At some point I came across a term for an adjective that has been formed out of a proper noun. It happens often in the music, art and literary world, i.e. "Sufjanian" or "Dylan-esque." Other common usages are "Seusical" (referring to Dr. Seuss), "Steinbeckian" and "Kerouacian." What is that type of word called? I am almost positive it has a name. It's incredible to me as these terms are created when someone contributes something so unique and original to the world that they've ushered in a new paradigm against which their successors and peers are evaluated. I can't for the life of me remember what this is called.

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    -ian, (TFD: relating to, belonging to, or resembling) -esque (Wikctionary: in the style or manner of) etc., are suffixes to form adjectives. See thefreedictionary.com/-ian & en.wiktionary.org/wiki/-esque
    – Kris
    Sep 16, 2014 at 5:50
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    Orwellian, Kunian, Freudian... good question.
    – user36720
    Sep 16, 2014 at 7:13
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    A special case of eponyms? Is there a more specific word than eponym? en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Eponym
    – skymningen
    Sep 16, 2014 at 8:06
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    I guess it could be called eponymous adjective.
    – Barmar
    Sep 16, 2014 at 15:00
  • Thank you all for weighing in! I think "eponymous adjective" is accurate, but it's not the term I'm after.
    – Steve S.
    Sep 16, 2014 at 16:24

1 Answer 1


That is an eponymous adjective

  • +1, Named after something else or deriving from an existing name or word: "Programs such as He-Man and Masters of the Universe ... were all created with the explicit purpose of selling the eponymous toys to children
    – Manish
    Jan 26, 2015 at 20:59

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