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A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a
pseudonym A pseudonym () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) or alias () is a fictitious name that a person or group assumes for a particular purpose, which differs from their original or true name (orthonym Onomastics or onomatology is the study o ...
(or, in some cases, a variant form of a real name) adopted by an
author An author is the creator or originator of any written work such as a book or play, and is also considered a writer or poet. More broadly defined, an author is "the person who originated or gave existence to anything" and whose authorship determi ...

author
and printed on the title page or by-line of their works in place of their real name. A pen name may be used to make the author's name more distinctive, to disguise the author's gender, to distance the author from their other works, to protect the author from retribution for their writings, to merge multiple persons into a single identifiable author, or for any of a number of reasons related to the marketing or aesthetic presentation of the work. The author's name may be known only to the publisher or may come to be common knowledge.


Etymology

The French phrase ''nom de plume'' is occasionally still seen as a synonym for the English term "pen name," which is a "back-translation" and originated in England rather than France. H. W. Fowler and F. G. Fowler, in ''
The King's English ''The King's English'' is a book on English usage and grammar. It was written by the brothers Henry Watson Fowler Henry Watson Fowler (10 March 1858 – 26 December 1933) was an English schoolmaster, List of lexicographers, lexicographer and ...
'' state that the term ''nom de plume'' evolved in Britain where people wanting a literary phrase failed to understand the term ''
nom de guerre NOM may refer to: * Nasdaq Options Market * National Organization for Marriage * Natural organic matter * New Order Mormons * Nickelodeon Original Movies * ''Nintendo Official Magazine'', official British Nintendo magazine; now discontinued, super ...
'', which already existed in French. Since ''guerre'' means "war" in French, ''nom de guerre'' did not make sense to the British, who did not understand the French metaphor. See also French phrases used by English speakers.


Western literature


Europe and the United States

An author may use a pen name if their real name is likely to be confused with that of another author or other significant individual. For instance, in 1899 the British politician
Winston Churchill Sir Winston Leonard Spencer Churchill, (30 November 187424 January 1965) was a British statesman who served as Prime Minister of the United Kingdom The prime minister of the United Kingdom is the head of government The head o ...

Winston Churchill
wrote under the name Winston S. Churchill to distinguish his writings from those of the American novelist of the same name. An author may use a pen name implying a rank or title which they have never actually held. William Earl Johns wrote under the name "Capt. W. E. Johns" although the highest army rank he held was acting
lieutenant A lieutenant ( or abbreviated Lt., Lt, LT, Lieut and similar) is a commissioned officer An officer is a person who holds a position of authority as a member of an armed force A military, also known collectively as armed forces, i ...

lieutenant
and his highest air force rank was
flying officer Flying officer (Fg Off in the RAF and IAF; in the RAAF; in the RNZAF; formerly F/O in all services and still frequently in the RAF) is a junior Officer (armed forces)#Commissioned officers, commissioned rank in the Royal Air Force (RAF) and t ...
. Authors who regularly write in more than one genre may use different pen names for each, sometimes with no attempt to conceal a true identity.
Romance Romance (from Vulgar Latin , "in the Roman language", i.e., "Latin") may refer to: Common meanings * Romance (love) Romance or Romantic love is an emotional feeling of love for, or a strong attraction towards another person, and the Court ...
writer
Nora Roberts Nora Roberts (born Eleanor Marie Robertson on October 10, 1950) is an American author of more than 225 romance novels. She writes as J. D. Robb for the ''in Death'' series and has also written under the pseudonyms Jill March and for publications ...
writes
erotic thriller Erotic thriller is a film subgenre defined as a Thriller film, thriller with a thematic basis in illicit Romance film, romance or Sexual fantasy, erotic fantasy. Most erotic thrillers contain scenes of Softcore pornography, softcore sex and nudity ...
s under the pen name J. D. Robb (such books are titled "Nora Roberts writing as J. D. Robb"); Scots writer
Iain Banks Iain Banks (16 February 1954 – 9 June 2013) was a Scottish author, writing mainstream fiction as Iain Banks and science fiction as Iain M. Banks, adding the initial of his adopted middle name Menzies (). After the success of ''The Wasp Factory ...
wrote mainstream or literary fiction under his own name and published
science fiction Science fiction (sometimes shortened to sci-fi or SF) is a genre of speculative fiction which typically deals with imagination, imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, Parall ...

science fiction
under Iain M. Banks;
Samuel Langhorne Clemens Samuel Langhorne Clemens (November 30, 1835 – April 21, 1910), known by his pen name Mark Twain, was an American writer, humorist, entrepreneur, publisher, and lecturer. He was lauded as the "greatest humorist the United States has prod ...

