Take the 2-minute tour ×
English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. It's 100% free, no registration required.

It's a word that suggests that educated or talented people who aren't related don't stand a chance. The word is why Peaches Geldof is famous today.

It is a real word, I just forgot the word.

share|improve this question
4  
Although nepotism is obviously the word you seek, it's not obvious to me that Peaches Geldoff is an example of the process at all, let alone an archetype. She's a journalist, television presenter and model, but I'm not aware her father has ever given her a job that a non-relative wouldn't have got. –  FumbleFingers Oct 17 '11 at 15:49
2  
@FumbleFingers Sure, I agree this isn't in fact nepotism, but she would never have had those breaks if she happened to be a random teenager, if say, she was Peaches Fingers instead of Geldof. –  z7sg Ѫ Oct 17 '11 at 17:24
add comment

5 Answers

up vote 35 down vote accepted

If someone gets a job by being related to someone, it's nepotism

Favoritism granted to relatives or friends regardless of merit.The word nepotism is from the Latin word nepos, nepotis (m. "nephew"), from which modern Romanian nepot and Italian nipote, "nephew" or "grandchild" are also descended.

Peaches Geldof seems to be quite a successful journalist/columnist, television presenter/model celebrity. Probably businesswoman too. I don't know, but I doubt she has no talent at anything she's famous/rich for, and I doubt her father gives or gets her jobs. She's an example of a privileged person. Specifically, as @Tom Au notes, one who is (well-)connected.

share|improve this answer
    
Bingo, can't get more correct. –  SidCool Oct 17 '11 at 21:14
    
@CoderAtHeart: I can but try! I just shamelessly stole Tom's connected, and dropped that in. As the correct answer to OP's "second" question (word for easier route to success by virtue of famous parents). So now it should be twice as correct! :) –  FumbleFingers Oct 17 '11 at 23:11
    
That just shows your cogency. –  SidCool Oct 18 '11 at 19:11
add comment

Nepotism is the word you're looking for, although it actually describes any situation where an undue advantage is given to a personal friend or relative in a situation where people should be judged on merit alone.

share|improve this answer
    
+1: You got in three seconds before FumbleFingers, I see – here's a cookie‮ –  Daniel Oct 18 '11 at 0:07
add comment

The other word I would use is connected.

That is, you give a job to someone because you really want to do business with the "connected" person's parent, spouse, sibling, etc.

Nepotism is when you give a job to your OWN relative (specifically, a nephew).

share|improve this answer
2  
+1 because I think connected is a better word to convey the probable reason for Peaches Geldof apparently being successful. On the other hand, the question title did specifically ask about getting a job because you're related to someone. I think the problem is OP himself isn't clear about what he means. Also note that the nepotism-nephew connection is etymological - it's irrelevant to current usage. –  FumbleFingers Oct 17 '11 at 20:29
    
This is a good word too, though a little more general than nepotism –  David Hayes Oct 20 '11 at 17:23
add comment

On the east coast of Canada, this is generally referred to patronage.

share|improve this answer
add comment

For some careers (actors, models, TV personalities, politicians), keeping your name in circulation is a large part of being successful. That's much easier to accomplish when your last name is already famous for some reason.

Nepotism to me implies that the powerful relative somehow arranged the job. In the particular example you cited, I doubt that's the case. The idea of some TV producer hiring a relative just because they are afraid of the enormous power of Bob Geldof is rather chuckle-worthy.

I'd just put it down to fame. Another example I hear often is that it seems rather implausible that all four Baldwin Brothers happened to be the most talented actors avialable for every part they were ever cast in. However, in the world they work in, a famous name is something that helps reassure investors (and puts butts in the seats).

share|improve this answer
add comment

Your Answer

 
discard

By posting your answer, you agree to the privacy policy and terms of service.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.