A Family History Records Site

Genealogy-Related Terms
(& terms that I think are neat...)





patronym (PA-truh-nim) noun - 1. A name derived from the name of father or an ancestor, e.g. Johnson (son of John). 2. A surname or family name. [From Greek patronymous (patronymic), from patri- (father) + -onym (name).]Here are a few more patronyms from other languages and cultures:

  • Arabic bin (bin Laden, son of Laden), bint (Bint Ahmed, daughter of Ahmed)
  • Hebrew ben (Ben-Gurion, son of Gurion; Ben-Hur, son of Hur)
  • Hindi -putra/put (Brahmaputra, son of Brahma; Rajput, son of king)
  • Irish and Scottish Mac/Mc- (McDonald, son of Donald)
  • Irish O (O'Brien, grandson/descendant of Brien)
  • Norman Fitz- (Fitzgerald, son of Gerald)
  • Russian -ich/-vich, as a middle name (Anton Pavlovich Chekhov, son of Pavlov).
  • Spanish -ez (Fernandez, son of Fernando; Gonzalez son of Gonzalo)
  • Welsh ap or p (Pritchard from ap Richard, son of Richard).

philomath (FIL-uh-math) noun - A lover of learning. [From Greek philomaths (fond of learning), from philo- (loving) + math- root of manthanein (to learn).] Here's a late-blooming version of today's word: opsimath http://wordsmith.org/words/opsimath.html

catechumen (kat-i-KYOO-men) noun - 1. One who is receiving religious instruction in preparation for baptism; a neophyte. 2. A person who is being given basic education of a subject. [From Late Latin catechumenus, from Greek katechoumenos (one being taught orally).

from www.wordsmith.org 


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