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Naming & TM Selection Book | Glossaries

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Trademark Glossary 
The following abbreviated trademark-related definitions are approximations only, and as the law changes, the definitions of these terms may change.  For more current, accurate, and complete definitions, consult updated trademark treatises such as McCarthy on Trademarks and Gilson on Trademarks as well as Title 15, United States Code and the USPTO website at

Arbitrary Mark:  A mark comprised of existing word(s) having no ordinary relationship to the products offered with the mark, e.g., KIWI for shoe polish, APPLE for computers, and PENGUIN for books.

Brand: The expectations, perceptions, and memories about product(s) evocable by a trademark and its associated identifying devices, so that "branding" is the creation of expectations, perceptions, and memories about product(s) evocable by a trademark and its associated identifying devices. 

Capricious Mark:  See "Fanciful Mark" below.

Certification Mark:  A mark used by a person or entity other than its owner to certify  (1) regional or other origin, material, mode of manufacture, quality, accuracy, or other characteristics of such person's or entity's products, or (2) that the work or labor on the products was performed by members of a union or other organization.  Examples of well known certification marks are UL (Underwriter's Laboratory) and the GOOD HOUSEKEEPING seal of approval.

Collective Mark:  A mark used by members of a cooperative, association, or other collective group or organization to identify and distinguish their products, e.g., LURPAK used by the Mejeriforeningen Danish Dairy Board for butter and other spreadable dairy products from Danish producers (U.S. Reg. No. 2,638,403) and 3HO used by yoga instructors for yoga education services (U.S. Reg. No. 3,194,370)

Collective Membership Mark:  A mark indicating membership in an organized group, e.g., the letters "AAA" within an oval shape, indicating membership in the American Automobile Association (U.S. Reg. No. 645,541) and 1% FOR THE PLANET, indicating membership in an association of businesses donating proceeds to environmental organizations (U.S. Reg. No. 3,233,020).

Color Mark:  A mark comprised of one or more colors, often confined to a specific design or shape, e.g., the pink color of Owens-Corning building insulation (U.S. Reg. No. 2,380,742) the brown color used by United Parcel Service (UPS) (U.S. Reg. No. 2,901,090).

Descriptive Mark:  A mark which describes the products or their functions or characteristics, e.g., SUPER BLEND for multi-viscosity oils (though registered with secondary meaning, e.g., U.S. Reg. No. 1,230,773 (expired)) or SUDSY for ammonia.

Design Mark:  A mark consisting of a picture, design, or symbol, like the Baron Rothschild sheep's head used for wine (U.S. Reg. No. 3,073,740), also including stylized designs for words such as the IBM design (U.S. Reg. No. 1,205,090).

Dilution: Impairment of a famous mark's strength caused by unauthorized use of an identical or similar mark, trade name or other device, generally for unrelated products.  Dilution can occur by "blurring" or by "tarnishment."  A mark is diluted by blurring when its distinctiveness is impaired because of use of the other identical or similar device.   A mark is diluted by tarnishment when its reputation is impaired because of unsavory or unflattering use of the other identical or similar device.   E.g., the owner of BUDWEISER for beer brought an anti-dillution action against BUTTWISER for T-shirts, an  alleged  blurring, and TOYS "R" US for children's toys encountered ADULTS "R" US for sexual devices, an alleged tarnishment.

Family of Marks:  A group of marks, owned by one person or entity, which all have a common element.  Typically the family of marks is applied to related products to indicate a single source for all the products.  The "MC" device used in McDonalds Corporation trademarks creates a family of marks, e.g., McDonald's, McNuggets, and McSnack; so does "CITI," as in marks such as CITIPRIVILEGES, CITITREASURY, and CITIINSURANCE.

Fanciful Mark:  A mark comprised of coined "word(s)" having no meaning in any language, e.g., KODAK for film, EXXON for petroleum products, and PROZAC for anti-depressant medications.

Federal Registration:  A registration at the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) in Alexandria, Virginia, which enhances protection under Federal law.

Foreign Registration:  A registration in any jurisdiction outside the U.S.A.

Generic Designation:  A designation which is a common descriptive name of the products being provided, such as TELEPHONE or ESCALATOR.  An improperly used distinctive mark can become generic, and therefore no longer protectable, especially when used improperly as a noun, as with aspirin or CELLOPHANE.

House Mark:  A mark designed to identify an entire business which may offer multiple products.  Microsoft is a house mark for Microsoft Corporation which offers numerous products under individual product marks such as Windows, Word, Encarta, and EXCEL.  Similarly, HONDA is a house mark under which resides product marks like ACCORD, CIVIC, and ACURA.

