Monday, January 09, 2012


Eponymy is when a word is made out of a name. Think of "champagne" which now refers to the drink more than the region from whence it comes. Science is full of eponyms from Newton's laws to Huntington's disease to units of measure like the joule or the watt to inventions like the diesel engine or Morse code. Many come from literature, for example, Achilles heel, or from properties of historical figures, consider the term sideburns. We are hearing the verb "to tebow" quite frequently in the media.

Are there new eponyms that should be added to the language? Properties or characteristics of contemporary figures that can be used to coin new terms? "Obamized" -- when you take a modern Republican position and get called a socialist for it? To "romney" -- betting on both sides of a game? Others?