eponym / eponymous

This formerly read-only archive of threads dates back to 1996, but as of March 2007 is open to new postings. For technical reasons, the early dates shown do not accurately reflect the actual date of posting.

Feel free to add new postings to any of the existing threads in the archived forums, but please create any new language-related threads in one of the Language Discussion Forums.

eponym / eponymous

Post by Archived Topic » Wed Apr 21, 2004 11:17 pm

"Eponymous" according to the OED means the person place or thing giving its name to another, e.g., if there is a shop called "John Smith", the person whose name was used for the shop might be described as the "eponymous John Smith". In the last one or two years , the word is seen in the media, mostly describing the shop, restaurant, whatever, that is named after someone. So Mary Ann is said to have "an eponymous restaurant", for example. Does anyone know if this use has any authority, or is it just a solecism, or at least an instance of media illiteracy.?

Gladys Srivastava, Vancouver, Canada
Submitted by ( - )
Post actions:
Signature: Topic imported and archived

eponymous

Post by Archived Reply » Wed Apr 21, 2004 11:32 pm

I can remember seeing this term more frequently after REM released its eponymous lp (if anyone remembers those). This may be a starting point for the current usage. Ian Patrick Ottawa, Canada
Reply from ( - )
Post actions:
Signature: Reply imported and archived

Eponymous adjectives

Post by sandra sweeney » Fri Dec 03, 2010 11:15 pm

Hello All,
I have read the former posts on the subject of eponymous adjectives and have looked at several lists including the ones mentioned in the former posts. What I'm trying to do is to form the eponymous adective for the name Catherine. I had thought perhaps to leave the form the same as the noun but changing the pronunciation by making the "i" long (no phonetic alphabet available so by example to sound like the "i" in Argentine). Then I thought readers might stumble so I thought of Catherinian (which looks bad and sounds worse) and settled on Catherinesque. Any thoughts?
Sandra
Post actions:

Re: Eponymous adjectives

Post by trolley » Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:40 am

Welcome Sandra. Catherinic? I actually like Catherinian. I've heard that the Catherinian period was great.
Post actions:

Re: Eponymous adjectives

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sat Dec 04, 2010 12:57 am

As John/trolley implies, 'Catherinian' is the usual adjective pertaining to Catherine the Great of Russia or the era in which she reigned.

That said, I rather like the sound of 'Catherinesque'. Most of the other possibilities I can think of sound pretty outlandish:

Catherinoid
Catherinoidal
Catherinic
Catherinical
Catherinite
Catherinotic
Catherinific
Catherinifical
Catherinaceous
Catherinist
Catherinistic
Catherinistical
Catherinal
Post actions:
Signature: -- Looking up a word? Try OneLook's metadictionary (--> definitions) and reverse dictionary (--> terms based on your definitions)8-- Contribute favourite diary entries, quotations and more here8 -- Find new postings easily with Active Topics8-- Want to research a word? Get essential tips from experienced researcher Ken Greenwald

Re: Eponymous adjectives

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Sat Dec 04, 2010 6:07 pm

Catherine as a modifier, as in Catherine Wheel, does not change its pronunciation.
Yet.
Post actions:

Re: Eponymous adjectives

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sat Dec 04, 2010 6:19 pm

What is the answer of your wife Catherine to Sandra's question, Edwin?
Post actions:
Signature: -- Looking up a word? Try OneLook's metadictionary (--> definitions) and reverse dictionary (--> terms based on your definitions)8-- Contribute favourite diary entries, quotations and more here8 -- Find new postings easily with Active Topics8-- Want to research a word? Get essential tips from experienced researcher Ken Greenwald

Re: Eponymous adjectives

Post by trolley » Sat Dec 04, 2010 6:57 pm

Yes, we need some Cathwardly direction.
Post actions:

Re: Eponymous adjectives

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Sat Dec 04, 2010 8:26 pm

She refuses to re-invent the wheel.
Post actions:

Re: Eponymous adjectives

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sat Dec 04, 2010 9:16 pm

On the other hand, she seems perfectly happy to set fire to it. If that's not doubly inventive I don't know what is.
Post actions:
Signature: -- Looking up a word? Try OneLook's metadictionary (--> definitions) and reverse dictionary (--> terms based on your definitions)8-- Contribute favourite diary entries, quotations and more here8 -- Find new postings easily with Active Topics8-- Want to research a word? Get essential tips from experienced researcher Ken Greenwald

Re: Eponymous adjectives

Post by Phil White » Sun Dec 05, 2010 1:52 am

At the risk of upsetting a new member, there's always "catty".
Post actions:
Signature: Phil White
Non sum felix lepus

Re: Eponymous adjectives

Post by longstockinggirl » Mon Dec 06, 2010 10:57 pm

I can sit on the fence with this one. "Catherine" has been a family name for many generations. We use "Catherine" to describe a positive ("That was a very 'Catherine' thing to do"). Of course, there is/was "Catty" when any of us were in trouble/did something negative. Although I agree with Erik and like "Catherinesque," I am accustomed to using "Catherine" as-is for a modifier.
:-)
Post actions:

Re: Eponymous adjectives

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Tue Dec 07, 2010 10:28 pm

Yes, Catherine readily modifies but resists modification.
Post actions:

Re: Eponymous adjectives

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Dec 08, 2010 8:19 am

I feel this is a cathartic moment.
Post actions:
Signature: -- Looking up a word? Try OneLook's metadictionary (--> definitions) and reverse dictionary (--> terms based on your definitions)8-- Contribute favourite diary entries, quotations and more here8 -- Find new postings easily with Active Topics8-- Want to research a word? Get essential tips from experienced researcher Ken Greenwald

Words derived from names [Eponym]

Post by PhilHunt » Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:22 pm

I'm planning on putting a lesson together on 'English words that derive from peoples names and have become standard English', sometimes known as eponyms. An example could be Sadist, Marxist, Machiavelian, Maverick etc...

Can anyone think of more to add to the list. If the word derives from an English-speaking-countryman/woman, all the better.

Thanks
Post actions:
Signature: That which we cannot speak of, must be passed over in silence...or else tweeted.

Post Reply