Ingredient or Component Mark:  A mark indicating the source or origin of an ingredient or component of the product but frequently not owned by the product's manufacturer or distributor.  Examples are INTEL INSIDE, DOLBY, GORE-TEX, and NUTRASWEET.

International Registration.  A registration at WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization), headquartered in Geneva, Switzerland, procured through the Madrid Agreement or Madrid Protocol.  At the time of first publishing this work, the USA was only a party to the Madrid Protocol.

"Look For" Advertising:  Advertising that encourages the consumer to "look for" the color, seal, medallion, sticker or other device which the sponsor wants to establish as a protectable mark or trade dress.  Examples are "Just look for the blue, white and red State of Maine trademark the next time you're shopping for potatoes" and the International Ladies' Garment Workers' Union song and slogan "Look for the union label."

Olfactory Mark:  A mark consisting of a distinctive scent, often applied to goods or containers or displays for the goods.  The first such mark registered at the USPTO was a floral fragrance applied to thread and yarn (U.S. Reg. No. 1,639,128).  See also, e.g., U.S. Reg. No. 3,143,735 for a vanilla scent applied to office supplies.

Principal Register: The Register maintained by the USPTO listing marks which are or have become distinctive, i.e., capable of distinguishing the products of the owner from those of others.  Marks registered on the Principal Register enjoy greater protection than those on the Supplemental Register.  Excluded from this Register are non-distinctive subject matter such as descriptive designations, marks "primarily merely surnames," and certain misdescriptive marks.

Product Mark:  A mark associated with a particular product, as distinguished from a house mark which relates to the entire business.  Product marks include TERCEL, AVALON, COROLLA, and CAMRY, which reside under the TOYOTA house mark.

Secondary Meaning:  The additional significance that a word, slogan, design, or other device achieves as an indication of source or origin, in contrast to its primary significance as descriptive or other non-distinctive subject matter.  Secondary meaning is attained when, after extensive use and advertising, the public perceives the otherwise non-distinctive device as an indication or source or origin.  TASTY for foods was registered at the USPTO with secondary meaning (U.S. Reg. No. 2,092,872); so was DIGITAL for computer equipment (U.S. Reg. 2,353,022 (expired)).   Secondary meaning is also referred to as "acquired distinctiveness."

Service Mark:  A word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof, used by a person or entity to identify and distinguish the services of one person or entity from the services of others and to indicate the source of the services, even if that source is unknown.  Most insurance marks like GEICO and TRANSAMERICA are entirely or primarily service marks rather than trademarks since the owners are exclusively or primarily offering services rather than goods.   For these purposes a "service" is a real activity performed to the order of, or for the benefit of, someone other than the trademark user, which activity must be qualitatively different from anything necessarily done in connection with the sale of the trademark user's goods or the performance of another service.

Slogan: A phrase or statement that helps promote interest in a company or its products, frequently descriptive or highly suggestive, directly touting a specific quality or benefit, often intended for short term use, and typically longer than a tagline.  Examples are the British Airways slogan THE WORLD'S FAVOURITE AIRLINE and the New York Times slogan ALL THE NEWS THAT'S FIT TO PRINT.

Sound Mark:  A mark comprised of a distinctive sound or of a combination or series of sounds, e.g., the NBC chimes (U.S. Reg. No. 916,522) or the Twentieth Century Fox musical phrase (U.S. Reg. No. 3,141,398).

State Registration:  A registration at a State trademark registry in any of the 50 States in the U.S.A.

Suggestive Mark:  A mark which intimates or suggests the goods or services, or their characteristics, without being descriptive, so that the underlying connection between the mark and the goods or services only appears upon reflection or upon exercise of the customer's knowledge or imagination, e.g., MOUSE SEED for rodent poison or SUNKIST for fruits.

Supplemental Register: The Register maintained by the USPTO which lists marks potentially capable of distinguishing the owner's products from those of others but not registerable on the Principal Register.  E.g., descriptive or geographically descriptive marks as well as surnames are possibly registerable on the Supplemental Register.  Supplemental Register registrations provide fewer benefits than those on the Principal Register.

Tagline: A very short phrase or other short combination of words that reflects the tone, essence or premise of a company or its products, frequently two to four words in length, arbitrary or remotely suggestive, metaphoric or imaginative, and designed for long term use.   Examples are the NIKE tagline JUST DO IT and IMPOSSIBLE IS NOTHING associated with ADIDAS. 

