French for "name" (9c.), from Latin nomen (see nominal). It is used in various phrases in English, such as nom de guerre (1670s) "fictitious name used by a person engaged in some action," literally "war name" and formerly in France a name taken by a soldier on entering the service, and nom de théâtre "stage name" (1874). Nom de plume (1823) "pseudonym used by a writer," literally "pen name," is a phrase invented in English in imitation of nom de guerre. Fowler suggests it is "ridiculous for English writers to use a French phrase that does not come from France."