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for example in a story i'm writing, there is a character named Revenge who's main goal is to get revenge. Is there a single word for that?

  • Someone had the term for it here yesterday, but they were misusing term and I've forgotten what it is. – Hot Licks Mar 26 at 2:05
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    Ah, here it is: autological. – Hot Licks Mar 26 at 2:08
  • But I've forgotten it again! (You have my permission to craft your own answer.) – Hot Licks Mar 26 at 2:24
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    @HotLicks An autological word describes the word itself, not the referent for the word. The word 'short' is autological because the word 'short' is short. The name of a person which describes the person accurately is not describing the name but the person. It is appropriate or apropos (though I am sure there is a more specific word for the situation). – Mitch Mar 26 at 2:52
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A modern term is aptonym. It is a play on “apt” (appropriate) and the “-onym” root for name. It is usually for jobs or qualities, not just personalities. Like a person named John Cooke who is a chef, or Usain Bolt is the fastest sprinter.

  • Should link to the dictionary url for OP's perusal. – Ubi hatt Mar 26 at 5:27
  • Shouldn't that be "aptronym"? – KillingTime Mar 26 at 6:07
  • As seen in the link, either one. It’s a portmanteau. – Damila Mar 26 at 13:37

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