Trade Dress:  The distinctive, non-functional appearance of a product, its packaging or presentation, arising from features such as size, shape, colors, arrangement, texture, and graphic design.  The packaging for KODAK and FUJI film are trade dresses; so would be the decorations, interior arrangements, and color schemes of the TACO CABANA restaurants.

Trade Name:  The name used by a person or entity to identify his/her/its business, as distinct from a trademark or service mark, e.g., Eastman Kodak Company as distinct from KODAK, Xerox, Inc. as distinct from XEROX, and Atlantic Richfield Company in contrast to ARCO.

Trademark:  A word, name, symbol, or device, or any combination thereof, used by a person or entity to identify and distinguish his/her/its goods from those manufactured or sold by others and to indicate the source of the goods, even if the source is unknown.

Word Mark:  A mark comprised of text, consisting of letters or other typographical elements, or both, e.g., MINOLTA, COBRA, 7-ELEVEN, W3C, BLACK & DECKER, VICTORIA'S SECRET, and M@DNOYZ.

Linguistic Glossary
The following abbreviated linguistic definitions are approximations only, especially because many of these linguistic terms have been defined so differently by various authorities.  Discussion of these terms can be found online at and via searches for "linguistic terminology."

Abbreviation:  A word or combination of words formed by clipping or curtailment, e.g., MATH rather than MATHEMATICS or PHONE rather than TELEPHONE.  Trademark examples are CLUB MED(iterranean) and PAN AM(erican).

Acronym:  A word formed from the initial letters of a multi-word name, e.g., WIPO (World Intellectual Property Organization) and NATO (North Atlantic Treaty Organization). Trademark examples are MADD (Mothers Against Drunk Driving) and GEICO (Government Employees Insurance Corporation).

Alliteration:  A linguistic device consisting of two or more successive or slightly separated words starting with the same sound, as in LEAPING LIZARDS or WICKED WIZARD OF WALES.  Trademark examples are BOB'S BIG BOY and REYNOLDS WRAP.

Anagram:  A word or combination of words having the same letters as another but arranged differently, as per LISTEN in relation to SILENT and ALEC GUINESS in relation to GENUINE CLASS.  Trademark examples are CAMRY (MY CAR) and SPANDEX(EXPANDS).

Anglicization: The transformation of a foreign word or word combination into an English sounding, English looking, or otherwise English-compatible word or word combination, as with BEAUCHAMPS into BEACHAM or CRISTOFORO COLOMBO into CHRISTOPHER COLUMBUS.  Trademark examples are NUVO from "nouveau" and BOO-KU from "beaucoup."

Antonym:  A word having an opposite meaning to another, e.g., BLACK in relation to WHITE or GOOD in relation to EVIL.  Trademark examples are INFINITI and ZERO as used for car parts (marks which are antonyms in relation to each other) and PRO & CON (antonyms within a mark) for political and public interest publications and databases.

Aphesis:  See Decapitation below.

Apocope:  The omission of the last letter, syllable, or part of a word, achieving results like MADAM derived from the French MADAME or the American CATALOG in relation to the British CATALOGUE.  Trademark examples are MOBIL and ZIPLOC.

Aptronym:  A name which matches, complements, or suggests a person's character or occupation, e.g., JOHNNY APPLESEED, planter of apple trees, or MARGARET COURT, tennis player.  Trademark examples are BETTY CROCKER which strongly suggests a homemaker and SCHUMACHER (German for "shoemaker") for shoes.

Assonance: Vowel repetition in the same stressed syllables of two or more successive or slightly separated words, achieving a quasi-rhyme or vowel alliteration effect, as in ROCK 'N ROLL, also featuring consonant alliteration, and MAD AS A HATTER.  Trademark examples are HARMAN/KARDON and LOCK & LOAD.

Back-Formation:  A means of developing new words by assuming that a word's earlier form was a derivation and reconstructing the supposed original form by removing a suffix, prefix or other part from the earlier form.  Examples are BURGLE derived from BURGLAR and DIPLOMAT created from DIPLOMATIC.  Trademarks containing "back-formed" words are BURGER KING since BURGER was backwardly formed from "hamburger" (from the city of Hamburg) and INTUIT, derived from "intuition."

Bacronym aka Backronym:  The reverse of an acronym, namely a word or combination of words whose sounds or meaning mimic, evoke or reflect an earlier-developed shorter word or acronym, such as PORT OUT, STARBOARD HOME for POSH or SAVE OUR SHIP for SOS.  Trademark examples are ESSO, derived from S.O., the initials of Standard Oil, and JEEP, derived from G.P., the initials of General Purpose vehicle. 

