• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • You already know Dokkio is an AI-powered assistant to organize & manage your digital files & messages. Very soon, Dokkio will support Outlook as well as One Drive. Check it out today!



Page history last edited by Gwen Foss 14 years, 9 months ago

The Humor of Author Aptronyms



Collected by Gwen Foss, Alan's Used Books


(New items added, October 2009.)


The word “aptronym” was coined by columnist Franklin Pierce Adams (1881–1960) to denote a person whose name matched their profession or character.


Here in the world of books I sometimes find authors whose names are aptly suitable to their book titles. Since I handle mostly nonfiction most of the ones I find are from history and science books. The following is just a smattering from my collection. (Yes, these are real books and authors!)


Hatching the American Eagle, by John Finch Barnhill


Your Money or Your Life: Why We Must Abolish the Income Tax, by Richman 


The Canaller's Songbook, by Hullfish

Extraordinary Automobiles

, by Vann



British Orders and Decorations, by Risk


The Day of the Americans (World War 2 history), by Gun


Petrochemicals: The Rise of an Industry, by Spitz


Chuck Wagon Cookbook, by McElfresh


Banned Books, by Haight


Ruskin Lace and Linen Work, by Prickett


Vaccinations: Deception and Tragedy, by Dye


Archery, the Family Sport, co-authored by Tracy Stalker, published by Archie Smith


Yellow Garden, by Gasse


Stepping Up to the Creator, by Shepard


Encyclopedia of Matchbox Toys, by Mack


American Guerrilla in the Philippines (a war memoir), by Wolfert


Christ Jesus our King, a Eucharistic Prayer Book, by Lord


Studebaker Toys and Models, by Geary


Sing to Me of Heaven (a study of early American hymn tunes), by Horn


The Art of Fine Tools, by Sandor Nabyszalanczy

(thanks to bookdealer Peggy Herr for sending this one in)



Spanish Cooking, by Pepita Aris


Pirates of Cayman, by Marina Carter


Bloodroot, by Dyer 


Undercover Investigation, by Barefoot 


Dictionary of Beer and Brewing, co-authored by Forget 


Groton School Sing-Song Book, edited by Twining Lynes (this sounds like a punny pseudonym but he was really the music teacher at Groton School, Groton, Mass.)


Player Piano Treasury, by Roehl 


Hymns in New Form for Common Worship, co-edited by Nave 


Gospel Hymnal for Sunday School and Church Work, by Excell 


The Waterfowl of North America: The Complete Ducks, Geese and Swans, by Robin Hill 


Knowing Your Trees, by Collingwood and Brush 


Machine Tool Operation, co-authored by Axelrod 


Die Kunst des Autos (Arts of the Automobile), with a foreword by Karmann 


Flora Domestica: A History of British Flower Arranging, by Mary Rose Blacker 


Misery, by Heller 


Creative Embroidery Techniques Using Color Through Gold, co-authored by Woolsey 


Visionary Cities, by Wall 


Everybody Eats Well in Belgium Cookbook, illustrated by Sweet


The Naked Detective: A Novel, by Shames


The Spiral Ascent: A Trilogy of Novels, by Upward


Legal Directory for Lawyers, Merchants and All Business Men (several editions from 1880s to 1910s), by Graft


Numerical Analysis, by Burden


Our Corrupt Congress, by Hoar


Race Horses at Risk: Overnutrition, Drugs, Breakdowns, by Krook


Criminal Life: Forty-two Years as a Police Officer, by Bent


Treatise on Madness, by Battie (1758)


Credit River Valley, co-authored by Hudson


Surviving Hitler And Mussolini, by Warring


At the Crossroads: Michilimackinac During the American Revolution (wartime history of a northern Michigan fort), by Armour


Why Men Rebel, by Gurr


Jet Bombers, by Gunston


History of the Electrochemical Society, by Burns


Silken Threads, by Stitch


849 Traditional Patchwork Patterns, by Mills


A Pictorial Guide to American Spinning Wheels, co-authored by Taylor


Bad Hair, co-authored by Webb


Mummies, Disease, and Ancient Cultures, by Cockburn


The Standard Manual of Soda and Other Beverages, by Hiss


Thermodynamics: An Introduction, co-authored by Wood


Glacial and Quaternary Geology, by Flint


History of Experimental Psychology, by Boring


Marketing Concepts and Strategies, co-authored by Pride


Chicago and Northwestern-Milwaukee Road Pictorial (a railroad history), by Porter


Automotive Antifreezes, co-authored by Streets


Sixteenth Biennial Report of the Michigan State Highway Commissioner, 1936, edited by Van Wagoner


Christmas Traditions, by Auld



To finish up, I present a few books authored by individuals with utterly inappropriate names. Such poorly matched monikers could be called inaptronyms, malronyms, malaptronyms, antinyms, or even anti-aptronyms.



Concept Cars from the 1930s to the Present, by Edsall


Sports Cars and Hot Rods, by Horsley


Amber: The Golden Gem of the Ages, by Rice


Violence and Aggression in the History of Ideas, by Wiener 


Nuclear Weapons and the World Court, co-authored by Krieger (the author is president of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. Krieger is German for warrior)


Twentieth Century Encyclopedia of Religious Knowledge, edited by Loetscher (pronounced lecher)


Desert War in North Africa, consultant: Maj. Gen. I. S. O. Playfair


The Flood of 1993, by Burnett


Introduction to Computer Science, by Gear


Teaching with Charisma, by Duck





See more witty pages by Gwen Foss


Browse TomFolio's books on Humor here


Comments (1)

Anonymous said

at 3:43 pm on Dec 8, 2006

Way Cool!

You don't have permission to comment on this page.