There's a trope known in Russian as "говорящее имя", i.e. "speaking name". The point of this trope is that a character's name (or surname) indicates its important, sometimes defining, feature. An example of it could be Pomona Sprout, a Herbology professor in Harry Potter. Another, even more important to the plot, is Remus Lupin, whose feature is that he's a werewolf.

Does this trope have a name in English?


2 Answers 2


It's called charactonym. From the link (Merriam-Webster dictionary):

Definition of charactonym

: a name especially for a fictional character (such as Mistress Quickly or Caspar Milquetoast) that suggests a distinctive trait of the character


Antonomasia. From Encyclopedia Britannica (bold emphasis added):

Antonomasia, a figure of speech in which some defining word or phrase is substituted for a person’s proper name (for example, “the Bard of Avon” for William Shakespeare). In fiction, the practice of giving to a character a proper name that defines or suggests a leading quality of that character (such as Squire Allworthy, Doctor Sawbones) is also called antonomasia. The word is from the Greek antonomasía, a derivative of antonomázein, “to call by a new name.”

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