Cachet:  The condition of enjoying prestige, respect or admiration, like that possessed by the Nobel Prize or by a prestigious university such as Harvard.  Trademark examples are ROLLS-ROYCE and MERCEDES-BENZ.

Cacophony:  The opposite of euphony, i.e., the unpleasant, harsh, rough, or discordant quality of sound in a word or combination of words, as exemplified by BLOG and CACKLE. Trademark examples are ABERCROMBIE & FITCH and MITSUBISHI.

Capitonym:  A word changing its meaning, and sometimes its pronunciation, when capitalized, e.g., Job, the Biblical character vs. "job," the task or occupation, and August, the month vs. "august," the adjective.  Trademark examples are "RAINIER," pronounced like the surname or the name of the mountain, vs. "rainier," the adjective, and READING, pronounced as "redding" like the English city Reading, vs. "reading," the gerund of "read."

Chiasmus A rhetorical device, often expressing wit or humor, in which the word order in two otherwise parallel phrases is reversed.  Examples are Samuel Johnson's critique, "Your manuscript is both good and original, BUT THE PART THAT IS GOOD IS NOT ORIGINAL; AND THE PART THAT IS ORIGINAL IS NOT GOOD" or Winston Churchill's remark on drinking," "All I Can Say is that I HAVE TAKEN MORE OUT OF ALCOHOL THAN ALCOHOL HAS TAKEN OUT OF ME."  Trademark examples of implied or semi-chiasmus are YOU'LL SEE IT WHEN YOU BELIEVE IT (the converse of "you'll believe it when you see it) for weight reduction programs, and MOTHER THE NECESSITY OF INVENTION (contrasting with "necessity, the mother of invention) for backpacks and travel bags.

Consonance:  The repetition of consonant sounds within words, as in SLALOM and FEBRUARY. Trademark examples are PRIORY and PARALLELS.  

Consonant:   An alphabet letter or cluster of letters which symbolizes a speech sound made by blocking the flow of air from the lungs, thus representing the containment of energy.  Consonants in English are B, C, D, F, G, H, J, K, L, M, N, P, Q, R, S, T, V, W, X, Z, and, depending on usage, Y, as well as some digraphs such as CH, SH, and TH.

Consonant Cluster:  A clump of consonants in a word, as per the NGSTR in "angstrom" or the LCH in "mulch."  Examples of trademarks having such clusters are GROLSCH and SCHLAGE.

Contraction:  A word or combination of words with letters omitted but still giving the impression of the original word or word combination, such as CAN'T for CANNOT and YOU'D for YOU WOULD.  Trademark examples are FLICKR and NVIDIA.

Contronym:  A word or combination of words having two opposite meanings, e.g., BOLT connoting both "flee" and  "tie down" and TRIM connoting both "addition" and "excision."   Trademark examples are SCREEN connoting both "hide" and "show" and TRIP connoting both "stumble" and "move with agility." 

Decapitation:  The excision of a word's first letter, syllable, or part as occurred with NADDER, the snake, which is now called ADDER, and with ESCAPE GOAT, which morphed into SCAPEGOAT. Trademark examples are ARMONY from "harmony" and ITANIUM from "titanium."  A special kind of decapitation is aphesis, the loss of an unstressed vowel at the beginning of a word.  Trademark examples are WILD 'BOUT BERRIES and ROBIN HOOD (E)SQUIRE.

Diacritical Mark:  A symbol applied to a letter to indicate its pronunciation, e.g., the umlaut in NAIVE or the tilde in BANO.  Trademark examples are HAeAGEN DAZS and ERTE.

Digraph: A cluster of two letters such as PH or TH used to express a single sound or a sequence of sounds not ordinarily corresponding in sound to the sequence of letters.  Trademark examples are SHELL and CHANEL.

Diminutive:  A word or combination of words formed from another, usually by adding a suffix, to express a smaller version of its kind, e.g., KITCHENETTE or DUCKLING.  Trademark examples are WHEATIES and NACHITOS.

Double Entendre:  A combination of words having two meanings, e.g., JUST DESSERTS, which refers to cuisine but connotes deserved consequences, or PART COMPANY, which could refer to a departure or a company selling parts (or is perhaps a triple entendre since it might denote a talent agency).  Trademark examples are HEALTHYSELF for medical services, which is either HEAL + THYSELF or HEALTHY + SELF, or THE SOFT PUNCH for noncarbonated soft drinks.

