A capitonym is a word that changes its meaning (and sometimes pronunciation) when it is capitalized; the capitalization usually applies due to one form being a proper noun or eponym.1 It is a portmanteau of the word capital with the suffix -onym. A capitonym is a form of homograph and – when the two forms are pronounced differently – also of heteronym.
The following words are also pronounced differently.
Bologna: A city in Italy bologna: a processed meat
Ares: god of war ares: plural of are, a metric unit of area
August: the eighth august: majestic or venerable
month of the year
A heteronym (also known as a heterophone) is a word that is written identically but has a different pronunciation and meaning. In other words, they are homographs that are not homophones. Thus, row (propel with oars) and row (argument) are heteronyms, but mean (intend) and mean (average) are not (since they are pronounced the same). Heteronym pronunciation may vary in vowel realisation, in stress pattern (see also Initial-stress-derived noun), or in other ways:
A few examples taken from the Wikipedia page:
- They were too close to the door to close it.
- Don't desert me here in the desert!
- When shot at, the dove dove into the bushes.
- We must polish the Polish furniture.
- Upon seeing the tear in the painting I shed a tear.
The term English is similar to Polish in that it too can be spelled with or without a capital letter, but it is not a heteronym because its pronunciation remains identical. When a word differs in meaning, but its pronunciation doesn't change, it is called a homophone
- The English billiard player put more english on the ball
5. also english
a. The spin given to a propelled ball by striking it on one side or releasing it with a sharp twist.
b. Bodily movement in an effort to influence the movement of a propelled object; body English.
Anther example is Pole (a Polish person) pole (another name for rod) and the verb to pole
- The Pole used a pole in order to pole upstream.