One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Rhetoric. The conjunction of words which sound similar; wordplay based on similar-sounding words; an instance of this.
2†(a) The giving of an agnomen, byname, or surname. Obsolete. (b) An agnomen, a byname; a descriptive appellation.
Late 16th century; earliest use found in Richard Bristow (1538–1581), Roman Catholic priest. Partly (i) from classical Latin adnōminātiōn-, adnōminātiō (in post-classical Latin also annominatio) wordplay based on words which sound similar, an instance of this, with alteration after words in classical Latin ag-, variant of ad-;.
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