Samuel Langhorne Clemens
used the aliases Mark Twain and Sieur Louis de Conte for different works. Similarly, an author who writes both fiction and non-fiction (such as the mathematician and fantasy writer Charles Dodgson, who wrote as
Lewis Carroll Charles Lutwidge Dodgson (; 27 January 1832 – 14 January 1898), better known by his pen name Lewis Carroll, was an English writer of children's fiction, notably ' and its sequel '. He was noted for his facility with , logic, and fantasy. The ...

Lewis Carroll
) may use a pseudonym for fiction writing. Science fiction author
Harry Turtledove Harry Norman Turtledove (born June 14, 1949) is an American author who is best known for his work in the genres of alternate history, historical fiction, fantasy, science fiction, and mystery fiction. He is a student of history and completed hi ...
has used the name H. N. Turtletaub for a number of historical novels he has written because he and his publisher felt that the presumed lower sales of those novels might hurt book store orders for the novels he writes under his own name. Occasionally, a pen name is employed to avoid overexposure. Prolific authors for
pulp magazines Pulp magazines (often referred to as "the pulps") were inexpensive fiction magazines that were published from 1896 to the late 1950s. The term "pulp" derives from the cheap wood pulp paper on which the magazines were printed. In contrast, magazi ...
often had two and sometimes three short stories appearing in one issue of a magazine; the editor would create several fictitious author names to hide this from readers.
Robert A. Heinlein Robert Anson Heinlein (; July 7, 1907 – May 8, 1988) was an American science fiction File:Imagination 195808.jpg, Space exploration, as predicted in August 1958 in the science fiction magazine ''Imagination (magazine), Imagination.'' Sc ...

Robert A. Heinlein
wrote stories under pseudonyms of Anson MacDonald (a combination of his middle name and his then wife's maiden name) and Caleb Strong so that more of his works could be published in a single magazine.
Stephen King Stephen Edwin King (born September 21, 1947) is an American author of , , , , , and novels. Described as the "King of Horror", a play on his surname and a reference to his high standing in pop culture, his books have sold more than 350  ...
published four novels under the name
Richard Bachman Richard Bachman's author photo, credited to Claudia Inez Bachman. The actual subject of the photo is Richard Manuel, the insurance agent of Kirby McCauley, who was Stephen King's literary agent">Kirby_McCauley.html" ;"title="insurance agent of Ki ...

Richard Bachman
because publishers did not feel the public would buy more than one novel per year from a single author. Eventually, after critics found a large number of style similarities, publishers revealed Bachman's true identity. Sometimes a pen name is used because an author believes that their name does not suit the genre they are writing in. Western novelist Pearl Gray dropped his first name and changed the spelling of his last name to become
Zane Grey Pearl Zane Grey (January 31, 1872 – October 23, 1939) was an American author and dentist best known for his popular adventure novels and stories associated with the Western Western may refer to: Places *Western, Nebraska, a village in th ...

