86th Annual Scholarship Drive

Student-driven fundraiser with a $50,000 grand prize drawing on March 1, 2024

Saint Ignatius High School

Etymology Word of the Week

Director of Admissions Pat O'Rourke '90, a self-proclaimed "word nerd," brings you his Etymology Word of the Week. Every other week he presents an online Etymology lesson just for fun!
Metonymy - "A figure of speech that consists of the use of the name of one object or concept for that of another to which it is related, or of which it is a part.”

Often confused with the figure of speech synecdoche, in which a part of something is used as a stand-in for the whole, or vice versa. From the Greek noun metonymia meaning “change of name”, which itself comes from the Greek roots meta- meaning “change” and -onym meaning “name.” (All information is from www.wikipedia.org, www.etymonline.com and/or www.dictionary.com).

RELATED WORDS/PHRASES – metastasize, metaphysics, metabolism, metatarsal, metamorphosis, metanoia, metaphor

Example of metonymy: “The Pentagon today announced that...” Pentagon in this instance really means “The Department of Defense” - the Pentagon is just a five-sided building, it cannot speak.

Example of synecdoche: “Nice wheels!” meaning “Hey, cool car.”  Wheels are only part of a car, not the whole car.

GUESS THE APHORISM:  One man’s trash... (scroll for answer)

A: Is another man’s treasure.