Eponymous

colbert reportI come across this word now and again, and it always gives me pause. Somehow when I read it, I hear in my head, “posthumous”. They have nothing in common in terms of meaning. I know that. But the similar sound of the two words makes me stop and think about what eponymous means. According to Merriam Webster, the root, eponym is from the Greek for “name”. This New York Times post describes it at, “someone or something that gives its name to something else.” Eponymous describes the giver of the name. For example, Ben Cohen and Jerry Greenfield are the eponymous originators of Ben & Jerry’s ice cream. Stephen Colbert is the eponymous creator of the Colbert Report. I seem to run into this word often in Elizabeth George novels. For example, she might speak of the eponymous pub owner, Captain Jack (that’s not an exact quote). One does need to be careful to use it correctly. In that example, it’s Jack who’s the eponymous pub owner. The pub isn’t Jack’s eponymous pub, according to that New York Times article referenced previously. Got it? Spread the word.

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5 thoughts on “Eponymous

  1. Okay, I think I’ve got this–like Mrs. Grass is the eponymous soup lady? And Mr. Dewey is the eponymous decimal-system …eponymizer? Hm. I think I need to read this a few more times. Thanks for another good word, Sue.

  2. So, according to your very interesting bonmot, Tony Maden is the eponymous
    creator of MadenEngland…By George, I think I’ve got it!

  3. Pingback: Ensconce | Bon Mots

  4. Pingback: Pay Dirt | Bon Mots

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