word origins - people's names.

Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by mathman, Nov 20, 2017.

  1. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    Shrapnel and sandwich are common words, named after inventors. Others?
     
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  3. Walter L. Wagner Cosmic Truth Seeker Valued Senior Member

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    Links now embedded in post.
     
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  5. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Not necessarily inventors, but here are some common words named after people:

    guillotine
    pasteurisation
    bowdlerise
    boycott
    cardigan
    casanova
    chauvinism
    caesarian
    gerrymander
    leotard
    martinet
    masochism
    sadism
    pompadour
    quisling
    sideburns
    wellingtons
    ritzy
    saxophone
    bloomers
    dunce

    There are lots of scientific units named after scientists, like:

    Celcius
    Joule
    Fahrenheit
    farad
    faraday
    gauss
    gray
    coulomb
    henry
    curie
    decibel
    Kelvin

    Foods:

    pavlova
    stroganoff
    praline

    From characters in plays and books:

    hooligan
    malapropism
     
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  7. James R Just this guy, you know? Staff Member

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    Also, there are lots of adjectives referring to people, like:

    abrahamic
    aegean
    American
    Aristolean
    Augustinian
    bacchanalian
    benedictine
    boolean
    Byronic
    Christian
    Cyrillic
    Daliesque
    Dantesque
    Darwinian
    Davidian
    Cartesian
    Dickensian
    Edwardian
    Euclidean
    eupicurian
    fallopian
    Faustian
    Fortean
    Freudian
    Galilean
    gargantuan
    Gregorian
    Hamiltonian
    herculean
    hermaphroditic
    hermetic
    Hippocratic
    Hobbsian
    Holmesian
    Homeric
    Humean
    Kafkaesque
    Kantian
    Lagrangian
    Lorentzian
    Machiavellian
    Maoist
    martial
    Marxist
    McCarthyist
    Napoleonic
    Oedipal
    ohmic
    Orwellian
    Panglossian
    Promethean
    Ptolemaic
    pyrrhic
    protean
    Pythagorean
    Pythonesque
    Rubenesque
    sadistic
    satanic
    Saturnine
    Shakespearean
    Sisyphean
    Socratic
    stentorian
    thespian
    titanic
    vestal
    Victorian
    Wagnerian
     
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  8. exchemist Valued Senior Member

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    Wellington, hence wellies.
    Poubelle (French for dustbin)
    Hoover (vacum cleaner)
    Crap
     
  9. sweetpea Registered Senior Member

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    Archimedes' screw
    Pasteurisation
    The Beaufort scale
    Adam's apple??
     
  10. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    There was a time when folks had only one name like John, Joseph, or Peter.

    To distinguish various folks named John in a small town or neighborhood, People would say John the blacksmith or John the silversmith, or Peter the son of John..

    When local politicians needed to keep better records (EG: for Tax collection data), they required folks to have an extra name. This resulted in last names like the following.

    John Smith & John Peterson​

    The above is the reason for Smith becoming a very common name: There are a lot of professions using Smith in the title: Black smith, silver smith, gold smith.

    The above is the reason for many last names ending in son.
     
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  11. sweetpea Registered Senior Member

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    In Wales UK a common surname is said to be Jones, and so...

    A Russian spy was dropped by parachute in the Welsh hills with instructions to contact a Mr Jones in the small village of Llanfair and give him the coded message: “The tulips are blooming well today.”
    Arriving at the village he asked a small boy where Mr Jones lived and was directed to a small cottage.
    He knocked on the door and the owner emerged: “Are you Mr Jones?”
    “I am.”
    “The tulips are blooming well today.”
    Mr Jones stared at him in amazement then smiled: “Ah, you must have the wrong house.
    “It's Jones the Spy you want.”
     
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  12. Dinosaur Rational Skeptic Valued Senior Member

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    Almost all last names had some particular meaning long ago. For example.

    My last name is Cadwallader (Welsh), which meant strategist (actually battle planner) in the distant past. I am not sure if the word still has that meaning in modern Welsh.​

    BTW: The English were (perhaps still are) clever in sneaky ways.

    There was a time when England & Wales fought over sovereignty. Hundreds of years ago (when some English king was circa 35-40), The English proposed that Wales accept England as sovereign with the promise that a prince of Wales would always be chosen as the next king of England after the demise of the current king.

    The above seemed like a good deal to the Welsh.

    20-40 years later, Wales & England were completely integrated, with the Welsh having no army or police force of their own. From that time on, The English king has always appointed some English noble to be a prince of Wales & later appoints him to be king of England.

    England always appoints some member of the royal family to be the Prince of Wales & that prince becomes the King of England.

    In modern times the above is not particularly important, but there was a long period of time when it was important.
     
  13. mathman Valued Senior Member

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    1,457
    My understanding of history was that Edward I promised to appoint someone who did not speak English as the Prince of Wales. He then appointed a baby, his infant son. Since then the heir to the throne (usually the king's son) has always been the prince of Wales
     

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