THE LIGHTER SIDE

Heard Any Good Eponyms Lately?

An eponym is a word derived from the name of a real person. The English language is filled with such words that we use in everyday speech.

  • A British carpenter caused a screen to fall upon the head of the Prince Regent. His name was Jeremy Botch and we have been botching things up ever since.
  • Dom Perignon is expensive champagne, but Dom Perignon (1638-1715) was a blind French monk who refined the process of creating sparkling wines.
  • In 1837, during the production of an opera in Mantua, Italy, the whole stage collapsed, injuring many in the cast. The producer of the opera was Alessandro Fiasco.
  • If you were to go on a binge and imbibe too much of Dom Perignonís creations, you would be imitating Oswald Binge (1678-1768) who was noted for consuming vast amounts of food and drink at week-long meals (could this be the secret to a long life?).
  • If you wanted to stand around and have a simple meal, you could have visited the home of Pierre Buffet, a 17th century Parisian gambler. He supposedly created the custom of letting guests serve themselves from food on a side table.
  • This article, like most writing, is filled with commas. These were first used by a Dominican monk named Domenico de Comma who lived in the 13th century.
  • The word asphalt describes a mixture of bitumen, pitch, and sand used for making roads. It sounds like a strange name, but it probably did not sound strange to Leopold von Asphalt, the Bavarian who invented it.
  • Guess what Matthew Coffin (1480-1540) invented.

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