An aptronym, aptonym or euonym is a personal name aptly or peculiarly suited to its owner.
According to Frank Nuessel, in The Study of Names (1992), an aptonym is the term used for "people whose names and occupations or situations (e.g., workplace) have a close correspondence."
In the book What's in a Name? (1996), author Paul Dickson cites a long list of aptronyms originally compiled by Professor Lewis P. Lipsitt, of Brown University. Psychologist Carl Jung wrote in his book Synchronicity that there was a "sometimes quite grotesque coincidence between a man's name and his peculiarities".
Nominative determinism is a hypothesis which suggests a causal relationship based on the idea that people tend to be attracted to areas of work that fit their name.
- Jules Angst, German professor of psychiatry, who has published works about anxiety (angst)
- Michael Ball, football player
- Colin Bass, British bassist in the rock band Camel
- Lance Bass, bass singer for the American pop boy band NSYNC
- Sara Blizzard, meteorologist (television weather presenter) for the BBC
- Usain Bolt, Jamaican sprinter
- Doug Bowser, president of Nintendo of America (Bowser)
- Russell Brain, 1st Baron Brain, neurologist
- Rosalind Brewer, executive at Starbucks and a former director at Molson Coors Brewing Company
- Christopher Coke, drug lord and cocaine trafficker (cocaine)
- Margaret Court, Australian tennis player
- Thomas Crapper, sanitary engineer
- Josh Earnest, the third press secretary for the Obama Administration (Stephen Colbert observed, "What a name for a press secretary. Josh Earnest. His name literally means, 'Just kidding, but seriously.'")
- Cecil Fielder and Prince Fielder, baseball players (fielder)
- Amy Freeze, American meteorologist
- William Headline, Washington Bureau Chief for CNN
- Igor Judge, English judge and Lord Chief Justice
- Auguste and Louis Lumière, pioneering 19th century filmmakers (lumière means "light"in French)
- Chris Moneymaker, American poker player and 2003 World Series of Poker champion
- Josh Outman, baseball pitcher
- Francine Prose, American novelist
- Bob Rock, Canadian music producer best known for his works with rock acts such as Metallica and Aerosmith
- Marilyn vos Savant, American columnist who has been cited for having the world's highest recorded IQ (savant)
- Larry Speakes, acting White House Press Secretary for the White House under President Ronald Reagan
- Anthony Weiner, American politician involved in sexting scandals (wiener)
- William Wordsworth, English poet and advocate for the extension of British copyright law
- Early Wynn, baseball pitcher, member of the 300 win club
- Grant Balfour, baseball pitcher
- Frank Beard, an American musician who, until recently, was the only member of rock band ZZ Top without a beard
- Don Black, white supremacist
- Peter Bowler, cricketer (in fact, primarily a batsman)
- Samuel Foote, a comic actor who lost a leg in a horseriding accident in 1766, and made jokes on stage about "Foote and leg, and leg and foot"
- Robin Mahfood, President and CEO of Food for the Poor
- Larry Playfair, NHL defenseman known for his fighting
- Jaime Sin who in 1976 was made a cardinal by Pope Paul VI, thus becoming known as "Cardinal Sin"
- "aptronym". Encyclopædia Britannica (Encyclopædia Britannica Online ed.). Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc. 2008. Retrieved 19 July 2008.
- Dickson, Paul (1996). What's in a Name? Reflections of an Irrepressible Name Collector. Springfield, Mass.: Merriam-Webster. ISBN 0-87779-613-0.
- "When the name fits the job" BBC. Retrieved 26 July 2013.
- Nunn, Gary. "Reckless by name, reckless by nature? (But at least he's not called Rich White)".
- Maxwell, Kerry (4 March 2008). "BuzzWord: Aptronym". MacMillan Dictionary.
- Holley, Shawn. "20 20 Smart Lists".
- Nordquist, Richard. "Aptronym - Definitions and Examples in English".
- Lyn Pesce, Nicole (22 February 2019). "Doug Bowser & Other People Whose Names Perfectly Fit Their Jobs". Marketwatch.com 17 October 2019.
Some people seem born into their professions. Take Doug Bowser, the incoming president of Nintendo of America, whose surname is the same as one of the videogame company’s most recognizable villains. Bowser, after all, is the evil turtle-dragon hybrid that plucky plumbers Mario and Luigi have to keep rescuing the princess from.
