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Questions tagged [eponyms]

The tag has no usage guidance.

5
votes
2answers
63 views

What's the relationship of Ursa Minor/Little Dipper to dogs?

Recently happened again upon the word "cynosure" and noted it's Greek etymology, e.g. from Wordsmith.org: Originally the term was applied to the constellation Ursa Minor or the North Star (Polaris) ...
12
votes
3answers
930 views

“Shaw” → “Shavian” – why “v”?

The spelling for the adjective derived from the name Shaw is Shavian and not Shawian. Similarly you can find Arrow → Arrovian and Harrow → Harrovian. This strikes me as odd. First of all, I accept ...
0
votes
1answer
246 views

Should I use “the John” or “the john” when referring to the slang phrase for toilet?

Should I capitalize the "j" in John when referring to a toilet as "the john." The same goes for lazy Susan and other words that are also names.
11
votes
3answers
472 views

Etymology of “Caleb Quotem”

I came across this expression while reading Dickens's American Notes. In context it seems to mean something similar to "all-purpose" or "catch-all," and seems to appear most in English/Welsh writing ...
26
votes
21answers
6k views

What's an eponymous adjective that is an antonym of Machiavellian?

REVISED QUESTION Is there an eponymous adjective with equivalent cultural weight and recognition that could be considered an antonym of Machiavellian? I am after the basic idea of an adjective that ...
2
votes
2answers
335 views

Under what circumstances can the name portion of an eponymous invention be considered a word?

I am aware of great debate over whether a name, in general, is a word in any language. For purposes of this question, let's take the negative side of this debate. For certain, I would never claim ...
7
votes
1answer
826 views

What is the source of the word “keystone” in reference to pricing a product

In commerce, the word keystone, or keystone pricing means the retail price of an item is set at double the wholesale or production cost of that item. I have only really run into it when working in ...
4
votes
2answers
1k views

Opposite of an eponym

What is it called when someone lives up to their name. Their name is Smith and they become one for example.
8
votes
8answers
2k views

Is there a word for someone who is a killjoy yet also “The voice of caution?”

I am trying to find a word/phrase that describes someone who performs a "reality check" every time people suffer from misconceptions or over-exuberance. He/she is the "voice of caution" that prevents "...
2
votes
1answer
5k views

Why is the tendon named after Achilles?

There are two main or obvious possible reasons: Achilles died of a wound to the heel, from a poisoned arrow shot by Paris/Alexander. This is sometimes fabled to be the only spot where he could be ...
6
votes
4answers
18k views

“Named for” vs. “named after”

As a Brit, I'm used to the phrase named after being used to say how something got its name. For example, in Wikipedia's List of eponymous roads in London, we read that Addison Road is named after the ...
5
votes
2answers
453 views

Is there a word meaning “an unwanted eponym”?

An eponym is one way to eternal (if posthumous) fame. But is there a word meaning an eponym someone would sooner not have? (One would presume that Captain Charles Boycott, Mr Justice Lynch, and ...
3
votes
6answers
3k views

Is “facebook” as a verb different from “google” or “photoshop”?

I understand that any term, grammatical or not, becomes valid if there is common usage. I'm not concerned about that. Google and Photoshop are both commonly used as verbs. Given that the terms map ...