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Dictionary of Pseudonyms

by Adrian Room

Bibliographic information

TitleDictionary of Pseudonyms
AuthorAdrian Room
Publication Date2010


Substantially revised and enlarged, this new edition of the Dictionary of Pseudonyms includes more than 2,000 new entries, bringing the volume's total to approximately 13,000 assumed names, nicknames, stage names, and aliases. The introduction has been entirely rewritten, and many previous entries feature new accompanying details or quoted material. This volume also features a significantly greater number of cross-references than was included in previous editions. Arranged by pseudonym, the entries give the true name, vital dates, country of origin or settlement, and profession. Many entries also include the story behind the person's name change.

About the Author 

Adrian Room ---

The late Adrian Room was a noted toponymist and onomastician. The author of more than 50 reference books about words and names, he lived in Stamford, Lincolnshire, England.


Room, Adrian. Dictionary of pseudonyms: 13,000 assumed names and their origins. 5th ed. McFarland, 2010. 530p bibl afp ISBN 0-7864-4373-1; ISBN 9780786443734. Reviewed in 2011mar CHOICE.

Room is a respected and prolific author who has compiled and/or edited over 50 reference titles. His works reveal his love of language, names, and the interesting and quirky trivia that can accompany names. In addition to the present title, Room has written Dictionary of World Place Names Derived from British Names (CH, Sep'89, 27-0044), Dictionary of Translated Names and Titles (1986), and A Dictionary of Music Titles (2000), among many others. This fifth edition features 2,000 more names than the previous one (4th ed., CH, Jul'04, 41-6233; 3rd ed., CH, Jul'98, 35-5963). Entries are arranged by pseudonym and contain given names, dates, country of origin (or settlement), and the person's profession. Some entries are annotated with additional information regarding the origins of the pseudonym (sources are provided). Hugo Gryn, a Jewish and British broadcaster, became Hugo Green due to the misunderstanding of an immigration official. Several paragraphs discuss why Robert Allen Zimmerman became Bob Dylan. Lady Gaga--Stefani Joanne Angelina Germanotta--took her stage name from a song by Queen. Numerous cross-references appear, but not for all entries. Since most users would know the pseudonym rather than the given name, this is not a major flaw. Included is a bibliography consisting of several pages of sources consulted, but a helpful addition to the next edition would be an index by profession, and perhaps by country and by date.

Summing Up: Highly recommended. All reference collections; lower- and upper-level undergraduates, and general readers. -- S. M. Metcalf, Western Carolina University

Copyright 2012 American Library Association.

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