I recently came across this usage “we Macgyver…” and the use of the upper case caught my attention. I googled the word to see if it is mentioned in the dictionary; Wiktionary gave me this result, for instance:

Macgyver Verb

MacGyver (third-person singular simple present MacGyvers, present participle MacGyvering, simple past and past participle MacGyvered)

  1. (intransitive) To assemble or repair something by ingenious improvisation, using everyday items that would not usually be used for the purpose.

    • Our car broke down and we didn't have any tools but Jim MacGyvered it with some toenail clippers and we were able to limp to the service station.
    • No place to climb? MacGyver your own set-up in a power rack for rope pull-ups or rows.

I googled the word google as well, here is the result:

google Verb

google (third-person singular simple present googles, present participle googling, simple past and past participle googled)
1. (intransitive, cricket) To deliver googlies.
2. (intransitive, cricket) To move as a ball in a googly.

Now, both words are proper nouns, but “google” is not capitalised whereas “Macgyver” is.


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    Checking out the etymology of Macgyver should clarify. (Note the capitalization here.) – Kris Jul 3 '13 at 11:43
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    You need to wait a few years before Macgyver becomes more widely used when it might no longer need to be capitalized: cf. vulcanization. – Kris Jul 3 '13 at 11:45
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    Firstly, I think the comparison with Google is incorrect -- Google was not a proper noun -- it was formed from 'gogol' which meant a large, large number (like zillion). Furthermore, Google as a word is far widely used than Macgyver. – Kris Jul 3 '13 at 11:53
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    If you don't like to see the verb MacGyver capitalized perhaps you should boycott it or if your feelings run stronger you could guillotine it. – AllInOne Jul 3 '13 at 22:44

MacGyver uses capitals because it's taken from the TV show from which the term comes. In the TV show the name is spelt *M*ac*G*yver, because it is the lead characters last name which is of Scottish decent, hence the M and G should always be capitals. Any time you see the word used with only an uppercase M you can assume it is incorrect.

Information obtained from the MacGyver Online resource and information site.

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