Imagine you created a suite of Microsoft Office-like business tools that you named "Tiger", for whatever reason. Then you named the word editor "Growl" (to vocalize, i.e. talk), and the spreadsheet program "Stripes" (because stripes are like columns). Then when you create the presentation/slideshow program you are struggling to find a Tiger-esque word to apply to the concept of the software so you use a word like "Paws" (I guess you can "pause" a slideshow...) simply to keep with the Tiger theme.

I'm specifically looking for a way to describe the process or the resulting set of words when the theme has been over done and the associations have become tenuous, meaningless, contrived.

  • 4
    How about just saying "The process has become tenuous, meaningless, and contrived."? Sep 1, 2011 at 16:48
  • I was hoping for a word or phrase that would mean those three things, but would also imply the context and why I find it to be so. I'm trying to describe how the author of a program's DSL (domain specific language) is trying way too hard to maintain this theme based on the product name. Sep 1, 2011 at 16:58
  • The question title clearly invites the answer "thematic". But having just read OP's final sentence more carefully, I've realised he's actually asking for a specific word to describe overapplication of thematic nomenclature. So I've deleted my answer and I'm voting to close on the grounds that this is far too localised. Sep 1, 2011 at 20:40
  • Actually, while myqlarson's answer is great for how to describe the overall group of words, "overapplication" is probably the best way to say that the theme has been exhausted in a bad way. Sep 3, 2011 at 18:06

2 Answers 2


It seems your question has two parts. What is the term to describe parts of a whole? Meronym. How to state displeasure with a meronym naming paradigm? It sucks.

  • +1 for finding a term for those words. I certainly never would have stumbled across that with the way I had been searching before. Sep 3, 2011 at 18:07

I would simply say "The naming schema [or "theme"] has become obtrusive and contrived."

I don't think you need a particular word like the one you are describing, though i'm curious to see if one actually does exist. "Naming schema" would probably be good enough for what you want, here.

"Schema" means "a rule or principle that enables the understanding to apply its categories and unify experience", or "a mental model of aspects of the world or of the self that is structured in such a way as to facilitate the processes of cognition and perception" (Free Dictionary).

  • I was hoping for a word that carried a negative connotation. But in lieu of that, I suppose I could just say that the theme of the DSL is overly contrived. Sep 1, 2011 at 18:04
  • I think that's probably your best bet, but then, i don't pretend to know everything, either. ;-) Sep 1, 2011 at 18:07
  • "Rubric"? Maybe accurate, but pretty obscure. "Namespace"? Sep 1, 2011 at 21:03

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