Is there a word for a name or nickname based on something someone does, or a characteristic they have?

For example "Thumper" (from Bambi) or "Crazy-Ed".

I am thinking of something that identifies this type of name.

  • There's "aptronym", which is a name that is amusingly well-suited to a person (e.g. Dr. Angst, a professor of psychology who focuses on anxiety), but that's not really suited to a nickname you give someone on purpose.
    – Hellion
    Dec 1, 2016 at 18:15
  • Perhaps epithet? Dec 1, 2016 at 18:36
  • I think it IS "nickname". Definition: a usually descriptive name given instead of or in addition to the one belonging to a person, place, or thing (m-w.com)
    – BenL
    Dec 1, 2016 at 19:41
  • A nickname doesn't have to be descriptive.
    – rghome
    Dec 2, 2016 at 10:14

1 Answer 1


If you like greek roots: aptonym, aptronym, euonym

  • That was the kind of thing I was looking for. Aptronym is pretty close, although maybe slightly more general than what I described.
    – rghome
    Dec 2, 2016 at 10:12

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