Basal forebrain lesions are associated with a clinical syndrome including amnesia and personality changes but not anomia. We report a patient with a basal forebrain lesion who was anomic as well as amnestic. We have reviewed prior clinical descriptions of patients with basal forebrain lesions and have noted that the data from other reported cases suggest that other patients also were anomic, although none of the other published reports emphasized or discussed these data. Although the anomia in our patient was not category specific, our patient and others with similar lesions in the literature had difficulty retrieving names of famous faces to a greater extent than common nouns or verbs. We suggest that anomia is an overlooked feature associated with lesions of the basal forebrain. © 1995 Lippincott-Raven Publishers, Philadelphia.