
I see where you guys are coming from, because what is a word besides its meaning... so I guess I am asking something more etymological? Having a moment of zen about semantics –  luqui Jan 5 '13 at 5:24
    
Mondo - "The whole world can tell a snake from a dragon, but you cannot fool a Zen monk." - Principia Discordia - : ) –  ipso Jan 5 '13 at 6:03
    

1 Answer 1

Synecdoche can refer to using an example to refer to the whole. For example, coke is used to refer to any cola.

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