All About...Eponyms

How would you like to have your name added as a word to the English ********? A few people have been so lucky . . . or unlucky. An eponym is a word that comes from a person's name. Here are a few:

Bobbies
In 1850, Sir Robert Peel, a British politician, organized a police force in London.

Boycott
In 1880 a man in Ireland named Charles Boycott refused to lower rents. As a result, the public refused to have anything to do with him. The term boycott now means to avoid a person, organization, or company, or refuse to buy certain products, as a protest.

Braille
This system of writing for the blind was named after Louis Braille, a Frenchman who invented it to teach his blind students.

Cardigan
The 7th earl of Cardigan (in Wales) had the soldiers in his military regiment wear knitted sweaters or jackets that fastened up the front. People then began to call this type of sweater a cardigan.

Derby
This stiff felt hat with a dome shape was popularized by Edward Stanley, twelfth Earl of Derby. Now it's favored by many rap singers.

Diesel
The first diesel engine was built by Rudolf Diesel.

Gardenia
This flower was named after Alexander Garden, a botanist.

Guillotine
In 1789, Dr. Joseph Guillotin of France suggested beheading as a more humane way to execute people than hanging. The machine that resulted from his idea was designed by another doctor, who was actually guillotined during the French Revolution.

Jersey
This fine cloth was originally made on Jersey, one of the Channel Islands off the western coast of England.

Leotard
Julius Leotard was a French aerial gymnast who lived during the 19th century. His name became attached to the tight-fitting garment he wore when he performed.

Limousine
This luxury car is named after the Limousin region of France.

Maverick
This is someone who goes his or her own way. It may have come from Samuel A. Maverick, a rancher who wouldn't brand his calves.

Panic
Some ancient Greeks believed that this feeling was caused by the Greek god Pan.

Jersey
This fine cloth was originally made on Jersey, one of the Channel Islands off the western coast of England.

Leotard
Julius Leotard was a French aerial gymnast who lived during the 19th century. His name became attached to the tight-fitting garment he wore when he performed.

Limousine
This luxury car is named after the Limousin region of France.

Maverick
This is someone who goes his or her own way. It may have come from Samuel A. Maverick, a rancher who wouldn't brand his calves.

Panic
Some ancient Greeks believed that this feeling was caused by the Greek god Pan.




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