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The mythological Greek hero Orion is the eponym of the constellation Orion, shown here, and thus indirectly of the Orion spacecraft. Orion Head to Toe.jpg
The mythological Greek hero Orion is the eponym of the constellation Orion, shown here, and thus indirectly of the Orion spacecraft.

An eponym is a person, place, or thing after whom or which someone or something is, or is believed to be, named. The adjectives derived from eponym include eponymous and eponymic.


Word usage

The term eponym [2] [3] functions in multiple related ways, all based on an explicit relationship between two named things. A person, place, or thing named after a particular person share an eponymous relationship. In this way, Elizabeth I of England is the eponym of the Elizabethan era. When Henry Ford is referred to as "the eponymous founder of the Ford Motor Company", his surname "Ford" serves as the eponym. The term also refers to the title character of a fictional work (such as Rocky Balboa of the Rocky film series), as well as to self-titled works named after their creators (such as the album The Doors by the band the Doors). Walt Disney created the eponymous Walt Disney Company, with his name similarly extended to theme parks such as Walt Disney World. [4] [5] [6] [7] Medical eponymous terms are often called medical eponyms, despite that that usage is deprecable.


Periods have often been named after a ruler or other influential figure:


Other eponyms

Orthographic conventions

Capitalized versus lowercase

For examples, see the comparison table below.

Genitive versus attributive

National varieties of English

Comparison table of eponym orthographic styling

Prevalent dictionary styling todayStylings that defy prevalent dictionary stylingComments
Addison disease [28] *Addison Disease
*addison disease
Allemann syndrome [28] *Allemann Syndrome
*allemann syndrome
cesarean [only] [28]
cesarean also cesarian [but no cap variant] [16]
cesarean, "often capitalized" or caesarean also cesarian or caesarian [29]
 More information on this word's orthographic variants is at Wiktionary: caesarean section.
darwinian [only] [28]
darwinism [only] [28]
Darwinian [only] [16] [17]
Darwinism [only] [16] [17]
Darwinist [only] [16] [17]
diesel (n/adj/vi) [no cap variant] [16] [17]
and also
diesel-electric [16]
diesel engine [16] [17]
dieseling [16] [17]
dieselize, dieselization [16]
*Diesel engine
*Dieselize, Dieselization
draconian [17]
draconian often Draconian [16]
eustachian [only] [28]
eustachian often Eustachian [16]
eustachian tube [only] [28]
eustachian tube often Eustachian tube [16]
eustachian tube or Eustachian tube [17]
*Eustachian Tube 
fallopian [only] [28]
fallopian often Fallopian [16]
fallopian tube [only] [28]
fallopian tube often Fallopian tube [16]
fallopian tube also Fallopian tube [17]
*Fallopian Tube 
Marxism [only] [16] [17]
Marxist [only] [16] [17]
mendelian [only] [28]  or Mendelian [only] [16]
mendelian inheritance [only] [28]  or Mendelian inheritance [only] [16]  
Mendel's laws [16] [28]
*Mendelian Inheritance 
Newtonian [only] [16] [17] *newtonian 
parkinsonism [only] [16] [28]
parkinsonian [only] [16] [28]
parkinsonian tremor [28]
Parkinson disease [only] [28]
Parkinson's disease [only] [16]
*Parkinsonian tremor
*Parkinsonian Tremor
*Parkinson Disease
*Parkinson's Disease
quixotic [only] [16] [17] *Quixotic 
Roman numerals [17]
roman numerals [16]
 AMA Manual of Style lowercases the terms roman numerals and arabic numerals. MWCD enters the numeral sense under the headword Roman but with the note "not cap" on the numeral sense. [16]

Lists of eponyms

By person's name

By category

See also

Related Research Articles

Gram stain Investigative procedure in biology

Gram stain or Gram staining, also called Gram's method, is a method of staining used to classify bacterial species into two large groups: Gram-positive bacteria and Gram-negative bacteria. The name comes from the Danish bacteriologist Hans Christian Gram, who developed the technique in 1884.

The hyphen is a punctuation mark used to join words and to separate syllables of a single word. The use of hyphens is called hyphenation. Son-in-law is an example of a hyphenated word. The hyphen is sometimes confused with dashes, which are longer and have different uses, or with the minus sign , which is also longer and more vertically centred in some typefaces.

A proper noun is a noun that identifies a single entity and is used to refer to that entity, such as Africa, Jupiter, Sarah, or Amazon, as distinguished from a common noun, which is a noun that refers to a class of entities and may be used when referring to instances of a specific class. Some proper nouns occur in plural form, and then they refer to groups of entities considered as unique. Proper nouns can also occur in secondary applications, for example modifying nouns, or in the role of common nouns. The detailed definition of the term is problematic and, to an extent, governed by convention.

Capitalization or capitalisation is writing a word with its first letter as a capital letter and the remaining letters in lower case, in writing systems with a case distinction. The term also may refer to the choice of the casing applied to text.

