Friday, October 06, 2006

TRJ: Antonomasia

Totat Request Jive, or TRJ fo' short, is a weekly Friday feature where you the WordHumper reader decide which lucky word gets humped back to the stoneage (or at least to Proto-Indo-Europa). Today's word comes from JG in Manhattan who writes:
THE WORD IS 'ANTONOMASIA'. so you've got anto, which might mean 'same' since it' not 'anti' and 'nom' wich is obviously 'name and 'masia' feels like 'masticating' so that means 'said'? or 'feel in mouth'?'same name said'? 'same name feel in mouth'? woah i'm tired. have fun humping....!
JG, I *always* have fun humping, especially things I've never heard of. Let's hump to it--

Antonomasia comes from a Greek word, antonomazein (not to be confused with Abu Mazen), meaning "to name differently". JG, I don't want to belittle your initial hump attempt with patronizing hooey because you did a really really swell job even though you were laughably off the mark--I'm sure you'll do just great next time. I say it time and time again: It's best to leave the serious humping to the professional humpers (which would be me): case in point, the anto- is actually the *same* as anti-, in this case taking on the sense of "instead of", while onomazein comes from the Greek onoma, meaning "name" (okay, I take back my patronizing hooey, you got the nom right). And although you're free to masticate while humping (and sometimes after humping), antonomasia itself has nothing to do with chewing (you did mean chewing, right?).

Per Wikipedia:
Antonomasia is a rhetoric device: the substitution of any epithet or phrase for a proper name; the opposite substitution of a proper name for some generic term is also sometimes called antonomasia.
Example: "I'm oozing puss, please hand me a Kleenex"--of course, I don't care what brand of facial tissue you give me, it's just that Kleenex is understood to represent the generic class of tissues. Likewise, traitors are Benedict Arnolds, The Gipper is Ronald Reagan, Il Duce is Mussolini, my mom has a few choice antonomastic phrases for my dad, and the most classic example, again per Wikipedia:

A contemporary example of an antonomastic usage occurs in the phrase "He's such a Nimrod!", substituting the fearless hunter's name—who isn't portrayed as being particularly idiotic—for "idiot" or "jerk", a usage that has been made popular by the 1940s Bugs Bunny cartoons, in which Bugs Bunny frequently refers to Elmer Fudd (who keeps hunting the hare without success) sarcastically as "poor little Nimrod".
If you have a word you'd like humped because you're either too lazy or inept to do it yourself please email it, along with your location, to wordhumper. And in case you missed last week's TRJ check out Cuckoo For Cuckold Puffs. See you Monday!

Labels: ,

:: posted by David, 8:12 AM


What a maroon!
Blogger Loocite, at 12:22 PM  

Add a comment