Is there a word for the Giver of Names? Other than the obvious "Namer". I am writing exposition in a novel and the character is reflecting on the unknown person who named him. I could make "author" or "originator" but both seem awkward. If there is a modern or archaic word meaning to name something, I would prefer it. It's less relevant that it is a noun or verb as I can write the sentence around it. I was hoping for something like eponymous (which doesn't work in this case as it refers to the same-naming of someone/something). Any suggestions would be helpful.

  • 1
    Do you mean like an onomatopist?
    – tchrist
    Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 21:44
  • "onomatopist" brings up a literal 5 results on Google. Even if it were a word, it would only relate to creating words based on sound association. Valid words do include "onomatopoeic" and "onomatopoeically" according to M-W: merriam-webster.com/dictionary/onomatopoeia Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 21:49
  • @ChristopherIssac The onomato- is a combining form derived from Greek that is used for something that per the OED is “of or relating to naming”. It it not uniquely about creating names based on sounds! See for example onomatology, the study of the formation of names.
    – tchrist
    Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 21:54
  • 3
    I'm unclear what you mean by The Giver of Names. Are you thinking of an almighty being that named everything in the universe, or do you just mean someone who gives names to things?
    – Borodin
    Commented Feb 10, 2018 at 22:13
  • 1
    Yes. Thank you. I think onomatology is exactly what I was looking for. Commented Feb 11, 2018 at 1:37

4 Answers 4


It's hard to guess what you might need without examples, but nominator, designator, titler, and labeller come to mind.


The word for a person who gives names to things is Nomenclator. Both 'the namer' and 'the nominator' don't fit because they mean someone with the right or responsibility for making a selection, as a "voter."

Merriam-Webster explains that a nomenclator is a person who "gives names to or invents names for things"

Over on Quora, there's some more discussion:

Nomenclator is one general word for a person who names or invents names for things. An alternate version of the word is nomenclaturist.
Nomenclator implies focus on the act of naming things, whereas nomenclaturist implies a broader interest in names or naming systems.

Nomenclator is a variation on the word nomenclature, which means a body of names or a system for naming things. Its root words are Latin words nomen (name) and calare (to call).


Words aren't named and put in a dictionary. The sense of a word evolves over time, changing our understanding and perception of terms and meanings.

A copywriter can be a "giver of names" if you are talking about naming products or entities, defined by M-W to mean:

a writer of advertising or publicity copy

In most other contexts, such as a parent giving a name to their child, the word namer is valid, but rarely used. Depending on the context, it may make more sense to explain what the "namer" is doing as opposed to the fact that they are a namer.

For example, if someone made up a catchy saying that caught on, they could be said to have coined a phrase which Oxford Living Dictionary defines as:

Said when introducing a new expression or a variation on a familiar one, or ironically to show one's awareness that one is using a hackneyed expression.

Please note that the term is more commonly used ironically than to indicate an introduced expression. For example one might say "I was, to coin a phrase, taken aback!" (Even if they were not the original source for that phrase.)


The context of this question is to find a suitable word in the context of a work of fiction. What exactly is wrong with the word 'namer'? It is not, perhaps the prettiest of words. But its very bluntness does lend an aura of mystery.

It does not feature in Merriam Webster or the Cambridge online English dictionary. So it would be a sort of hapax legomenon, as lexicographers of ancient Greek put it. The very unfamiliarity of the word together with its nevertheless obvious meaning, together with its planeness might be seen as atmospheric.

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