A word for a word that IS itself

I can’t help thinking that there is a grammatical word for a word that IS itself. The same way that ornomatopeia is a word for a word that sounds like itself. I’m thinking of a word like ‘noun’ for instance. The word itself is a noun, so it is itself. Is there a word for that or am I going crazy?


yes there is a specialized word for it. I cannot find it right now, but there is one. I will try to find it if nobody comes up with it.

It seems like there would be too few instances of this for a separate word to be necessary. I can only think of a few off-hand: someone named “Name,” a document entitled “Title,” and (as Kilvert’s Pagan says) the word “word.”

Oh, but it appears that Sapo has proven my guess wrong. I hope he finds it–I’m curious.



ETA: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Autological

FETA: a list of such: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_autological_words

This is usually used to describe adjectives that describe themselves, but I guess it could extend to nouns. A word that doesn’t describe itself is heterological. If you want to have a bit of fun, try to figure out whether the word heterological is heterological.


ETA: Damn, beaten while I was busy searching.

The wiki entry explains why this is so. The list of autological nouns is almost silly.

QED, what terms were you searching? I got it in no time searching for “pollysyllabic” which I remembered as an obvious example.

Brilliant, thank you!

I searched for forms of self-referencing and found a Wiki article which led me, in turn, to the article on autological words. A little less direct, to be sure.

Would that be a parrot with a multisyllabic name?

No, clearly that’s a parrot with an amusing bill. :smiley: