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Word Meaning Eponym
basque A woman's tight-fitting bodice that extends below the waistline. The Basque people living in the Pyrenees in France and Spain, whose women wear such a bodice.
béchemel Thick white sauce made of milk infused with herbs. Louis de Béchamel, marquis de Nointel (1630-1703), a French financier.
blucher A type of shoe whose laces tie over the tongue from two flaps, worn for dancing and yachting. Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher (1742-1819), German prince and general.
bogart (1) To force, coerce, intimidate. (2) To hog, take more than one's share. Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957), US movie actor known for his tough guy roles.
Boolean Related to a system of symbolic logic based on operators like and, or, not. George Boole (1815-1864), a British mathematician and philosopher.
burberry A waterprooff laminated cotton raincoat. Thomas Burberry of London, who founded Burberry, Ltd. in 1856 and went on to create gabardine and the original trenchcoat.
borrelia A bacterium that causes relapsing fever. Amédée Borrel (1867-1936), French bacteriologist.
bourbon An American whiskey distilled from a corn, malt, and rye mash. After Bourbon County in northeast Kentucky.
lucullan Luxurious, opulent, extravagant Lucius Licinius Lucullus (118-56 BC), Roman general and consul known more for the luxury of his retirement than his service.
Mickey-Mouse Easy, simple, unimportant. Mickey Mouse, a cartoon character created by Walt Disney in 1928.
milquetoast A meek, timid, unassertive man. Caspar Milquetoast, a comic-strip character created by Harold Tucker Webster (1885-1952).
peavy A lumberman's pike with a spike and pivoting hooked arm at the end. Joseph Peavey, an American blacksmith who died in 1873.
rambo A violent, vengeful, and agressive person. John Rambo, the hero of David Morrell's violence-ridden novel First Blood (1972) and a series of movies starring Sylvester Stallone.
sad sack An awkward, dull, and foolish person. A cartoon character created in 1942 by George Baker (1915-1975).
shylock A loan shark, someone who lends money at a usurious interest rate. This word was originally the name of a ruthless money lender in Shakespeare's drama The Merchant of Venice.
Sisyphean Endlessly laborious and futile. Sisyphus, a Corinthian king who offended Zeus and was punished by having to push a stone to the top of a hill in Hades. However, as the stone approaced the top, it rolled back down and Sisyphus had to start all over again.
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