The secrets of "Nym"

Guy Redeuilh redeuilh at CLUB-INTERNET.FR
Tue Jul 9 17:06:51 CDT 2002

For names ending in "ONYM" in Botany (ICBN) see
       R. Pertersen :

For names in "TYPE",   "      "

redeuilh at

----- Original Message -----
From: "Richard Pyle" <deepreef at BISHOPMUSEUM.ORG>
Sent: Tuesday, July 09, 2002 10:44 AM
Subject: The secrets of "Nym"

> No....not the "Ms. Frisby" story (with her rat friends from NIMH)....
> After all that Basionym/Protologue discussion, I finally spent some long
> deep thought on the issue, and decided that neither word really suits my
> needs just right (i.e., a pointer to the first legitimate use of a
> name -- at any rank -- specifically in the context of the publication
> wherein it became available).  Basionym comes close, but I get the sense
> that Basionym explicitly includes the original genus of a binomial; and
> looking for a word that more directly refers to the terminal epithet only.
> Also, I think Basionym (or Basonym) is used mostly in the context of names
> at ranks that are governed by Codes, and I need something to apply to all
> ranks -- all the way up to Kingdom (and Domain?). In short, although I
> I could comfortably tweak the meaning of Basionym to suit my needs, I fear
> that the word comes with too much "baggage" in the way that it has (and
> not) been used by taxonomists over the years.
> Just for the helluvit, I did a web search for "Protonym" and came up with
> this URL, which I thought might be of some interest to Code Warriors and
> lesser nomenclaturists alike:
> Note, incidentally, the meaning of "Protonym"...which comes pretty damn
> close to the word I'm looking for. But then again, it's definition of
> "Basonym" seems to match my needs better than I originally thought:
> "The earliest validly published name of a taxon, being in the case of a
> binomial or trinomial the source of the valid specific or subspecific
> epithet when the taxon is transferred to a new combination and in
> usage always accompanied by the name of the original author."
> Also, I wonder if "Anthroponym" might be a more appropriate term than
> "Patronym", when used to reference taxon names that honor a person or
> people?
> There are a number of others in the list that are specifically for
> use, some of which I'd not previously heard of, but would find useful from
> time to time (e.g., "Chironym").
> Anyway....not looking for a response....just thought others might enjoy
> link.
> Aloha,
> Rich
> Richard L. Pyle
> Ichthyology, Bishop Museum
> 1525 Bernice St., Honolulu, HI 96817
> Ph: (808)848-4115, Fax: (808)847-8252
> email: deepreef at
> "The opinions expressed are those of the sender, and not necessarily those
> of Bishop Museum."

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