Monday, May 5, 2008

eponym -- from a person's name


eponym (EH-po-nym), a word made from a person's name. From the Greek, meaning "upon a name." For example --

Rip Van Winkle (rip van WING-kuhl) noun -- One who fails to keep up with the times.
[After Rip Van Winkle, a character in a story by Washington Irving (1783-1859). Rip falls asleep for 20 years in the Catskill mountains and wakes up to discover the world around him has changed. He finds that the American Revolutionary war has taken place and instead of being a subject of His Majesty George the Third, he is now a free citizen of the United States.]

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