Is there a term for the phenomenon of creating a term for every single little thing?

  • Obsessive, compulsive, disorder?
    – WS2
    Mar 14, 2014 at 0:58
  • @WS2 Some kind of "control freakism"?...
    – d'alar'cop
    Mar 14, 2014 at 1:00
  • "Denomination" is the process of naming something. I'm not sure there's really a word to describe specifically what you're looking for.
    – Matt
    Mar 14, 2014 at 1:06
  • 1
    Lexirrhea? neologomania? overcoining? wordwashing? panlexogenesis? ;)
    – Neil W
    Mar 14, 2014 at 1:29
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    @WS2 Actually I noticed it.. but I didn't want to be pedantic
    – d'alar'cop
    Mar 14, 2014 at 1:53

2 Answers 2


Playing Adam -- Taxing my memory of Genesis, wasn't one of the first tasks that Adam undertook to name all the things of the world?

Otherwise, taxonomy is the practice and science of classification (i.e. organizing the nomenclature) Clearly the goal of the science would be to name everything and have them be in their proper order.

Nomenclature is the system of names, where as taxonomy is the application and organization of nomenclature according to scientific principles. Taxonomy requires scientific testing and process, whereas nomenclature is more bibliographic/legal in nature.

  • Can you please work "Nomenclature" into your answer David?
    – d'alar'cop
    Mar 14, 2014 at 4:27
  • @d'alar'cop I have tried to clarify them for you. They are hand and fingers to one another, if that metaphor makes sense.
    – David M
    Mar 14, 2014 at 4:37
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    I love "Playing Adam". That should be the standard term for this. This question was sort of facetiously playing on the habits of ELU - but it was fruitful after all.
    – d'alar'cop
    Mar 14, 2014 at 4:49
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    @d'alar'cop I started typing playing god, and had a flashback to religious school lo those many years ago before I lost my faith...
    – David M
    Mar 14, 2014 at 4:50
  • I see... well having faith and losing it is far worth than never having had faith at all. I hope you get plenty of philosophy - solipsistic ideas support a pretty good God concept for me.
    – d'alar'cop
    Mar 14, 2014 at 5:05

The term you could be looking for is Neologism 2.:


  1. a new word, meaning, usage, or phrase.

  2. the introduction or use of new words or new senses of existing words.

  3. a new doctrine, especially a new interpretation of sacred writings.

  4. Psychiatry. a new word, often consisting of a combination of other words, that is understood only by the speaker: occurring most often in the speech of schizophrenics.

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