Zane Grey
because he believed that his real name did not suit the Western genre. Romance novelist
Angela Knight Angela Ann Knight Order of the British Empire, CBE (born Angela Ann Cook, 31 October 1950) was the chair of the Office of Tax Simplification. She was replaced on 18 March 2019. Previously she was the Chief Executive of Energy Retail Association, ...
writes under that name instead of her actual name (Julie Woodcock) because of the
double entendre A double entendre (plural double entendres) is a figure of speech A figure of speech or rhetorical figure is a word or phrase that entails an intentional deviation from ordinary language use in order to produce a rhetoric Rhetori ...
of her surname in the context of that genre.
Romain Gary Romain Gary (; 2 December 1980), born Roman Kacew (also known by the pen name Émile Ajar), was a French novelist, diplomat, film director, and World War II aviator An aircraft pilot or aviator is a person who controls the flight of an a ...
, who was a well-known French writer, decided in 1973 to write novels in a different style under the name Émile Ajar and even asked his cousin's son to impersonate Ajar; thus he received the most prestigious French literary prize twice, which is forbidden by the prize rules. He revealed the affair in a book he sent his editor just before committing suicide in 1980. Some pen names have been used for long periods, even decades, without the author's true identity being discovered, such as
Elena Ferrante Elena Ferrante () is a pseudonym A pseudonym () or alias () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) is a fictitious name that a person or group assumes for a particular purpose, which differs from their original or true name (orthonym). This ...
and
Torsten Krol Torsten Krol is an Australian writer resident in Queensland Queensland ( ,) is a state situated in northeastern Australia, and is the States and territories of Australia, second-largest and third-most populous Australian state. It is bordered ...
. A pen name may be shared by different writers in order to suggest continuity of authorship. Thus the ''
Bessie Bunter Elizabeth Gertrude Bunter, better known as Bessie Bunter, is a fictional character created by Charles Hamilton, who also created her more famous brother Billy Bunter William George Bunter is a fictional schoolboy created by Charles Hamilton us ...
'' series of English boarding-school stories, initially written by the prolific Charles Hamilton under the name Hilda Richards, was taken on by other authors who continued to use the same pen-name. In some forms of fiction, the pen name adopted is the name of the lead character, to suggest to the reader that the book is an autobiography of a real person.
Daniel Handler Daniel Handler (born February 28, 1970) is an American writer and musician. He is best known for his children's series '' A Series of Unfortunate Events'' and '' All the Wrong Questions'', published under the pseudonym Lemony Snicket Lemony Sn ...
used the pseudonym
Lemony Snicket Lemony Snicket is the pen name (as well as a fictional character) of American novelist Daniel Handler (born February 28, 1970). Handler has published several children's books under the name, most notably ''A Series of Unfortunate Events'', which h ...
to present his ''
A Series of Unfortunate Events A Series of Unfortunate Events is a series of thirteen Children's literature, children's novels written by American author Daniel Handler under the pen name Lemony Snicket. The books follow the turbulent lives of List of A Series of Unfortunate E ...
'' books as memoirs by an acquaintance of the main characters. Some, however, do this to fit a certain theme. One example,
Pseudonymous Bosch Pseudonymous Bosch is the pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym (or, in some cases, a variant form of a real name) adopted by an author and printed on the title page or by-line of their works i ...
, used his pen name just to expand the theme of secrecy in ''
The Secret Series ''The Secret Series'' is a series of 'secret'-themed fantasy adventure novels written by Pseudonymous Bosch. The series centers on three middle school A middle school (also known as intermediate school, junior high school, or lower secondary s ...
''. Authors also may occasionally choose pen names to appear in more favorable positions in
bookshops
bookshops
or
libraries A library is a collection of materials, books or media that are easily accessible for use and not just for display purposes. It is responsible for housing updated information in order to meet the user's needs on a daily basis. A library provi ...

libraries
, to maximize visibility when placed on shelves that are conventionally arranged alphabetically moving horizontally, then upwards vertically.


Female authors

Some female authors have used pen names to ensure that their works were accepted by publishers and/or the public. Such is the case of Peru's Clarinda, whose work was published in the early 17th century. More often, women have adopted masculine pen names. This was common in the 19th century, when women were beginning to make inroads into literature but, it was felt, would not be taken as seriously by readers as male authors. For example, Mary Ann Evans wrote under the pen name
George Eliot Mary Ann Evans (22 November 1819 – 22 December 1880; alternatively Mary Anne or Marian), known by her pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym (or, in some cases, a variant form of a real n ...

George Eliot
; and Amandine Aurore Lucile Dupin, Baronne Dudevant, used the pseudonym
George Sand Amantine Lucile Aurore Dupin (; 1 July 1804 – 8 June 1876), best known by her pen name George Sand (), was a French novelist, memoirist, and journalist. One of the most popular writers in Europe in her lifetime, being more renown ...

George Sand
.
Charlotte Charlotte ( ) is the List of municipalities in North Carolina, most populous city in the U.S. state of North Carolina. Located in the Piedmont (United States), Piedmont region, it is the county seat of Mecklenburg County, North Carolina, Meckle ...

