Word of the Day: Euonymous

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(adj.); having a well or suitable name

From Dickens with his bitter Gradgrind to J. K. Rowling with her sour Voldemort, authors have long understood that names help establish character.

—Neal Gabler, from “The Weird Science of Naming Things”

A rose by any other name would smell just as sweet… wouldn’t it? Perhaps, or perhaps not. In his recent article in the New York Times, Neal Gabler delves into the question of what goes into a name. As it turns out, the answer is quite a lot; so much so that there are entire agencies devoted to divining (or contriving) the perfect name for products and businesses. Weaving through the weird and wonderful science of name generation, Gabler comes across wonderful definitions of names such as “a shared understanding to what something is” and “a shortcut to a good decision”—a satisfying read for the word nerd in us all.


Sara Menuck is currently pursuing BA in English & Professional Writing at York University, Toronto, without being very professional at all. Having interned with a variety of small press publications, she currently works as a prose reader for The Winter Tangerine Review, a department editorial assistant, and, in her free time, a teacher of music to very small, adorable children. More from this author →