Endonym:  An endonym is a place name used by local inhabitants instead of the name used by foreigners, such as London vs. Londres and Roma vs. Rome, and the opposite of an "exonym," the place name used by foreigners rather than by locals, such as Munich vs. Muenchen and Turin vs. Torino.  Trademark examples are BOMBAY, an exonym for "Mumbai," and O-TOWN, an endonym for "Orlando."

Eponym:   The name of a discovery, principle, place, product, or other thing which originated from the name of a real or fictitious person, e.g., DIESEL or POINSETTIA.  Trademark examples are STETSON and MARTINIZE.

Euphony:  The opposite of cacophony, i.e., pleasing, sweet, smooth, or harmonious quality of sound in a word or phrase, as exemplified by SOVEREIGN and CELLAR DOOR.  A euphonious word could be called a "harmonym" or "euphonym."  Trademark examples are MAYBELLINE and YAMAHA.

Exonym:  See Endonym above.

Extraction.  A word or combination of words formed by extracting relatively few letters from a longer word or a few words from a phrase, e.g., I'D from I WOULD (a contraction often being an extraction) or FWD from FORWARD (a text messaging shortcut as a kind of extraction).  Trademark examples are TEFLON from "polyTEtraFLuOroethyleNe," its chemical name, or PEZ from "Pfefferminze," German for "peppermint."

Fossil Word:  A obsolete word or combination of words which survives in a language only as part of an idiomatic expression, such as FETTLE which survives within IN FINE FETTLE and LOGGERHEADS which inhabits AT LOGGERHEADS WITH.  Trademark examples are KITH from "kith and kin" and SPIC AND SPAN. 

Function Word aka Functor:  A word with little meaning whose primary function is to express grammatical relationships with other words in a phrase or sentence, such as prepositions like OF and FOR, conjunctions like AND and BUT, and articles like A and THE.  Examples of trademarks that include function words are FILL IT TO THE RIM WITH BRIM and IT'S ALL IN THE GAME.

Genitive:  The possessive case/form of a noun or pronoun, as per BOOK'S or PILOTS', which generally indicates that the noun or pronoun is the possessor of another noun, e.g., "The book's first chapter" or "The pilots' union."  Trademark examples are MRS. PAUL'S and WENDY'S.

Heteronym:  A word or combination of words having the same spelling as another but a different meaning and pronunciation, as per LEAD, the verb and the metal, and BUFFET, the blow and the food service.  A heteronym is a special kind of homograph.  Trademark examples are BASS, the fish and the sound range, and DOVE, the bird and the past tense of "dive," though each usually having only one pronunciation when used as a mark.

Heterophone: A word or combination of words whose sounds are different from those of another, often referring to words whose sounds are somewhat similar, like "parson" vs. "person" or "fakir" (pronounced "fakeer") and "faker."  Trademark examples are HONDA and HYUNDAI or HINT O' HONEY and HIDDEN HONEY.

Holonym:  See Meronym below.

Homograph:  A word having the same spelling and sound as another but a different meaning, as per RUN connoting "movement" but also "tearing" or TAP connoting an "outlet" but also a "touch."  Trademark examples are VAULT, connoting both "leap" and "valuables' storage space," for magazines on offshore investing, and PARTS UNKNOWN, which could conceivably be associated with "travel," "barbering," "warehousing" or "talent scouting" but is used for clothing.

Homonym: A word or combination of words having the same sound as another but a different spelling, as per BEAR and BARE or PEEK and PEAK.  Examples of trademarks which rely on the effects of homonyms are MINUTE MAID ("made") for frozen juices and JOOST ("juiced") for computerized entertainment services.

Hypernym:  See Hyponym below.

Hyponym:  A hyponym is a word more specific in meaning than a related word, e.g., SEDAN vs. CAR or HAMMER vs. TOOL.  The opposite is a hypernym, a word more general in meaning, such as TREE vs. MAPLE or BIRD vs. PIGEON.  Trademark examples are TERCEL, a hyponym of "hawk" because a "tiercel" is a male hawk, and "antelope," a hypernym of REEBOK since a "rhebok" is a kind of antelope.

Idiom:  A combination of words whose typical meaning is different than its literal meaning,  such as HIT THE ROAD ("get started" vs. "strike the pavement") or BOUGHT THE FARM ("died" vs.  "purchased the agricultural property").  Trademark examples are LET IT RIP and CUT TO THE CHASE.

Jargon:  Vocabulary peculiar to a particular trade, industry, occupation, profession, or similar group, often not understood or used by others, as per the legal term SUA SPONTE (meaning "on his/her own volition" in Latin) or the military term ALPHA STRIKE.  Trademark examples are FORCE MULTIPLIER and EVENT HORIZON.

