cognomen

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Related to cognomens: agnomen, cognomina

cognomen

noun appelation, appellative, byname, byword, denomination, designation, name, nickname, sobriquet, style
See also: call, expression, sobriquet, term, title

COGNOMEN. A Latin word, which signifies a family name. The praenomen among the Romans distinguished the person, the nomen, the gens, or all the kindred descended from a remote common stock through males, while the cognomen denoted the particular family. The agnomen was added on account of some particular event, as a further distinction. Thus, in the designation Publius Cornelius Scipio Africanus, Publius is the proenomen, Cornelius is the nomen, Scipio the cognomen, and Africanus the agnomen. Vicat. These several terms occur frequently in the Roman laws. See Cas. temp. Hardw. 286; 1 Tayl. 148. See Name; Surname.

References in periodicals archive ?
are all caricatured by persons with non-de-plume Irish name, while ubiquitous cognomens designate dishonest and unscrupulous politicians, pool room proprietors, knavish bosses, or illiterate get-rich-somehow nabobs, all of which is as unmagnanimous as it is untruthful.
About a half-century ago, Smith & Wesson began numerical designation of the growing range of handgun models largely abandoning the familiar cognomens of the early 20th century.
Nonetheless, a reader cannot help but be struck by the similarities between the terrifying struggle of Wright's African American farmer and the tragicomic, Sisyphean endurance of Faulkner's unnamed white protagonist, beginning with the mythically vague cognomens applied to them: Wright's application of the surname "Mann" to the sharecropper indicates his allegorical function and implies that, while his motivations--to protect his family and his home--are that of an Every Man, the circumstances that impede his fulfillment of that gendered role are those which Every Black Man must negotiate.