A misnomer is a name that is incorrectly applied. Misnomers often arise because something was named long before its correct nature was known, or because an earlier form of something has been replaced by something to which the name no longer applies. A misnomer may also be simply a word that someone uses incorrectly or misleadingly. The word "misnomer" does not mean "misunderstanding" or "popular misconception", and a number of misnomers remain in common usage — which is to say that a word being a misnomer does not necessarily make usage of the word incorrect.


Older name retained

The term anachronym as defined in Garner's Modern English Usage refers to this type of misnomer. Examples cited by Garner include the persistence of the word dial in its telephoning sense after the rotary dial era and the persistence of the term tin foil in the aluminum foil era. Anachronyms should not be homophonously confused with anacronyms, which are words such as laser and sonar that have acronymic origin but are generally no longer treated like conventional acronyms.

Similarity of appearance