Words that are pronounced the same are homophones.
Words that are spelled the same are homonyms.
What do you call words that are typed the same way on a telephone keypad? (you have to watch out for them when typing text messages!)

Example: good and home are both typed as 4663 using Predictive Text.

  • 2
    I so want to say the answer is "homophone". Jan 2, 2013 at 10:07
  • Hmmm, can we make something with homo/numero/nota?
    – TehMacDawg
    Jan 2, 2013 at 10:32
  • Book / Cool is the classic example. Jan 2, 2013 at 13:03
  • Post MετάEd's numeronym I'd propose padonym after (numeric- /key-) 'pad' of a generic device that follows the standard pattern of arranging numeric keys.
    – Kris
    Jan 2, 2013 at 14:06

3 Answers 3


A numeronym is a word which is sometimes spelled using numerals.¹ It was originally a term for a telephone number having an alphanumeric meaning. Here are some illustrative examples of different types of numeronym.

  • 800-DIGITAL (344-4825, once the toll-free number for the legendary computer company)² – A telephone number having an alphanumeric meaning: the original use of numeronym was for such numbers.

  • 4#26#4663, pronounced I AM HOME (or I AM GONE) – Using symbols on a telephone keypad to spell words. Notice how this example shows that predictive texting technology can lead to ambiguities. Slang terms are also developing for such ambiguities, such as “textonym” and “tynonym”.³

  • i18n, pronounced internationalization – Abbreviation using numerals to represent the number of omitted letters.

  • K9, pronounced canine – Abbreviation using numerals to represent the sound of omitted letters.

  • l33t, pronounced leet (slang for elite) – Using numerals which resemble letters they replace.

  • 07734, pronounced hello – Using numerals which (upside down) resemble letters they replace, also known as beghilos or “calculator spelling”.

  • G8 and Y2K, pronounced gee-eight and wye-two-kay – Words originally coined using numerals.

  • 1
    Numeronym does appear to be the word describing 3444825=digital. So ambiguous numeronym can be used for 4663.
    – Andrew Leach
    Jan 2, 2013 at 9:09
  • @AndrewLeach Yes, or in the right situation you could use one of the slang terms I mentioned.
    – MetaEd
    Jan 2, 2013 at 9:16
  • While we're on the subject of numeronyms, yet another kind of numeronymic ambiguity can happen with words containing Q or Z, which some keypads put under 1, while others put Q & Z under 7 & 9, respectively. (Evidently, it depends on which standard is used.)
    – J.R.
    Jan 2, 2013 at 9:26

Clearly, it ought to be phonememe...



I just had an idea: homonum. Sounds like slang (and is likely to be immediately understood due to its similarity to homonym) but actually makes sense (unlike textonym or padonym).

  • 1
    Are neologisms allowed?
    – Hugh Allen
    Jan 2, 2013 at 21:52
  • 1
    I love a good neologism but I think the OP was looking for an established term.
    – MetaEd
    Jan 3, 2013 at 3:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.