ONOMASTICS BY Bertie Neethling

Onomastics entails the study of names and naming systems. The discipline is derived from the Greek word onoma meaning ‘name’. In most languages of the world names are written with a capital letter. All of these form part of onomastics. The categories are manifold and some of the most important ones are following: anthroponymy, i.e the names of people. This may include first names, surnames, nick- or bynames, as well as ethnic names. They are all strongly linked to identity. The next prominent one is toponymy, i.e place names. All places whether streets, towns and landmarks carry names. Names in the economy, i.e brand names that include sponsors, as well as business names, also form a strong category. Then there are names in literature, i.e. literary onomastics, as well as shipping names and wild animal names. Onomastics is an impressive multidisciplinary field of study as this book outlines.

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