Charlotte
,
Emily
Emily
and
Anne Brontë Anne Brontë (, commonly ; 17 January 1820 – 28 May 1849) was an English novelist and poet, and the youngest member of the Brontë literary family. Anne Brontë was the daughter of Patrick Brontë, a poor Irish clergyman in the Church of En ...
published under the names Currer, Ellis, and Acton Bell, respectively. French-Savoyard writer and poet Amélie Gex chose to publish as Dian de Jeânna ("John, son of Jane") during the first half of her career.
Karen Blixen Baroness Karen Christenze von Blixen-Finecke (born Dinesen; 17 April 1885 – 7 September 1962) was a Danish author who wrote works in Danish and English. She is also known under her pen names Isak Dinesen, used in English-speaking countries, ...

Karen Blixen
's very successful ''
Out of Africa ''Out of Africa'' is a memoir A memoir (; , ) is any nonfiction Nonfiction (also spelled non-fiction) is any document A document is a writing, written, drawing, drawn, presented, or memorialized representation of thought, often the manif ...

Out of Africa
'' (1937) was originally published under the pen name Isak Dinesen.
Victoria Benedictsson
Victoria Benedictsson
, a Swedish author of the 19th century, wrote under the name Ernst Ahlgren. The
science fiction Science fiction (sometimes shortened to sci-fi or SF) is a genre of speculative fiction which typically deals with imagination, imaginative and futuristic concepts such as advanced science and technology, space exploration, time travel, Parall ...

science fiction
author Alice B. Sheldon for many years published under the masculine name of James Tiptree, Jr., the discovery of which led to a deep discussion of gender in the genre. More recently, women who write in genres commonly written by men sometimes choose to use initials, such as K. A. Applegate, C. J. Cherryh,
P. N. Elrod Patricia Nead Elrod (b. 1954) is an American novelist specializing in urban fantasy. She has written in the mystery, romance, paranormal, and historical genres with at least one foray into comedic fantasy. Elrod is also an editor, having worked on ...
,
D. C. Fontana Dorothy Catherine Fontana (March 25, 1939 – December 2, 2019) was an American television script writer and story editorStory editor is a job title in motion picture A film, also called a movie, motion picture or moving picture, i ...
,
S. E. Hinton Susan Eloise Hinton (born July 22, 1948) is an American writer best known for her young-adult novel Young adult fiction (YA) is a category of fiction written for readers from 12 to 18 years of age. While the genre is targeted to adolescents, ...
, G. A. Riplinger,
J. D. Robb Nora Roberts (born Eleanor Marie Robertson on October 10, 1950) is an American author of more than 225 romance novels. She writes as J. D. Robb for the '' in Death'' series and has also written under the pseudonyms Jill March and for publicatio ...
, and
J. K. Rowling Joanne Rowling ( ;Rowling, J.K. (16 February 2007). Accio Quote (accio-quote.org). Retrieved 28 April 2008. born 31 July 1965), better known by her pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym ( ...
. Alternatively, they may use a unisex pen name, such as
Robin Hobb Margaret Astrid Lindholm Ogden (born March 5, 1952), better known by her pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym (or, in some cases, a variant form of a real name) adopted by an author and print ...
(the second pen name of novelist Margaret Astrid Lindholm Ogden).