Lexeme:  A fundamental unit of the lexicon of a language and whose members represent its various forms.  Members of the lexeme GO include, e.g., GOES, GONE, GOING, and WENT, and members of the lexeme FINE include, e.g., FINER, FINEST, FINELY, FINENESS, and FINERY.  Trademark examples include former marks like MIMEOGRAPH that went generic after the mark became a lexeme with various members (e.g., MIMEOGRAPH, MIMEOGRAPHER, and MIMEOGRAPHING), and by analogy a family of marks whose quasi-lexeme members are owned by one company (e.g., the marks CITIBANK, CITICARDS, and CITITREASURY ).

Malapropism: A funny use of a word or combination of words, typically because of unintended meaning, confusion with similar sounding word(s), or erroneous spelling, as in "He's a wolf in cheap clothing" and "The doctor felt the man's purse and said there was no hope."  Trademark examples are MYLANTA, "lant" being aged urine having many pre-industrial uses, and DRECK, "dirt" in German, used for leather preservatives.

Matronym aka Metronym:  A name originating from a mother's name, as per MEGSON, son of Meg, or Hilliard from Hildegard.  Trademark examples are ANSON, from ANN(E) (though sometimes also a decapitation of Hanson) and TILLOTSON, derived from a diminutive of Matilda.

Meronym:  A meronym is word or combination of words that designates a thing or concept which is part of some other thing or concept, as per PETAL, a meronym in relation to FLOWER.   A holonym is a meronym's opposite, namely a word or combination of words that designate a thing or concept which includes some other thing or concept, as per ATOM, a holonym in relation to PROTON.  Trademark examples are NEWSDAY in relation to NEWSWEEK, and SAKS FIFTH AVENUE in relation to its hypothetical alternatives SAKS MANHATTAN or SAKS NEW YORK.

Metaphor:  A word or phrase suggesting a concept which it directly would not, thus creating an imaginative comparison between the new concept and the concept ordinarily denoted, e.g.,  THIS BUD OF LOVE, comparing love to a flower, or SURFING THE WEB,  watersport and spider's craft encountering the electronic frontier.  Trademark examples are CHICKEN OF THE SEA for canned tuna and FRUIT OF THE LOOM for underwear.
Metaphrase:  A word-for-word translation, often lacking proper idiomatic meaning, e.g., MY WAY OR THE HIGHWAY literarily translated into Spanish as "MI MANERA O LA CARRETERA," entirely losing its idiomatic meaning, or "SABER ES PODER, literarily translated from Spanish into English as "TO KNOW IS TO BE ABLE," partially losing its idiomatic meaning.  Trademark examples are KFC's slogan FINGER-LICKIN' GOOD literarily translated into Chinese so that it came out as EAT YOUR FINGERS OFF and PURE LIFE for bottled water which would be literarily translated in Spanish markets as VIDA PURA, so the owner adopted a more appropriate PUREZA VITAL.

Metonym:  A word or combination of words ordinarily denoting one concept but used to identify another, e.g., BOTTLE denoting "drinking" and KREMLIN denoting the former Soviet government or the current Russian government.  Trademark examples are RED LOBSTER for fish restaurants and STAPLES (if meaning fastening devices) for office supplies.

MorphemeA unit of meaning, consisting of a word or part of a word, that cannot be divided into smaller units of meaning, e.g., NOX in "equinox" refers to "night" and DECK, a whole word having no smaller units of meaning.  Trademark examples of morpheme construction are COMPILEX for computerized database services for personal injury lawyers (COMP + PI + LEX and COMPILE) and VASELINE for an oil/water emulsion (from "Wasser," pronounced "vahser," German for water, and "elaion," Greek for oil).

Nomenclature:  A system of names or a method for assigning names in an art, science, trade, or other field, as per a botanical or astronomical nomenclature.  Trademark examples are trademark nomenclature guidelines prescribed by the U.S. Food & Drug Administration designed to prevent confusion in dispensing pharmaceuticals and naming conventions for proprietary and licensed products proclaimed by big companies like Microsoft Corporation.

Neologism:  A new word first coming into the language.  Years ago GEEK was such a new word; GINORMOUS is a more recent creation.  Trademark examples are GOOGLE, a distinctive trademark, but also sometimes colloquially used generically as a verb to express doing an online search, and XEROX, also a distinctive trademark but colloquially once used generically as a noun, verb, and adjective in connection with photocopies.

