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EPONYM

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EPONYM

Postby Dr. Goodword » Tue Mar 08, 2005 12:25 am

• eponym •

Pronunciation: e-pê-nim • Hear it!

Part of Speech: Noun

Meaning: A personal name from which another word is derived

Notes: The eponyms of many words have been lost in the din of history. Bedlam originated as a Cockney pronunciation of Bethelehem for London's Hospital of St. Mary of Bethlehem for the insane. Tsar is an ancient Slavic rendition of Caesar. The proclivity of Captain William Lynch of Virginia (1742–1820) to quickly hang those brought before his court gave us the verb, lynch. Eponyms are not always fair. The very intelligent medieval philosopher Duns Scotus's criticism of Aquinas led to his detractors using his name to refer to stupid people, so today we have dunce. The adjective is eponymous [i-'pah-nê-mês], though eponymic is not unheard-of.

In Play: Many eponyms are obvious. Plato gave us platonic for one kind of love, Romeo gave us his name for another (Phil is quite a Romeo). Franz Mesmer lent his name to real hypnotism (mesmerism) while Svengali lent his to hypnotic brain-washing (Svengali). George Washington is the eponym of the U. S. capital. The eponym of Lincoln, Nebraska, is obvious. Your town and province are, no doubt, awash in eponyms like these.

Word History: Today's word came a long way to us. We snipped it from French éponyme. French inherited it from Latin, which had copied it from Greek eponumos "named after". The Greek word is made up of epi "from" + onyma "name". The PIE root *apo "off of, away from" turned into of and its variant off in English. In German it emerged as auf "on" and ab "away from" in Latin. In Russian and other Slavic languages it can be found in po "around, about", used in adverbial phrases like po-russky "in Russian, in the Russian way".
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Postby anders » Tue Mar 08, 2005 7:24 am

Fortunatly I'm off to attend to a lecture in an hour, so just a few points.

Eponyms are troublesome. In Swedish, names are capitalized. But eponymically used names are lower case.We write röntgen for 'X-ray ...', diesel for 'Diesel engine'; lower case units like watt, hertz, ampere (of course(?) without the grave accent), but "100 grader Celsius", "212 grader Fahrenheit".

John Lackland is "Johan utan land", St. Bride is "den heliga Birgitta."

Science of all kinds abound in eponyms. Schlatter's disease, McBurney's point, Hooke's law, and my favourite: the Markovnikov (Swedish spelling) synthesis, which I never had the opportunity to test:

You rig up a beaker, well armed with steel wire, in some 45 deg inclination. Point it at a horizontal steel plate, well fixed. Rig up a second beaker, symmetrically to the first one. Place the reactants, very well chilled, in the first beaker, and then get the hell out of the lab. When the ingredients have warmed to room temperature, the reaction occurs, and you can rather safely return to the lab to find the product in the second beaker.
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Postby Apoclima » Tue Mar 08, 2005 9:38 am

I think you pulled a Steve, anders!
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Postby Garzo » Tue Mar 08, 2005 12:25 pm

I think I remember from school that Athens had an eponymous archon as head of state. Therefore, if Katy were archon two years ago, we could refer to event that happened during her reign as "Oh yes, Anders, we talked about that last Katy"! She's so eponymous that she was named after herself!
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Postby Iterman » Wed Mar 09, 2005 6:11 am

If PIE root *apo means "off of, away from", what does apoclima means? Is it a sublimal wish to annother climate?
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Postby M. Henri Day » Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:27 am

I thought Apo was a early and well-attested PIE variant on Apu, the Indian (i e, from India) convenience store owner in Simpsons....

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曾记否,到中流击水,浪遏飞舟?
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Postby Flaminius » Wed Mar 09, 2005 11:55 am

But then what is the semantic relation between "Sitran" and "Apoclima?" I think there is one, judging from the fact that some people guessed who he is real quick.

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Postby Apoclima » Wed Mar 09, 2005 10:26 pm

If you must know!

"Sitran" is the name I came up with spontaneously when I was making "crank" calls to my friends using a Hindi or Pakistani accent. I always thought of it as coming from Arabic. The closest I could find "sitr" which means among other things, cover, veil, or pretext. Made into the dual! "Sitrani" or double blinds!

"Apoclima" is the fantasy kingdom of my childhood. It does look like "away from the normal climate." It is actually some sort of name,Apoclima Förster, 1869; Holarctic, Neotropical, Oriental.

So "double covered away from the normal climate!"

Kind of like a hot house, if you follow me!

I do like the "Apu" that Henri suggests. It keeps in step with the my first use of the name Sitran.

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Postby Apoclima » Mon Mar 14, 2005 6:51 pm

Apu

Apo
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Postby tcward » Mon Mar 14, 2005 6:57 pm

"Sitran" always reminded me of sitar, as if to say the name-bearer was a performer of the sitar.

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Postby M. Henri Day » Tue Mar 15, 2005 10:50 am

Funny, Tim - I, too, associated Apo's other alias with the musical instrument. Guess I'll just have to get the image of our fellow Agorist strumming away out of my head....

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Postby KatyBr » Tue Mar 15, 2005 1:15 pm

Since Sitran is indeed-musical- the sitar is a logical conclusion, however I always thought of Citron

Katy
or perhaps citronella, or citronmeringue
as our Sitran is quite artistic and talented.
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Postby tcward » Tue Mar 15, 2005 10:57 pm

Orange you glad I didn't say citron, Apo... :lol:

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Postby Apoclima » Wed Mar 16, 2005 12:30 am

I love that flavor! It's zesty!

Do that mean I am a lemon?

Just kidding!

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Postby anders » Wed Mar 16, 2005 3:25 pm

Despite my interest in all things Indian, I never thought of the sitar, but of "the zither" (Sw. cittran, pronounced ['sit:'ran]).

The zither has its name from Lat. cithara, from Gk kithara, "of disputed origin". And then I was lucky enough to find http://www.takeourword.com/Issue059.html. I agree with them regarding the "sitar" etymology (one screenful down).

I think that the (or a) cittern of our most famous poet, Carl Michael Bellman, is in the museum of history of music in Stockholm.
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