Eponym - Denim & Jeans

A discussion of word histories and origins.
bnjtokyo
Junior Lexiterian
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Joined: Thu Jul 07, 2016 7:16 pm

Eponym - Denim & Jeans

Postby bnjtokyo » Sat Mar 30, 2019 9:23 pm

According to the definition of eponym provided elsewhere on this site
https://www.alphadictionary.com/article ... index.html
an eponym is a "common noun derived from a proper noun."
I recently learned that "denim" is etymologically derived from "serge de Nimes" and came into use in American English in about 1850. However, the list of eponyms listed on the above page does not include "denim." Is this an oversight? Or is "denim" not an eponym? If it is not, why not? Is it subject to the commonization caveat that excludes words like "aspirin" and "escalator"?

And speaking of "denim," what about "jean(s)"? The list of eponyms does not include it but I have heard it derives from "Genoa," and the Online Etymology Dictionary provides the following derivation:
"twilled cotton cloth," mid-15c., Geayne, short for Gene fustian, from Middle French jean fustian "fustian (a type of twilled cotton cloth) of Genoa," the Italian city, from Old French Jannes "Genoa," from Latin Genua (see Genoa)."
https://www.etymonline.com/word/jean#etymonline_v_1685
If "jean/jeans" is not an eponym, why not?

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