Nominative:  The subjective case/form of a noun or pronoun which generally indicates that in a phrase or sentence the noun or pronoun is the active subject of a verb, not its object, e.g., "The BOOK is both good and original" or "The PILOTS flew many flights." Real word trademarks that contain or comprise nouns or pronouns typically show them spelled in the nominative case/form rather than in the genitive ( e.g., WENDY'S) or objective case/form (HIM).

Nonce Word:  A word created for a special occasion or intended to be used only "once" (though sometimes surviving in the language), like QUARK created by James Joyce for Finnegans Wake or SUPERCALIFRAGILISTICEXPIALIDOCIOUS from the "Mary Poppins" musical.  Trademark examples are TORINO 2006 developed for the Torino winter Olympic Games and THREE-PEAT created by basketball coach Pat Riley to reference winning a basketball championship three times in a row.

Onomatopoeia:  The linguistic phenomenon of a word sounding like the thing it denotes, e.g., MEOW or HICCUP.  Trademark examples are SCHWEPPES, mimicking the sound carbonated beverages, and FERRARI, reminiscent of a car engine's roar.

Oronym:  A word or combination of words sounding like another word or combination of words, e.g., ICE CREAM vs. I SCREAM or WHITE SHOES vs. WHY CHOOSE. Trademark examples are BEEFEATER ("bee feeder") and ARM & HAMMER ("Armand Hammer," the industrialist).

Oxymoron:  A combination of two or more words that might be perceived as incongruous, e.g., JUMBO SHRIMP or ACCURATE ESTIMATE.  Trademark examples are BLACK SUN and LIQUID DIAMOND.

Palatability:  The acceptability of a word or combination of words across language and cultural boundaries.  Words like OKAY and, more recently, EMAIL are palatable and widely accepted around the world.  Examples of highly palatable trademarks are SONY and NOKIA.

Palindrome:  A word or combination of words which spells the same thing both forwards and backwards, e.g., DEIFIED and SO MANY DYNAMOS.  Trademark examples are ZOONOOZ and ROTAVATOR.

Parody:  In relation to wordplay and trademarks, a word or combination of words which by its use and similarity mocks, satirizes, or humorously references an established name, slogan, mark, or title, e.g., the trademarks CHEWY VUITON for dog accessories which parodies LOUIS VUITTON or VICTOR'S LITTLE SECRET for adult products which parodies VICTORIA'S SECRET.

Patronym:  A name originating from a father's name, as per SAMSON, son of Sam(uel) or FITZPATRICK, son of Patrick.  Trademark examples are MCDONALD'S and ALBERTSONS.

Petronym:  A word or combination of words "set in stone," like VISA and KNIFE EDGE, whose meaning is relatively singular, long lasting, and constant even if capable of many metaphoric uses, and somewhat the opposite of a pteronym.  Trademark examples are ORACLE and AJAX.

Phoneme:  The smallest phonetic (sound) unit of language that can convey a distinction in meaning, e.g., the "S" sound in "set" as distinguished from the "J" sound in "jet" or the "W" sound in "wane" vs. the "V" sound in "vein."  Trademark examples are the "S" sound in SONIQUE vs. the "M" sound in MONIQUE and the "I" sound in TRUSS-SKIN vs. the "O" sound in TRUSCON.

Phonosemantics aka Sound Symbolism:  The semantics of sound, or the study of the meaning of sounds, e.g., whereby one may surmise the semantics of individual letter sounds.  For instance, the dispersed energy of the "W" sound accounts for  wispy words like "whimper," "whisper," and "wallow," whereas the highly focused energy of the "T" sound spawns tight words like "taut," "tense," and "terse."   Trademark examples might be the boisterous "B's" in BOB'S BIG BOY and the spiritual "A's" in AVAYA.

Portmanteau:  A word created by blending recognizable components of two or more other words, like SMOG from "smoke" and "fog" or BRUNCH from "breakfast" and "lunch."  Trademark examples are SPAM from "spiced" and "ham" and WATSU from "water" and "shiatsu."

Pteronym:  A "winged" word or combination of words, like SET and FILE, whose meaning tends to move, evolve, splinter, and mutate over time, somewhat the opposite of a petronym.  Trademark examples are LONGS, connoting a surname, physical and temporal length, yearning, etc., and DR. PEPPER, with PEPPER connoting a surname, tree, condiment, verb, etc. 

Pun:  A play on words by which a word is replaced with a similar word, like a homonym or similar heterophone to achieve a clever or humorous new meaning, e.g., NOTHING RISQUE, NOTHING GAINED and A PUN IS ITS OWN REWORD.   Trademark examples are FIG NEWMAN, a pun on FIG NEWTON, and FROOGLE, the former GOOGLE name for its shopping search engine.

