Printable Version
Pronunciation: kah-mi-kê-no-min-klay-tyur-ist Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: 1. A connoisseur of humorous names. 2. A person who makes up funny names. (Yes, English actually has such a word! Google it.)

Notes: Comiconomenclaturist is not a word you will hear every day of the week, but once a week, if you listen to 'Car Talk' on NPR, you will experience the opportunity to use it. Click and Clack, the Tappet brothers (Tom and Ray Magliozzi) are pretty good comiconomenclaturists. Their statistician is Marge Inoverra, their customer care representative is Heywood Jabuzzoff, and their divorce lawyer is Carmine Natchores.

In Play: Today's Good Word, which is as long as some sentences, is not your everyday word, though we can find good uses for it: "Richard Sheridan was a master comiconomenclaturist. His play "The Rivals" contains such characters as Lydia Languish, Jack Absolute and, of course, Mrs. Malaprop". Now let me toot my own horn: "Dr. Goodword is the best comiconomenclaturist on the Web, because he has an entire imaginary village of inhabitants with funny names."

Word History: This Good Word comes to us by combining Latin comicus "of comedy" + nomenclature "naming" + the noun suffix -ist. Latin comicus was borrowed from Greek komikos "of or pertaining to comedy", from komos "revel". No one knows how komos came to be in the Greek language. Nomenclature came from Middle French, which inherited it from Latin nomenclatura "calling of names". This word comes from nomenclator "namer, name caller", made up of nomen "name" + calator "caller, crier", from calare "to call out". The PIE word, gal- "call, cry out", that became calare in Latin, turned up as call in English and, again, as gallus "rooster" (the calling bird) in Latin. In Russian it became golos "voice". The L and the vowel also traded places and that form of the root ended up in English clatter.

Dr. Goodword,

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