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A pseudonym (Greek pseudo + -onym: false name) is an artificial, fictitious name, also known as an alias, used by an individual as an alternative to a person's true name.

In most legal systems, a name assumed for a nonfraudulent purpose is a legal name and usable as the person's true name, which is however preferred or required for various official purposes. The most common example is when a woman assumes her husband's surname without resorting to the formal statutory process (i.e. by petitioning a court; a few American states have a statutory provision for recording a new name at marriage.) Note that in some States only the given and surnames form the legal name; middle names are not technically part of the person's legal name. A pseudonym is distinct from an allonym, which is the name of another actual person, usually historical, assumed by someone in authorship of a work of art; such as when ghostwriting a book or play, or in parody, or when using a front such as by screenwriters blacklisted in Hollywood in the 1950s, 1960s and 1970s. Someone who is pseudonymous is someone who is using a pseudonym. The opposite is anthroponym, meaning a full legal name or some recognisable shortened form of it such as Fred Smith for Frederick John Smith, with or without titles.

In some cases, the pseudonym has become the legal name of the person using it.

Pseudonyms in print

When used by an author, a pseudonym is also called a pen name (often referred to as the French nom de plume).

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Pseudonym" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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