eponym / eponymous

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Re: Words derived from names [Eponym]

Post by trolley » Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:34 pm

Pavlovian, Orwellian, Reubenesque (sp?). I'm not sure what the "rules" are but it would seem (at least, on the internet) that you can just tack "esque" onto most any easily recognized name. Lots of hits for Tolkienesque.
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Re: Words derived from names [Eponym]

Post by Erik_Kowal » Wed Aug 31, 2011 7:58 pm

Trolleyesque.
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Re: Words derived from names [Eponym]

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Wed Aug 31, 2011 11:12 pm

There are legion examples of eponyms, not all single words. Many retain a form which points obviously to the person (etc) they are named after:

Aaron's rod
Alzheimer's disease
Bakelite
Marxist...

while many have become more lexicalised / formalised / removed in form from that person:

asphalt
alexandrine (after Alexander the Great)
alexandrite (after Alexander I of Russia)
ammonia (after Ammon)
America
atlas
aubrieta
amp
sadist...

A list of eponyms is readily found on Google.

Semantic categories include plants, animals, minerals etc; diseases; other discoveries, inventions; units; places; people groups; religions, ideologies and cults; personality traits.

Phil's examples are all proper adjectives, or common nouns, noun modifiers, or adjectives, derived by acquisition (eg Shakespearean, sadist) or zero-derivation / metonymy (maverick, diesel) from the proper noun.

I'll just throw in draconian, eustachian, Carolingian, Cushingoid, cyrillic, Newtonian, erotic, gargantuan, hermetic, jovial, Levitical, Mosaic, mosaic (derived from the Muses), maudlin, and philistine. Most of these can be found at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_ep ... in_English.
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Re: Words derived from names [Eponym]

Post by Erik_Kowal » Thu Sep 01, 2011 1:15 am

One that does not appear to be included in any of the Wikipedia lists is Mercedes, a brand of motor car that takes its name from the popular Spanish female forename. The story behind the naming of the car can be found here.

Another is comstockery, meaning 'censorship because of perceived obscenity or immorality'.
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Re: Words derived from names [Eponym]

Post by Ken Greenwald » Thu Sep 01, 2011 5:49 am

Phil H., Take a look at A New Dictionary of Eponyms which contains over 300 eponyms along with a good discussion of each. I have a few other eponym books, but this is by far the best. [[I just noticed that Amazon only takes you through page 7. A new paperback costs $45, but that's ridiculous. You can buy a decent used copy, which I always do when purchasing books, for under $10.]]

Also, I had always thought that an eponym was the person whose name (a proper noun) had evolved into a common noun, verb, or adjective – Draco —> draconian – and that it was a common mistake to think that the common noun, verb, or adjective – draconian – was the eponym. However, this ‘mistake’ became so common, that many dictionaries by force of usage have thrown in the sponge and accepted it as kosher. However, many dictionaries have not. For example, the American Heritage Dictionary has and the Oxford English Dictionary as well as A New Dictionary of Eponyms (see above) have not.

AMERICAN HERITAGE DICTIONARY

EPONYM [noun]

1) A word or name derived from the name of a person. The words atlas, bowdlerize, and Turing machine are eponyms. [[newer view that the common nouns, verbs, and adjectives may be the eponyms]]

2) A person whose name is thought to be the source of the name of something. [[e.g. Bowlder is the person and bowdlerize is the verb – original view that the person is the eponym]]

Etymology: [1846] Back formation of eponymous. From French éponyme, from Greek eponumos, named after.
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OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY

EPONYM noun [1846]: One who gives, or is supposed to give, his name to a people, place, or institution; e.g. among the Greeks, the heroes who were looked upon as ancestors or founders of tribes or cities.
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For some previous discussions on eponyms by Ask the Wordwizard see here, here, here, and here.

And for some eponyms related to clothing see here.
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Ken – August 31, 2011
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Re: Words derived from names [Eponym]

Post by PhilHunt » Thu Sep 01, 2011 7:38 am

Fantastic, all of you. This is a banquet for thought.
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Signature: That which we cannot speak of, must be passed over in silence...or else tweeted.

Re: Words derived from names [Eponym]

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Thu Sep 01, 2011 8:40 am

You seem to have set yourself a task worthy of a son of Jupiter.
I'm sure you won't voluntarily abstain from any examples for political reasons, but you could find that you're tilting at windmills if you have the high but unattainable idea of thoroughly mastering the vast subject. With a stick of rhubarb?
Take plenty of butties on your quest, and sensible clothing - I suggest gum boots and one of those complete-face-cover hats.
I'm sure you won't make any apolling misattributions as you seek to bring light and truth to bear on the subject.
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Re: eponymous

Post by Erik_Kowal » Sat Dec 31, 2011 8:33 am

There's a very comprehensive-looking list of eponyms here, plus a list of eponymous diseases and medical terms (in a wide variety of data formats) here.
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Re: eponymous

Post by Wizard of Oz » Sat Dec 31, 2011 11:17 am

.. huh!! just as I thought it's NOT a complete list >>
A furphy, also commonly spelled furfie, is Australian slang for a rumour, or an erroneous or improbable story.
The word is derived from water carts made by a company established by John Furphy: J. Furphy & Sons of Shepparton, Victoria. Many Furphy water carts were used to take water to Australian Army personnel during World War I. The carts, with "J. Furphy & Sons" written on their tanks, became popular as gathering places where soldiers could exchange gossip, rumours and fanciful tales—much like today's water cooler discussion.
.. just joking Erik .. it is a very positive resource and maybe wouldn't be out of place in the English Learners section of WW ..

