Build your vocabulary with Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day! Each day a Merriam-Webster editor offers insight into a fascinating new word -- explaining its meaning, current use, and little-known details about its origin.
August 9th, 2015
Episode 282 of 681 episodes
Merriam-Webster's Word of the Day for August 09, 2015 is: pseudonym \SOO-duh-nihm\ noun : a fictitious name; especially : pen name Examples: Instead of using his real name, Edward signed his letter to the editor with the pseudonym "Jack Cramer." "Author J. K. Rowling announced on Twitter that she has written a third installment of her Cormoran Strike mystery series under the pseudonym Robert Galbraith." Kaitlin Miller, The Sun-Times (Florida), June 16, 2015 Did you know? Pseudonym, has its origins in the Greek word pseudōnymos, which means "bearing a false name." Greek speakers formed their word by combining pseud-, meaning "false," and onyma, meaning "name." French speakers adopted the Greek word as pseudonyme, and English speakers later modified the French word into pseudonym. Many celebrated authors have used pseudonyms. Samuel Clemens wrote under the pseudonym "Mark Twain," Charles Lutwidge Dodgson assumed the pseudonym "Lewis Carroll," and Mary Ann Evans used "George Eliot" as her pseudonym.