Collective names

A collective name, also known as a house name, is sometimes used with series fiction published under one pen name even though more than one author may have contributed to the series. In some cases the first books in the series were written by one writer, but subsequent books were written by
ghost writer A ghostwriter is hired to write literary Literature broadly is any collection of written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama Drama is the s ...
s. For instance, many of the later books in '' The Saint'' adventure series were not written by
Leslie Charteris Leslie Charteris (born Leslie Charles Bowyer-Yin, 12 May 1907 – 15 April 1993), was a British-Chinese author of adventure fiction, as well as a screenwriter.Nancy Drew Nancy Drew is a fictional character, a sleuth in an American mystery fiction, mystery series created by publisher Edward Stratemeyer as the female counterpart to his Hardy Boys series. The character first appeared in 1930. The books are ghostwr ...
'' mystery books are published as though they were written by
Carolyn Keene Carolyn Keene is the pseudonym of the authors of the Nancy Drew mystery stories and The Dana Girls mystery stories, both produced by the Stratemeyer Syndicate. In addition, the Keene pen name is credited with the Nancy Drew Spin-off (media), spin ...
, ''
The Hardy Boys The Hardy Boys, brothers Frank Frank may refer to: People As a name * Frank (given name) * Frank (surname) Groups of people * A member of the medieval Germanic people, the Franks * Crusaders in medieval Middle Eastern history * Levantin ...
'' books are published as the work of Franklin W. Dixon, and '' The Bobbsey Twins'' series are credited to Laura Lee Hope, although numerous authors have been involved in each series.
Erin Hunter Erin Hunter is a collective pseudonym used by the authors Victoria Holmes, Kate Cary, Cherith Baldry, Inbali Iserles, Tui T. Sutherland, and Rosie Best in the writing of several juvenile fantasy novel series, which focus on animals and their adven ...
, author of the '' Warriors'' novel series, is actually a collective pen name used by authors
Kate Cary Kate Cary (born 4 November 1967 in Birmingham, England Birmingham ( ) is a City status in the United Kingdom, city and metropolitan borough in the West Midlands (county), West Midlands, England. It is the second-largest city, urban area and ...
,
Cherith Baldry Cherith Baldry (born 21 January 1947) is a British writer of children's fiction and fantasy fiction. Beside publication under her own name, she is the author of some works published under the pseudonyms Adam Blade, Jenny Dale, Jack Dillon, and Er ...
, Tui T. Sutherland, and the editor
Victoria Holmes Victoria "Vicky" Holmes is an English people, English author. She is better known as Erin Hunter, a pseudonym under which she and others write the New York Times Best Seller list, New York Times Bestselling ''Warriors (novel series), Warriors'' seri ...
. Collaborative authors may also have their works published under a single pen name. Frederic Dannay and Manfred B. Lee published their mystery novels and stories under the pen name
Ellery Queen Ellery Queen is a pseudonym created in 1929 by American crime fiction Crime fiction, detective story, murder mystery, mystery novel, and police novel are terms used to describe narratives that centre on criminal acts and especially on the invest ...
, as well as publishing the work of
ghost-writer A ghostwriter is hired to write literary Literature broadly is any collection of written work, but it is also used more narrowly for writings specifically considered to be an art form, especially prose fiction, drama Drama is the s ...
s under the same name. The writers of ''
Atlanta Nights ''Atlanta Nights'' is a collaborative novel created in 2004 by a group of science fiction File:Imagination 195808.jpg, Space exploration, as predicted in August 1958 in the science fiction magazine ''Imagination (magazine), Imagination.'' Scie ...
'', a deliberately bad book intended to embarrass the publishing firm PublishAmerica, used the pen name Travis Tea. Additionally, the credited author of ''
The Expanse Expanse or The Expanse may refer to: Media and entertainment ''The Expanse'' franchise * The Expanse (novel series), ''The Expanse'' (novel series), a series of science fiction novels by James S. A. Corey * The Expanse (TV series), ''The Expa ...
'', James S.A. Corey, is an amalgam of the middle names of collaborating writers Daniel Abraham and
Ty Franck James S. A. Corey is the pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym (or, in some cases, a variant form of a real name) adopted by an author and printed on the title page or by-line of their works in ...
respectively, while S.A. are the initials of Abraham's daughter. Sometimes multiple authors will write related books under the same pseudonym; examples include T. H. Lain in fiction. The Australian fiction collaborators who write under the pen name
Alice Campion Alice Campion is the pseudonym of a group of Australian writers who have published two collaborative novels, ''The Painted Sky'' (Random House, 2015; published in German as ''Der Bunte Himmel,'' Ullstein Verlag 2015), and ''The Shifting Light'' (Pen ...
are a group of women who have so far written''The Painted Sky'' (2015), ''Der Bunte Himmel'' (2015), and ''The Shifting Light'' (2017). In the 1780s, ''
The Federalist Papers ''The Federalist Papers'' is a collection of 85 articles and essays written by Alexander Hamilton, James Madison, and John Jay under the Pseudonym, collective pseudonym "Publius" to promote the History of the United States Constitution, ratifica ...
'' were written under the pseudonym "Publius" by
Alexander Hamilton Alexander Hamilton (January 11, 1755 or 1757July 12, 1804) was an American statesman, politician, legal scholar, military commander, lawyer, banker, and economist. He was one of the Founding Fathers of the United States The Founding Fa ...