WoZ who has told a furphy or ten
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Signature: "The question is," said Alice, "whether you can make words mean so many different things."

Re: eponymous

Post by Ken Greenwald » Sat Dec 31, 2011 7:05 pm

aaa
Edwin’s above link to Wikipedia takes you to a list of eponymous adjectives and Erik’s link to an immense list of eponyms. For Wikipedia’s massive list of eponyms, which are nicely broken down into categories also see here.

A nifty little book titled Anonyponymous [[= anonymous + and eponymous]] (2009) by J. B. Marciano is a book of eponyms. However, it includes many eponyms that, as far as I can make out, do not appear in any of the lists mentioned so far. The following is a sampling from that book (to be followed up by some future samplings):

Big Bertha: A large, long-range German cannon used during World War I. Named after Frau Bertha Krupp, owner of the German armaments firm where they were manufactured. The Germans called it die dicke Bertha – Fat Bertha.

bizarro: Characterized by a bizarre, fantastic, creepy, or unconventional approach; an upside-down version of something. Originally, a cartoon character who was the opposite of Superman. His alter ego was Kent Clark – he had X-ray hearing, belonged to the Injustice League, etc.

brainiac: A highly intelligent person. From Brainiac, a brilliant villain in DC Comics, a blend of brain and maniac. The famed supercomputer (Electronic Numerical Integrator and Automatic Calculator), built in 1946, also may have influenced the character’s name.

Delaware: The U.S. state and river took the name of Baron Thomas West De La Warre governor of the Jamestown colony.

frangipani: A well-known perfume (as well as the tree) named for its Italian 16th inventor, Frangipani.

frick and frack: 1) A closely linked or inseparable pair. 2) A couple of morons. Named for the Swiss skating couple Groebli & Mauch (of the Ice Follies, 1936- ), better known as Frick & Frack the ‘Clown Kings of the Ice.’ Frick took his name from a small village in Switzerland; Frack is a Swiss-German word for a frock coat, which Mauch wore in the early days of their act. Also see here.

Plumeri: – A genus of tropical tree (including the frangipani - see above) named for the 17h century French botanist Charles Plumier.

poindexter: An overly diligent student, an extremely intelligent person; (also) a person lacking in social skills; a nerd. From the cartoon character Poindexter (IQ: 222) of the Felix the Cat TV series.

Seinfeld: The eponymously titled sitcom.

superman: A person of extraordinary or superhuman powers. From the cartoon character. However, the word was not originally an eponym, but was Friederich Nietzsche’s term for the ideal superior man, which is übermensch in German. This German word might also have been translated as Overman or Beyondman, but a play by Geroge Bernard Shaw published in 1903, Man and Superman, helped to establish the English term for Nietzche’s concept as superman. Such a term comes through a process called loan translation, or claque formation, where the components of a word or phrase in one language are translated literally into their equivalents in another language.
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Ken – December 31, 2011
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Re: eponym / eponymous [lynch]

Post by Ken Greenwald » Fri Feb 17, 2012 3:14 am

aaa
The following is from a journal, made into a book, about a woman’s adventures on an 1873 trip to the Rocky Mountains:
<1960 “But in the West, when things reach their worst, a sharp and sure remedy is provided. Those settlers who find the state of matters intolerable, organize themselves into a Vigilance Committee. ‘Judge Lynch,’ with a few feet of rope, appears on the scene, the majority crystallizes round the supporters of order, warnings are issued to obnoxious people . . . A number of the worst desperadoes are tried by a yet more summary process than a drumhead court-martial, ‘strung up,’ and buried ignominiously.”—A Lady’s Life in the Rocky Mountains by Isabella L. Bird, page 26>
It’s funny how I’ve heard a word all my life and never gave a thought as to where it came from. The AMERICAN HERITATGE DICTIONARY presents one of the two main competing explanations as fact:

LYNCH transitive verb: To execute without due process of law, especially to hang, as by a mob; lynch law – The punishment of persons suspected of crime without due process of law.

