Nominative determinism (ND) is the theory that a person's name can have a significant role in determining key aspects of job, profession or even character. It was a commonly held notion in the ancient world.
Synonyms and/or related concepts include: aptronym, apronym, aptonym, jobonyms, 'namephreaks', onomastic determinism, 'perfect fit last names' (PFLNs), psychonymics and, classically, the notion that nomen est omen, or όνομα ορίζοντας. Tom Stoppard in his play Jumpers labelled the phenomenon cognomen syndrome.
A related term, to refer to a name peculiarly suited to its owner, is aptronym, said to have been coined by the US newspaper columnist Franklin P. Adams. The distinction between cognitive determinacy and a mere aptronym is seen as subtle but fundamental: i.e. post hoc vs propter hoc. ND researchers are sometimes referred to as comiconomenclaturists — connoisseurs of humorous names.