Tag Archives: eponyms
Tom, Gib & Tib

Tom, Gib & Tib

      TOM   Thomas is derived via Greek from the Aramaic name תָּאוֹמָא (Ta’oma’) which meant twin.  Tom, a familiar shortening of Thomas, has often been used as a generic name for any male representative of the ‘common’ people. For example, Tom and Tib was used like Jack and Jill to mean lad […]

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pantechnicon

pantechnicon

  A Dictionary of Science, Literature, & Art – 1842 – by W. T. Brande           A pantechnicon is a large van, especially one used for furniture removals.     Pantechnicon is an invented word, from two Greek ones: the first syllable pan- means all, and tekhnikon belonging to the arts. […]

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ignoramus

ignoramus

      Title page of George Ruggle‘s Ignoramus (1630 edition)         An ignoramus (plural ignoramuses) is an ignorant or stupid person.       It was originally a legal formula of quite different significance.   It is a Latin word, literally meaning we do not know, from the verb ignorare (the origin […]

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‘guy’

‘guy’

  The Gunpowder Plot Conspirators, by Heinrich Ulrich early 17th century - National Portrait Gallery Guy (“Guido”) Fawkes is third from the right        The proper name Guy is derived, via French, from the Old German Wido, either from wit, meaning wide, or from witu, wood. Wido has become Guy in French because in words of Germanic origin, when initial, the labio-velar approximant /w/ has regularly become the […]

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jingoism & chauvinism

jingoism & chauvinism

  Retour de Napoléon dans l’île de Lobau après la bataille d’Essling Charles Meynier     The English word jingo and the French word chauvin both apply to that ultra-patriotic section of the population which, in war-time, attends to the shouting.     Jingo first appeared in conjurors’ jargon of the 17th century. It was used in the oath […]

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