Etymology: In the late 18th century, Pittsylvania County, Virginia, was troubled by criminals who could not be dealt with by the courts, which were too distant. This led to an agreement to punish such criminals without due process of law. Both the practice and the punishment came to be called lynch law after Captain William Lynch, who drew up a compact on September 22, 1780, with a group of his neighbors. Arguing that Pittsylvania had ‘sustained great and intolerable losses by a set of lawless men ... that ... have hitherto escaped the civil power with impunity,’ they agreed to respond to reports of criminality in their neighborhood by ‘repair[ing] immediately to the person or persons suspected ... and if they will not desist from their evil practices, we will inflict such corporeal punishment on him or them, as to us shall seem adequate to the crime committed or the damage sustained.’ Although lynch law and lynching are mainly associated with hanging, other, less severe punishments were used. William Lynch died in 1820, and the inscription on his grave notes that "he followed virtue as his truest guide." But the good captain, who had tried to justify vigilante justice, was sentenced to the disgrace of having given his name to the terrible practice of lynching.
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RANDOM HOUSE WEBSTER’S UNABRIDGED DICTIONARY: Named for William Lynch.

MERRIAM-WEBSTER’S UNABRIDGED DICTIONARY: Probably named for William Lynch.

OXFORD DICTIONARY OF IDIOMS: Two men with the name Lynch [[Charles and William]] lived in Virginia at about the same time and presided over a vigilance committee. . . The credit for the word Lynch—or the discredit for it—has been given to each of these men by their respective followers seeking the dubious honor of being the first lyncher.

OXFORD ENGLISH DICTIONARY

LYNCH transitive verb originally U.S.: To condemn and punish by lynch law. In early use, implying chiefly the infliction of punishment such as whipping, tarring and feathering, or the like; now only, to inflict sentence of death by lynch law.

Etymology: See lynch law noun

LYNCH LAW: The practice of inflicting summary punishment upon an offender, by a self-constituted court armed with no legal authority; it is now limited to the summary execution of one charged with some flagrant offence.

Etymology: The origin of the expression has not been determined. . . The particulars supplied by Ellicott, together with other evidence, clearly establish the fact that the originator of Lynch law was Captain William Lynch (1742–1820) of Pittsylvania in Virginia. According to Ellicott, ‘this self-created judicial tribunal was first organized in the state of Virginia about the year 1776’; an article in the Southern Literary Messenger (1836), Vol. 2, page 389 gives the date definitely as 1780.
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Strange etymology from the OED! First they say, “The origin of the expression has not been determined.” And in conclusion they say, “The particulars supplied by Ellicott [[see 1811 quote below]], together with other evidence, clearly establish the fact that the originator of Lynch law was Captain William Lynch (1742–1820) . . .” Of course this is at odds with the American Heritage and Random House etymologies provided above, which credit, with certainty, William Lynch. From this and several other sources I checked, I would conclude that the origin is ‘uncertain.’

The following quotes are from the Oxford English Dictionary:
<1811 “Captain [[William]] Lynch just mentioned was the author of the Lynch laws . . .”—Andrew Ellicott (1754-1820) in Andrew Ellicott: His Life and Letters (1908) by C. V. Mathews, page 220>

<1836 “Some personal friend of Mr. Bronx . . . proceeded to the mansion of judge Bermudez, with a view to Lynch him.”—Niles' Weekly Register, 1 October, page 69/1>

<1839 “It may appear strange that people should be lynched for the mere vice of gambling.”—A Diary in America by F. Marryat, 1st Series, Vol. III. page 240>

<1856 “The prison was burst open by the mob, and George [of Cappadocia] was lynched, as he deserved.”—English Traits by Ralph Waldo Emerson, ix. page 154>

<1884 “It is . . . unreasonable to insist on the guilt of an unfortunate who has been lynched after an acquittal in open court.”—The Great Republic by L. H. Griffin,page 151>

<1902 “It's lynch law, you know, and their minds are made up. They're bound to get me.”—Daughter of the Snows by Jack London, page 284>

<1974 “Mr Jeremy Thorpe . . . urged . . . that the hijackers of the British Airways VC10 should not be handed over to the ‘lynch law’ of the Palestine Liberation Organization.”—The Times (London), 28 November, page 8/7>
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Ken – February 16, 2012 (who thinks lynch was named after Merrill)
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Re: eponym / eponymous [lynch]

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:19 am

Or perhaps the 'credit' belongs to Charles and William jointly. As they were living in Virginia at the same time and both presided over a vigilance committee, one might surmise that their fellow-Virginians began to use 'lynching' generically without pausing to think about which particular brother's lead they were following.
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Re: eponym / eponymous [lynch]

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Fri Feb 17, 2012 4:50 pm

It was certainly not Bet Lynch (http://coronationstreet.wikia.com/wiki/Bet_Lynch), who would not tolerate people hanging around her bar.
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Re: eponym / eponymous [lynch]

Post by Erik_Kowal » Fri Feb 17, 2012 5:06 pm

A bar where people aren't allowed to hang out sounds a pretty dismal place.
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Re: eponym / eponymous [lynch]

Post by Edwin F Ashworth » Fri Feb 17, 2012 8:29 pm

Perhaps most people believe no noose is good noose.
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