For example, a demonym is the name given to the inhabitants of a particular location.

Demonym: United States -> American

Is there a word for the name given to people that do a certain job?

(Word I'm looking for): Cooking -> Cook

  • 4
    What's wrong with "occupation"?
    – Hot Licks
    Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 3:58
  • 3
    I understand “occupation” as meaning the activity that someone does (i.e. “plumbing”), rather than what you call the person that does that job (“plumber”). But it gets murky with other examples, like “lawyer”, so maybe I’m wrong?
    – scribu
    Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 8:10
  • 1
    An argument in favour of my thesis that “occupation” = “activity” is that you can’t say “My occupation is lawyer.”, but rather “My occupation is being a lawyer.”
    – scribu
    Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 8:15
  • 1
    One thing that seems clear is that the term you are seeking is not analogous to "demonym". So often on this site people expect English to behave consistently. The history of our language, and its extensive idiomatic usage does not allow for that.
    – WS2
    Commented Dec 17, 2017 at 9:25
  • 2
    Scribu seems to be suggesting that Demonym would mean name derived from place lived in which logically would mean United States = American. Why should’t name derived from occupation be equally reasonable? Not speaking Latin, I recognise a score of words for work. Just perhaps most obviously that might be laboraronym. Another choice might be oponym. I think that’s closer; I also think it’s less obvious to Mr or Mrs Average. Given the number of English names any and all of you can trace to someone’s occupation, how could that not matter? Commented Dec 18, 2017 at 22:34

2 Answers 2


Closest thing I can think of is job title, according to Collins Dictionary:

a name that describes a person's job in an organization

And their example sentence:

My official job title is Deputy Manager.

Background on your example

Cook is probably not a full job title, most kitchens have more than one cook and they have different titles (somewhat similar to military ranks, but even more specific to what they actually do, rather than just indicating a hierarchy). Wikipedia has quite an extensive list, including but not limited to the following job titles (French in brackets, although the French title may be used in England as well):

head chef (chef de cuisine)

deputy chef (sous-chef; this probably more common than the English version)

pastry cook (pâtissier)


1 "Job Title Definition and Meaning | Collins English Dictionary." Complacent Definition and Meaning | Collins English Dictionary. Accessed May 05, 2018. https://www.collinsdictionary.com/dictionary/english/job-title.

2 "Brigade De Cuisine." Wikipedia. April 30, 2018. Accessed May 05, 2018. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brigade_de_cuisine.

  • Except lots of people do a lot of stuff that does not come under the rubric of their "job title." Commented May 5, 2018 at 17:58
  • 1
    I think you’ve cracked it. It’s not a fancy single word, but it does the job. :)
    – scribu
    Commented May 5, 2018 at 20:51

Given that no existing word suits this function, we can propose a new one.

If demonym is based on demo for people + nym for name, then opunym from opus for occupation would be consistent.

Giving us:

  • demonym
  • eponym
  • opunym
  • 2
    The OED contains 50 words that end "-nym" - none of them refer to a job title. There have been about 1,500 years for English to develop a "-nym" word... but it did not. A nonce word that even native speakers do not understand is not going to solve the OP's problem.
    – Greybeard
    Commented Apr 14, 2022 at 10:13
  • @Greybeard Someone had to create those words, did they not? Limiting our vocabulary (stagnation) does not seem like a better option Commented Apr 15, 2022 at 17:35
  • Words get added every year to that dictionary: public.oed.com/updates/new-words-list-march-2021 Commented Apr 15, 2022 at 17:38

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