Alexander Hamilton
,
James Madison James Madison Jr. (March 16, 1751June 28, 1836) was an American statesman, diplomat, expansionist, philosopher, and Founding Father The following list of national founding figures is a record, by country, of people who were credited wi ...

James Madison
, and
John Jay John Jay (December 12, 1745 – May 17, 1829) was an American statesman, patriot, diplomat A diplomat (from grc, δίπλωμα; romanized Romanization or romanisation, in linguistics Linguistics is the science, scientific study of ...

John Jay
. The three men chose the name "Publius" because it recalled the founder of the Roman Republic and using it implied a positive intention., p.51 In
pure mathematics Pure mathematics is the study of mathematical concepts independently of any application outside mathematics Mathematics (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ) includes the study of such topics as quantity (number theory), mathematical structure, struc ...
,
Nicolas Bourbaki Nicolas Bourbaki () is the collective pseudonym of a group of mathematicians, predominantly French alumni of the École normale supérieure (Paris), École normale supérieure (ENS). Founded in 1934–1935, the Bourbaki group originally intended ...
is the pseudonym of a group of mostly French-connected mathematicians attempting to expose the field in an axiomatic and self-contained, encyclopedic form.


Concealment of identity

A pseudonym may be used to protect the writer of exposé books about espionage or crime. Former SAS soldier Steven Billy Mitchell used the pseudonym
Andy McNab Steven Billy Mitchell, (born 28 December 1959), usually known by the pseudonym and pen-name of Andy McNab, is a novelist and former British Army The British Army is the principal Army, land warfare force of the United Kingdom, a part o ...
for his book about a failed SAS mission titled ''
Bravo Two Zero Bravo Two Zero was the call sign In broadcasting and radio communications, a call sign (also known as a call name or call letters—and historically as a call signal—or abbreviated as a call) is a Identifier, unique designation for a transmi ...
''. The name
Ibn Warraq Ibn Warraq is the pen name of an anonymous author critical of Islam. He is the founder of the Institute for the Secularisation of Islamic Society and used to be a senior research fellow at the Center for Inquiry, focusing on Criticism of the Qur ...
("son of a papermaker") has been used by dissident Muslim authors. Author
Brian O'Nolan Brian O'Nolan ( ga, Brian Ó Nualláin; 5 October 1911 – 1 April 1966), better known by his pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym (or, in some cases, a variant form of a real name) adopted ...
used the pen names Flann O'Brien and Myles na gCopaleen for his novels and journalistic writing from the 1940s to the 1960s because Irish
civil servant The civil service is a collective term for a sector of government composed mainly of career civil servants hired on professional merit rather than appointed or elected, whose institutional tenure typically survives transitions of political leader ...
s were not allowed at that time to publish works under their own names. The identity of the enigmatic twentieth-century novelist B. Traven has never been conclusively revealed, despite thorough research. A
multiple-use name A multiple-use name or anonymity pseudonym is a name used by many different people to protect anonymity. It is a strategy that has been adopted by many unconnected radical and cultural groups, where the construct of personal identity has been critic ...
or anonymity pseudonym is a pseudonym open for anyone to use and these have been adopted by various groups, often as a protest against the cult of individual creators. In Italy, two anonymous groups of writers have gained some popularity with the collective names of
Luther Blissett Luther Loide Blissett (born 1 February 1958) is a former professional footballer and manager who played for the England national team during the 1980s. Born in Jamaica, Blissett played as a striker, and is best known for his time at Watford ...
and
Wu Ming Wu Ming, Chinese for "anonymous", is a pseudonym for a group of Italian authors formed in 2000 from a subset of the Luther Blissett community in Bologna Bologna (, , ; egl, label= Bolognese, Bulåggna ; lat, Bonōnia) is the capital a ...
.