Rebus Pictures, symbols, letters, or numerals, or a combination of such elements which by sound or symbolism suggest a word or phrase, e.g., Q8 is a rebus for "Kuwait" and 4N6 a rebus for "forensics."  Trademark examples are TOYS "R" US and T42.

Retronym:  A new word or combination of words used for an old thing or concept whose original name is no longer appropriate or is used for something else, usually formed by adding an adjective to the original noun, as in DIRT ROAD (originally just ROAD before roads were generally paved) and AM RADIO (just RADIO before the FM band was introduced).  Trademark examples are COCA-COLA CLASSIC for the original-flavor drink and G1 TRANSFORMERS for the original toy action figures.

Reversal:  A word which spells another word backwards, e.g., STRESSED and DESSERTS or REVEL and LEVER.  Trademark examples are HARPO, a reversal of "Oprah" (Winfrey), and SERUTAN,  "natures" reversed.

Rhyme:  The identity of sound between two or more words from the last stressed vowel to the end of each word, the consonant or consonant group preceding the last stressed vowel being different for each word, as in TANGO and MANGO or GUESS and CARESS.  Trademark examples are FAMOUS AMOS (rhyme within a mark) and (GO-GURT yogurt (rhyme with the product name).

Ricochet Word:  A word, usually hyphenated, formed by reduplicating the first component, but with the second component either having a different first consonant sound or a different first vowel sound, e.g., CHIT-CHAT or ROLY-POLY.  Trademark examples are KIT KAT and TUSH-CUSH.

Slang:  Very informal, often ephemeral words or combinations of words that are typically striking, vivid, colorful, idiomatic, metaphorical, or vulgar, though sometimes formally accepted into a language following widespread, long term usage.  GIZMO was once slang as was HELL'S BELLS.  Trademark examples are JEEPERS and DEAD PRESIDENTS (money in bills). 

The omission of an interior letter, syllable or other part of a word, as per the contraction CAN'T in relation to CANNOT and the American ALUMINUM compared to the British ALUMINIUM. Trademark examples are CUISINART vs. CUISINE ART and TINACTIN vs. TINEA ACTION.

Synonym:  A word or combination of words having the same meaning as another, as per BLACK and EBONY or CARELESS and NEGLIGENT.  Trademark examples are TUCKS, a kind of inserts when used for suppositories, thus matching the mark to the product, and GARDEN OF LIFE for nutritional supplements, substantially synonymous with EDEN, another nutrition mark.

TautonymA word or term comprising two or more identical components, as per COUSCOUS and BERI BERI.  Trademark examples are MIU MIU and TOMTOM.

Telescoped Word:  A composite word formed by joining two or more joined words that share letters, as in CINEMADDICT and GUESSTIMATE.   Trademark examples are TRAVELODGE and WORMIX.

Theronym:  A name, particularly a product name, derived from an animal's name, e.g.,  CAT'S EYE or HOT DOG.  Trademark examples are CATERPILLAR and DODGE RAM.

Toponym:  A place name for a locality, region, or other part of the Earth's surface such as EVEREST or LOCH NESS.  Trademark examples are EVIAN and YUKON.

Translation:  A word or combination of words from one language whose meaning is expressed in another language, e.g., VERDE (Spanish for "green") translated as GRUeN in German, or CAVE CANEM from Latin translated into BEWARE THE DOG.  Trademark examples are MEIRYO, meaning "clear," "lucid," or "plain" in Japanese, for font-related software, and FACILPAGO, connoting "easy payment," used by the Home Shopping Network.

Transliteration:  A word or combination of words from one alphabet or script, expressed in another alphabet or script, usually preserving the sound or concept, or both, of the word or combination of words from the original alphabet or script.  Trademark examples are CARTIER, phonetically transliterated into Chinese characters to sound like KA DI YA, and PEPSI COLA, phonetically and conceptually transliterated into Chinese characters to sound like BAI SHI KE LE, which means "everything makes you happy."

Trigraph:  A cluster of three letters such as SCH or EAU used to express a single sound or a sequence of sounds not ordinarily corresponding in sound to the sequence of letters.  Trademark examples are BEAU and SCHLAGE.

Vowel:  An alphabet letter which symbolizes one or more speech sounds made without blocking the flow of air from the lungs, thus representing the free flow of energy.  Vowels in English are A, E, I, O, and U, and, depending on usage, Y.

Word:  The smallest unit of syntax in a phrase or sentence, though not to be fully identified with a word mark which is defined in relation to typography in the Trademark Glossary.


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