Matronymic

Matronymic

ˌmatrəˈnimik

Noun

  • A name derived from the name of a mother or female ancestor.

Adjective

  • Denoting or relating to a name derived from the name of a mother or female ancestor.

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Example Sentences

“By tracing her matronymic heritage, Ellen was able to find the great-grandmother who had her matronymic first.”

“She used her matronymic last name as a pen name.” 

“The Latin word ‘mater,’ or ‘mother,’ forms the first half of ‘matronymic,’ and ‘nym’ is the Latin word for ‘name.'”

Word Origin

Latin, late 18th century

Why this word?

Curious about family history? Traditionally, women have changed their last names when they marry, which makes it more difficult to trace the maternal side of a family tree. Researching matronymic lines can be helpful; look at birth and marriage certificates for last names on your mother’s and grandmothers’ sides for clues into where to look next.

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ˈlɑ̂,ɡɔm