Eastern literature


India

In Indian languages, writers may put a pen name at the end of their names, like
Ramdhari Singh Dinkar Ramdhari Singh (23 September 1908 – 24 April 1974), known by his ''nom de plume'' Dinkar, was an Indian people, Indian Hindi poet, essayist, patriot and academic, who is considered one of the most important modern Hindi poets. He remerg ...
. Sometimes they also write under their pen name without their actual name like
Firaq Gorakhpuri Raghupati Sahay (28 August 1896 – 3 March 1982), better known under his pen name Firaq Gorakhpuri, was a writer A writer is a person who uses written words in different styles and techniques to communicate ideas. Writers produce differen ...
. In early Indian literature, we find authors shying away from using any name considering it to be egotistical. Due to this notion, even today it is hard to trace the authorship of many earlier literary works from India. Later, we find that the writers adopted the practice of using the name of their deity of worship or Guru's name as their pen name. In this case, typically the pen name would be included at the end of the prose or poetry. Composers of Indian classical music used pen names in compositions to assert authorship, including
Sadarang Sadarang (1670–1748) was the pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym (or, in some cases, a variant form of a real name) adopted by an author and printed on the title page or by-line of their w ...
, Gunarang ( Fayyaz Ahmed Khan), Ada Rang (court musician of
Muhammad Shah Nasir-ud-Din Muḥammad Shah ( fa, ) (born Roshan Akhtar ( fa, )) (7 August 1702 – 26 April 1748) was the thirteenth Mughal emperor The Mughal (or Moghul) emperors built and ruled the Mughal Empire on the Indian subcontinent, mainly ...

Muhammad Shah
), Sabrang (
Bade Ghulam Ali Khan Ustad Bade Ghulam Ali Khan (c. 2 April 1902 – 25 April 1968) was an Indian Hindustani classical vocalist, from the Patiala gharana.
), and Ramrang (
Ramashreya Jha Ramashreya Jha (11 August 1928 – 1 January 2009) was a distinguished composer, musician, scholar and teacher of Hindustani Classical music Hindustani classical music is the Indian classical music, classical music of northern regions of the ...
). Other compositions are apocryphally ascribed to composers with their pen names.


Japan

Japanese poets who write
haiku is a type of short form poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek language, Greek ''poiesis'', "making") is a form of literature that uses aesthetics, aesthetic and often rhythmic qualities of language—such as phonaesthetics, sound symbol ...

haiku
often use a ''haigō'' (俳号). The haiku poet
Matsuo Bashō , born , then , was the most famous poet of the Edo period in Japan. During his lifetime, Bashō was recognized for his works in the collaborative ''Renku, haikai no renga'' form; today, after centuries of commentary, he is recognized as the gre ...
had used two other haigō before he became fond of a banana plant (''bashō'') that had been given to him by a disciple and started using it as his pen name at the age of 36. Similar to a pen name,
Japan Japan ( ja, 日本, or , and formally ) is an island country An island country or an island nation is a country A country is a distinct territory, territorial body or political entity. It is often referred to as the land of an in ...

Japan
ese
artist An artist is a person engaged in an activity related to creating art Art is a diverse range of (products of) human activities Humans (''Homo sapiens'') are the most populous and widespread species of primates, characterized by bipeda ...

artist
s usually have a ''gō'' or
art-name An art name (pseudonym or pen name), also known by its native names ''hao'' (in Mandarin) (), ''gō'' (in Japanese), ''ho'' (in Korean), and ''hiệu'' (in Vietnamese), is a professional name used by East Asian East Asia is the east East ...
, which might change a number of times during their career. In some cases, artists adopted different ''gō'' at different stages of their career, usually to mark significant changes in their life. One of the most extreme examples of this is
Hokusai known simply as Hokusai, was a Japanese artist, ukiyo-e painter and printmaker 300px, Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait'', etching">Self-portrait.html" ;"title="Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait">Rembrandt, ''Self-portrait'', etching, c.1630 Printma ...

Hokusai
, who in the period 1798 to 1806 alone used no fewer than six.
Manga artist A manga artist (or in Japanese Japanese may refer to: * Something from or related to Japan , image_flag = Flag of Japan.svg , alt_flag = Centered deep red circle on a white rectangle , image_coat ...
Ogure Ito uses the pen name
Oh! great , known professionally as Oh! great, is a Japanese mangaka, manga artist best known for his manga series ''Tenjho Tenge'' (1997–2010) and ''Air Gear'' (2002–2012). In 2006, ''Air Gear'' earned him the Kodansha Manga Award in the ''shōnen'' ca ...
because his real name Ogure Ito is roughly how the Japanese pronounce "oh great".


Persian and Urdu poetry

:''Note: List of Urdu language poets provides pen names for a range of
Urdu Urdu (; ur, , ALA-LC ALA-LC (American Library Association The American Library Association (ALA) is a nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonpr ...