A syndrome is a set of medical signs and symptoms which are correlated with each other and often associated with a particular disease or disorder. The word derives from the Greek σύνδρομον, meaning "concurrence". When a syndrome is paired with a definite cause this becomes a disease. The discipline that deals with the diagnosis of syndromes is also referred to as syndromology or dysmorphology. In some instances, a syndrome is so closely linked with a pathogenesis or cause that the words syndrome, disease, and disorder end up being used interchangeably for them. This substitution of terminology often confuses the reality and meaning of medical diagnoses. This is especially true of inherited syndromes. About one third of all phenotypes that are listed in OMIM are described as dysmorphic, which usually refers to the facial gestalt. For example, Down syndrome, Wolf–Hirschhorn syndrome, and Andersen–Tawil syndrome are disorders with known pathogeneses, so each is more than just a set of signs and symptoms, despite the syndrome nomenclature. In other instances, a syndrome is not specific to only one disease. For example, toxic shock syndrome can be caused by various toxins; premotor syndrome can be caused by various brain lesions; and premenstrual syndrome is not a disease but simply a set of symptoms.

A capitonym is a word that changes its meaning when it is capitalized; the capitalization usually applies due to one form being a proper noun or eponym. It is a portmanteau of the word capital with the suffix -onym. A capitonym is a form of homograph and – when the two forms are pronounced differently – is also a form of heteronym. In situations where both words should be capitalized, there will be nothing to distinguish between them except the context in which they are used.

Title case or headline case is a style of capitalization used for rendering the titles of published works or works of art in English. When using title case, all words are capitalized except for minor words unless they are the first or last word of the title. There are different rules for which words are major, hence capitalized.

American and British English spelling differences Comparison between US and UK English spelling

Despite the various English dialects spoken from country to country and within different regions of the same country, there are only slight regional variations in English orthography, the two most notable variations being British and American spelling. Many of the differences between American and British English date back to a time before spelling standards were developed. For instance, some spellings seen as "American" today were once commonly used in Britain, and some spellings seen as "British" were once commonly used in the United States.

A compound modifier is a compound of two or more attributive words: that is, two or more words that collectively modify a noun. Compound modifiers are grammatically equivalent to single-word modifiers, and can be used in combination with other modifiers.

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  1. "Orion Spacecraft - Nasa Orion Spacecraft". aerospaceguide.net.
  2. (ancient Greek ἐπώνυμος (a.) given as a name, (b.) giving one's name to a thing or person, ἐπί upon + ὄνομα, Aeolic ὄνυμα name)
  3. "eponym, n. : Oxford English Dictionary". OED Online. 2019-10-26. Archived from the original on 2019-10-26. Retrieved 2019-10-27.
  4. "eponym". Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com LLC. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
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  7. "eponymous". Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  8. Bayer Co. v. United Drug Co., 272 F. 505 (S.D.N.Y. 1921), Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, accessed March 25th, 2011
  9. Harper, Douglas. "heroin". Online Etymology Dictionary .
  10. King-Seeley Thermos Co. v. Aladdin Indus., Inc., 321 F.2d 577 (2d Cir. 1963); see also this PDF Archived 2006-02-09 at the Wayback Machine
  11. Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2014). The Eponym Dictionary of Birds. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN   978-1472905741.
  12. Hämäläinen, Matti (2015). "Catalogue of individuals commemorated in the scientific names of extant dragonflies, including lists of all available eponymous species-group and genus-group names" (PDF). International Dragonfly Fund (IDF) - Report. 80: 1–168. ISSN   1435-3393 . Retrieved 18 September 2020.
  13. Lauer, Tod. "Astronomical Eponyms". National Optical Astronomy Observatory. Retrieved 2021-08-22.
  14. 1 2 3 Waddingham, Anne (28 August 2014). New Hart's Rules: The Oxford Style Guide. OUP Oxford. p. 105. ISBN   978-0199570027.
  15. Marthus-Adden Zimboiant (2013-08-05). No Grammar Tears 1. pp. 256–257. ISBN   9781491800751.
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  18. University of Chicago (1993). The Chicago Manual of Style (14th ed.). Chicago: University of Chicago Press. § 7.49, pp. 253–254. ISBN   0-226-10389-7.
  19. Lorraine Villemaire, Doreen Oberg (29 December 2005). Grammar and Writing Skills for the Health Professional (2nd Revised ed.). Delmar Cengage Learning. p. 167. ISBN   978-1401873745.{{cite book}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  20. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal Style Guide. Preferred Usage
  21. Lisa Brown, Julie M. Wolf, Rafael Prados-Rosales & Arturo Casadevall (2015). "Through the wall: extracellular vesicles in Gram-positive bacteria, mycobacteria and fungi". Nature Reviews Microbiology. 13 (10): 620–630. doi:10.1038/nrmicro3480. PMC   4860279 . PMID   26324094.{{cite journal}}: CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  22. Kristen L. Mueller (12 June 2015). "Detecting Gram-negative bacteria". Science. 348 (6240): 1218. doi:10.1126/science.348.6240.1218-o.
  23. "Gram-positive". Dictionary.com.
  24. "Newtonian". Merriam-Wester.
  25. "New·ton". The American Heritage Dictionary.
  26. Iverson, Cheryl, ed. (2007), AMA Manual of Style (10 ed.), Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, ISBN   978-0-19-517633-9 , chapter 16: Eponyms.
  27. Medical Subject Headings (MeSH) of the United States National Library of Medicine (NLM) uses "cesarean section", while the also US-published Saunders Comprehensive Veterinary Dictionary uses "caesarean". The online versions of the Merriam-Webster Dictionary and American Heritage Dictionary list "cesarean" first and other spellings as "variants", an etymologically anhistorical position.
  28. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Elsevier (2007), Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary (31st ed.), Philadelphia: Elsevier, ISBN   978-1-4160-2364-7
  29. Merriam-Webster (2003), Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed.), Springfield, Massachusetts, USA: Merriam-Webster, ISBN   978-0-87779-809-5