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Mr. & Ms. Apt

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Topic: 10) Mr. & Ms. Apt (1 of 2), Read 55 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Barbara Wallraff (msgrammar@theatlantic.com)
Date: Wednesday, April 28, 1999 10:20 AM

Mark, of Milwaukee, Wis., writes: "Shouldn't there be a word for when a person's name and occupation match? How about Cardinal Sin, who is a Roman Catholic Cardinal in the Philippines, or a local traffic reporter here in Milwaukee whose name is Tom Carr? There are many others.

"I know that many names were derived from the person's occupation in the olden days. Cooper means barrelmaker, and Shoemaker (or any of its many variants) means, of course, one who makes shoes. But there are many names that fit occupations today that couldn't possibly have been related at the time surnames were created -- such as Carr. Couldn't there be a word for this?"

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Topic: 10) Mr. & Ms. Apt (2 of 2), Read 33 times
Conf: Word Fugitives, with Barbara Wallraff
From: Paul Bickart (pbickart@compuserve.com)
Date: Wednesday, May 05, 1999 11:39 AM

I doubt whether you'll find this one in any dictionary yet, but the British magazine New Scientist regularly features lovely examples in its "Feedback" section, and uses the term "aptonym" for the species.


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