Urdu
poets.'' A ''shâ'er'' (
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...
from Arabic, for poet) (a
poet A poet is a person who creates poetry Poetry (derived from the Greek language, Greek ''poiesis'', "making") is a form of literature that uses aesthetics, aesthetic and often rhythmic qualities of language—such as phonaesthetics, soun ...

poet
who writes '' she'rs'' in
Urdu Urdu (; ur, , ALA-LC ALA-LC (American Library Association The American Library Association (ALA) is a nonprofit organization A nonprofit organization (NPO), also known as a non-business entity, not-for-profit organization, or nonpr ...

Urdu
or
Persian Persian may refer to: * People and things from Iran, historically called ''Persia'' in the English language ** Persians, Persian people, the majority ethnic group in Iran, not to be conflated with the Iranian peoples ** Persian language, an Iranian ...
) almost always has a "takhallus", a pen name, traditionally placed at the end of the name (often marked by a graphical sign placed above it) when referring to the poet by his full name. For example,
Hafez Khāwje Shams-od-Dīn Moḥammad Ḥāfeẓ-e Shīrāzī ( fa, خواجه شمس‌‌الدین محمّد حافظ شیرازی), known by his pen name Hafez (, ''Ḥāfeẓ'', 'the memorizer; the (safe) keeper'; 1315-1390) and as "Hafiz", was ...
is a pen-name for ''Shams al-Din'', and thus the usual way to refer to him would be ''Shams al-Din Hafez'' or just ''Hafez''. ''Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan'' (his official name and title) is referred to as ''Mirza Asadullah Khan
Ghalib Mirza Asadullah Baig Khan (; 27 December 1797 – 15 February 1869), also known by the pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym (or, in some cases, a variant form of a real name) ...

Ghalib
'', or just ''Mirza Ghalib''.


See also

*
Art-name An art name (pseudonym or pen name), also known by its native names ''hao'' (in Mandarin) (), ''gō'' (in Japanese), ''ho'' (in Korean), and ''hiệu'' (in Vietnamese), is a professional name used by East Asian East Asia is the east East ...
*
Chinese courtesy name A courtesy name (), also known as a style name, is a name bestowed upon one at adulthood in addition to one's given name. This practice is a tradition in the Sinosphere The East Asian cultural sphere, Chinese cultural sphere or Sinosphere ...
*
Ghostwriter A ghostwriter is hired to write literary Literature broadly is any collection of written Writing is a medium of human communication Communication (from Latin ''communicare'', meaning "to share") is the act of developing Semantic ...
*
List of pen names This is a list of pen name A pen name, also called a ''nom de plume'' () or a literary double, is a pseudonym (or, in some cases, a variant form of a real name) adopted by an author and printed on the title page or by-line of their works in place ...
* List of pseudonyms *
Nom de guerre NOM may refer to: * Nasdaq Options Market * National Organization for Marriage * Natural organic matter * New Order Mormons * Nickelodeon Original Movies * ''Nintendo Official Magazine'', official British Nintendo magazine; now discontinued, super ...
*
Pseudepigraphy Pseudepigrapha (also :wikt:anglicized, anglicized as "pseudepigraph" or "pseudepigraphs") are false attribution, falsely attributed works, texts whose claimed author is not the true author, or a work whose real author attributed it to a figure o ...
*
Ring name A ring name is a type of stage name A stage name is a pseudonym A pseudonym () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) or alias () is a fictitious name that a person or group assumes for a particular purpose, which differs from their o ...
– the equivalent concept among professional wrestlers. *
Stage name A stage name is a pseudonym A pseudonym () (originally: ψευδώνυμος in Greek) or alias () is a fictitious name that a person or group assumes for a particular purpose, which differs from their original or true name (orthonym). This a ...
– the equivalent concept among performers. *
Slave name A slave name is the personal name Image:FML names-2.png, 300px, First/given, middle and last/family/surname with John Fitzgerald Kennedy as example. This shows a structure typical for the Anglosphere, among others. Other cultures use other str ...


References

Informational notes Citations Further reading *


External links


Pen NamesThe King's English, H. W. Fowler & F. G. Fowler
{{Authority control Pseudonyms, Pen name