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Words Derived From Names

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Words Derived From Names

Postby skinem » Sun Dec 14, 2008 10:22 pm

Dr. Goodword's post about the word "Ponzi" made me wonder how many words we have are either names or derived from someone's name.

One that comes to mind immediately is the word "maverick". (I wonder why?)
If I remember correctly, this was the name of a rancher in Texas, who, for reasons I've forgotten decided one year to NOT brand his cattle. Made sense, since all his neighbors were. Therefore, any un-branded cow he counted as his. Smart, really, as new, unbranded calves he could claim as his. Over time, any cow without a brand was called a maverick, and eventually, also came to mean someone who did not follow convention.

So, I guess I'm feeling a little mavericky...any other word suggestions out there?
Last edited by skinem on Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:54 pm, edited 1 time in total.
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Eponyms

Postby Slava » Mon Dec 15, 2008 6:47 pm

What you seek are eponyms, things named for a person.

Like the electrical term Ohm. I'm not sure about Volt and Watt.

The temperature scale Réaumur is another, as are Celsius, Fahrenheit, and Kelvin.

There are many, many others, but I can't dredge any up at the moment.
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Re: Eponyms

Postby Cacasenno » Mon Dec 15, 2008 8:40 pm

Slava wrote:
There are many, many others, but I can't dredge any up at the moment.


How about Stakhanovite? :lol: :wink:
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Postby Slava » Mon Dec 15, 2008 9:13 pm

Good one.

How's about the old Molotov Cocktail?

Or the Stolypin Necktie?

Or, closer to the US, McCarthyism?

On a more pleasant note: rubenesque.
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Postby sluggo » Tue Dec 16, 2008 11:53 am

- Sideburns;

- Volt and Watt- yes, along with Ampere, Hertz and Farad, Henry and Ohm and the Tesla coil;

- More industry jargon: stagehands refer to "Edison". I remember being asked to bring some "Edison" for some application; a few of us stared blankly at each other until informed that it means everyday AC power extension cable - ironic name since Thomas Edison was against the idea of AC as a mass distribution method, pushing for DC (which would have been far more impractical)

- And not to leave out the previously posted millihelen...

- and what of the lowly Allen wrench?

- Saxophone

- Newell post?

- Davenport? or was that a brand name?
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Postby Slava » Tue Dec 16, 2008 1:03 pm

Let's not forget Sandwich.
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Postby Stargzer » Wed Dec 17, 2008 12:46 am

Slava wrote: ...

On a more pleasant note: rubenesque.


Which really should be Rubensesque!
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Postby Stargzer » Wed Dec 17, 2008 1:11 am

sluggo wrote:- Sideburns;

From Gen. Ambrose Burnsides, who wore them during the American Civil War

- Volt and Watt- yes, along with Ampere, Hertz and Farad, Henry and Ohm and the Tesla coil;


Allessandro Volta, James Watt, André-Marie Ampère, Heinrich Rudolf Hertz (nothing to do with car rentals!), Michael Faraday, Joseph Henry, and Nikola Tesla.

- More industry jargon: stagehands refer to "Edison". I remember being asked to bring some "Edison" for some application; a few of us stared blankly at each other until informed that it means everyday AC power extension cable - ironic name since Thomas Edison was against the idea of AC as a mass distribution method, pushing for DC (which would have been far more impractical)


Tesla developed the theory and machinery needed for AC when he worked for Edison. Ol' Tom had his heart set on DC, so Tesla left and hooked up with George Westinghouse to sell and distribute AC electricity and its components.

- And not to leave out the previously posted millihelen...



- and what of the lowly Allen wrench?

Wikipedia:
The Allen wrench trademark of the Allen Manufacturing Company of Hartford, Connecticut was taken out in 1943, and Allen became such a successful brand of hex key that many consumers in subsequent decades have assumed that the internal-wrenching hexagon drive was invented by someone named Allen. This idea abounds in print and on the web; it sounds very plausible but is in fact inaccurate.



- Saxophone

Adolphe Sax

- Newell post?

Only one "l" in newel post, I found out.
A newel is the upright post about which the steps of a circular staircase wind. It is sometimes called a solid newel in distinction from a hollow newel, which is really no newel at all, with the stairs being supported at the walls.

In stairs having straight flights, it is the principal post at the foot of a staircase or the intermediate posts in the center, but never the ones at the landings.

In historic homes, the house plans were placed in the newel upon completion of the house before the newel was capped.


- Davenport? or was that a brand name?


Wikipedia:
Davenport is the name of a series of sofas manufactured by the now-defunct A.H. Davenport Company. Due to the popularity of the furniture at the time, the name "Davenport" has become a genericized trademark like "Kleenex" or "Band-Aid."
Regards//Larry

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Postby bnjtokyo » Wed Dec 17, 2008 4:18 am

hotchikisuin Japanese refers to "staplers."
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Postby skinem » Wed Dec 17, 2008 2:52 pm

Thanks for all the great words--I was aware of the many l things that are named for people (ohms, volt, etc.) but didn't dream a stapler in Japan would be named after the inventor of the Hotchkis gun.

Newel post was news to me as well.

I am curious about names that have been turned into verbs, adverbs, adjectives, i.e., rubenesque.

Along those lines is a regional word I first heard in the late '60s/early '70s--"That guy really 'couged' it". Meaning to snatch defeat from the jaws of victory.
Comes from the mascot of Washington State University, the Cougars, couged being an abbreviated version of cougar.
Unfortunately for us WSU fans, this word became rather widespread in the Pacific Northwest.
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Postby sluggo » Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:02 pm

skinem wrote:I am curious about names that have been turned into verbs, adverbs, adjectives, i.e., rubenesque.


(you mean e.g. doncha?)

Such as Keynesian economics?
Dickensian
Elizabethan
Edwardian
Victorian
Ruthian
Clintonian
Nixonian
Jeffersonian
(apparently proper political adjectives were invented by a guy named Ian)
(who was not very Marxist)
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Postby bnjtokyo » Thu Dec 18, 2008 11:28 pm

First of all, hotchkiss for stapler is not after the inventor of the gun, but after the E. H. Hotchkiss Company, an early manufacturer of staplers. (The inventor of the gun was B. B. Hotchkiss.) The company is thought to have been owned by relatives of the gun inventor.

Second, "guillotine," after Joseph Guillotin, was invented in 1791, first used in 1792 and first used as a verb in 1794. A rather rapid transition from noun to verb, I think.
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Postby Cacasenno » Fri Dec 19, 2008 7:14 am

[quote="bnjtokyo"

....... "guillotine," ....... A rather rapid transition ......[/quote]
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Postby Modi » Fri Dec 19, 2008 4:17 pm

There is also Machiavellianism, after the controversial Niccolo Machiavelli.
A machiavellian man is not to be trusted completely, though we should wonder wether Machiavelli was a machivellian.
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Postby sluggo » Fri Dec 19, 2008 6:07 pm

Maybe offtopic, but do we have a word for a trademarked brand name that becomes so universal it's adopted as the general noun (e.g. Kleenex)?

Along this line in Brazilian Portuguese, chewing gum is commonly called chiclete (from Chiclets) while a frying pan is a frigideira (from Frigidaire).
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