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A misnomer is a word or term that suggests a meaning that is known to be wrong. Misnomers often arise because the thing named received its name long before its true nature was known. A misnomer may also be simply a word that is used incorrectly or misleadingly.[1] "Misnomer" does not mean "misunderstanding" or "popular misconception".[1]

Sources of misnomers[edit]

Some of the sources of misnomers are:


Older name retained[edit]

Similarity of appearance[edit]

Difference between common and technical meanings[edit]

Association with place other than one might assume[edit]



  1. ^ a b Garner, Bryan (2009). Garner's Modern American Usage (3rd ed.). New York: Oxford University Press. p. 542. ISBN 978-0-19-538275-4. 
  2. ^ How Greenland got its name. The Ancient Standard. Retrieved 2 January 2012.
  3. ^ Leitner, Gerhard; Sieloff, Inke (1998). "Aboriginal words and concepts in Australian English". World Englishes 17 (2): 153–169. doi:10.1111/1467-971X.00089.