- Christian, Brian (2011). The Most Human Human: What Artificial Intelligence Teaches Us About Being Alive. DoubledayC.
- Berman, Laura (6 September 2017). "Starbucks Adds Fittingly Named Rosalind Brewer, Sam's Club Veteran, as COO". The Street. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- Noah, Timothy (17 May 2006). "Wayne Schmuck, Used-Car Distributor". Slate. Retrieved 14 September 2017.
- Haberman, Clyde (1 September 2011). ""When a Person's Name Means What It Says"". New York Times. Retrieved 2 December 2018.
- Wilton, David (2008). Word Myths: Debunking Linguistic Urban Legends. Oxford University Press. p. 137.
- Topaz, Jonathan (24 June 2014). "Stephen Colbert to 'quitter' Jay Carney: Man up!". Politico. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
- Love, Jordan. "Famous People with Literal Names".
- Johnson, Theodore R. (14 March 2016). "Do Our Names Shape Our Destinies? Trump's Might". Slate.
- Wiseman, Lauren (23 October 2008). "WILLIAM HEADLINE: 1931 - 2008". The Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 1 September 2019.
CNN anchor Wolf Blitzer said Mr. Headline was 'a decent person who understood the problems that journalists have and dealt with them in a compassionate way. As we used to say it, the best name in news.'... ...Mr. Headline, whose fitting name was Americanized by a Swedish ancestor, was born in Cleveland and raised in East Aurora, N.Y.
- Johnston, Philip (2 August 2013). "Farewell to a doughty champion of liberty and the public interest". ISSN 0307-1235. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
- "Aptronym - The Art and Popular Culture Encyclopedia". www.artandpopularculture.com. Retrieved 9 October 2019.
- Wilgoren, Jodi (25 May 2003). "A Player Called 'Money' Wins World Poker Title". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
- Having the right name at the right, or sometimes wrong, time Reuters
- Sánchez Canales, Gustavo (2016). ""What's in a Name?": Aptronyms and Archetypes in Bernard Malamud's The Assistant and The Fixer". In Aarons, Victoria; Sánchez Canales, Gustavo (eds.). Bernard Malamud: A Centennial Tribute. Detroit, Michigan: Wayne State University Press. ISBN 9780814341148. Retrieved 27 June 2017.
- "Bowser vs. Bowser: New Nintendo boss shares name with villain". Canadian Broadcasting Corporation. 4 March 2019. Retrieved 22 October 2019.
- Elster, Charles Harrington (2005). What in the Word?. Orlando, FL: Harcourt. p. 109.
- Sawyer, Robert J. (2012). Triggers. New York: Ace Books. p. 186. ISBN 978-1-937007-16-4.
Or Larry Speakes," said Eric... "He was the White House spokesman for Ronald Reagan." She smiled. "Exactly. There's a name for that. It's called ... nominative determinism.
- Wordsworth, William (1876). Alexander B. Grosart (ed.). The Prose Works of William Wordsworth. London: Edward Moxon, Son and Co. p. 21.
- Swartz, Richard G. (1992). "Wordsworth, Copyright, and the Commodities of Genius". Modern Philology. 89 (4): 482–509. JSTOR 438162.
- Lederer, Richard (2012). Amazing Words: An Alphabetical Anthology of Alluring, Astonishing, Astounding, Bedazzling, Beguiling, Bewitching, Enchanting, Enthralling, Entrancing, Magical, Mesmerizing, Miraculous, Tantalizing, Tempting, and Transfixing Words. Marion Street Press, LLC.
- Gene Weingarten (18 July 2006). "Chatological Humor* (UPDATED 7.21.06)". Washington Post.
- Josh Outman? Not Quite Andrew Kahn
- "ZZ Top Drummer Frank Beard Finally Grows One". 103.7 The Hawk. Retrieved 6 January 2018.
- Clarke, Norma (28 December 2014). "Samuel Foote, the one-legged wonder". The Times Literary Supplement. Retrieved 14 December 2015.
- "Robin Mahfood, Food For The Poor President, Has Most Ironic Name Ever". Huffington Post. Retrieved 6 December 2017.
- "6 Biggest Goons In Buffalo Sabres' History". Rant Sports. 19 January 2014. Retrieved 14 December 2015.