Is there a word which can be used to describe a pair of names which are different gendered variants of the same name?

By: | Post date: 2016-08-02 | Comments: No Comments
Posted in categories: General Language, Linguistics

It’s a fascinating question, and I don’t know that there is an existing word.

Partly, that’s sexism, and partly, that’s the bias of historical linguistics in explaining derivation: Martina is the “feminine variant” or “feminisation” of Martin, and it doesn’t occur to people to describe the relationship of Martin back to Martina. In the rare instances where a masculine name is derived from a feminine (Catarino < Caterina is the only one that occurs to me), I still think noone has bothered to describe the pair Caterina, Catarino as anything.

Zeibura S. Kathau, I miss having the kinds of pub conversations you’re having.

I like Uri Segal’s zeugonym, and Audrey Ackerman’s didymonym. (Haven’t seen you in my feed in a while, Audrey, but that’s because I’ve muted Game of Thrones 🙂

Heterophylonym “other gender” is the pedantic answer, but it’s too long. Heteronym is already taken; how about phylonym “gender name”? (Phylon is both “tribe”, hence phylum, and “gender”.) There seems to be only very little usage of phylonym in the sense of “phylum”.

Genos has a similar ambiguity between “generation” and “gender”, and to my surprise genonym is already defined to mean a generational name: An Alphabetical Guide to the Language of Name Studies.

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