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pseudonym

pseudonym (sōˈdənĭm) [key] [Gr., = false name], name assumed, particularly by writers, to conceal identity. A writer's pseudonym is also referred to as a nom de plume (pen name). Famous examples in literature are George Eliot (Mary Ann Evans), Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens), Lewis Carroll (Charles Lutwidge Dodgson), O. Henry (William Sydney Porter), Stendhal (Marie Henri Beyle), and George Sand (Mme Amandine Aurore Lucie Dupin, baronne Dudevant). Perhaps because the genre is not considered a serious one, detective story writers often use pseudonyms, especially if they are noted in other fields; for example, the poet C. Day Lewis wrote mysteries under the name Nicholas Blake.

See S. Halkett and J. Laing, Dictionary of Anonymous and Pseudonymous English Literature (7 vol., rev. ed. 1926–34; repr. 1971).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

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