is a substitution of any epithet
or phrase for a proper name, such as "the little corporal
" for Napoleon I
. The reverse process is also sometimes called antonomasia. The word derives from the Greek
meaning "to name differently". Antonomasia is a particular form of metonymy
The name used to substitute an abstract notion or personal trait is commonly called archetype or, more specifically, archetypal name.
A frequent instance of antonomasia in the Late Middle Ages and early Renaissance was the use of the term, "the Philosopher," to refer to Aristotle. A more recent example of the other form of antonomasia (usage of archetypes) was the use of "Solons" for "the legislators" in 1930s journalism, after the semi-legendary Solon, lawgiver of Athens.
See "archetypal name" for examples of the opposite kind of antonomasia.