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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 word is used in different ways. In the most frequently cited meaning, an eponym [2] [3] is a person, place, or thing after whom or after which something is named, or believed to be named. In this way, Elizabeth I of England is the eponym of the Elizabethan era. If Henry Ford is referred to as "the eponymous founder of the Ford Motor Company", either Henry Ford himself, or his name "Ford" could be called the eponym. The term can also refer to a creative work named after a fictional character (who is then also the title character, such as Rocky Balboa of the Rocky film series), or to works named after their creators (such as the album The Doors, created by the band the Doors, which is then also called a self-titled album). [4] [5] [6] [7]


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 [27] *Addison Disease
*addison disease
Allemann syndrome [27] *Allemann Syndrome
*allemann syndrome
cesarean [only] [27]
cesarean also cesarian [but no cap variant] [15]
cesarean, "often capitalized" or caesarean also cesarian or caesarian [28]
 More information on this word's orthographic variants is at Wiktionary: caesarean section.
darwinian [only] [27]
darwinism [only] [27]
Darwinian [only] [15] [16]
Darwinism [only] [15] [16]
Darwinist [only] [15] [16]
diesel (n/adj/vi) [no cap variant] [15] [16]
and also
diesel-electric [15]
diesel engine [15] [16]
dieseling [15] [16]
dieselize, dieselization [15]
*Diesel engine
*Dieselize, Dieselization
draconian [16]
draconian often Draconian [15]
eustachian [only] [27]
eustachian often Eustachian [15]
eustachian tube [only] [27]
eustachian tube often Eustachian tube [15]
eustachian tube or Eustachian tube [16]
*Eustachian Tube 
fallopian [only] [27]
fallopian often Fallopian [15]
fallopian tube [only] [27]
fallopian tube often Fallopian tube [15]
fallopian tube also Fallopian tube [16]
*Fallopian Tube 
Marxism [only] [15] [16]
Marxist [only] [15] [16]
mendelian [only] [27]  or Mendelian [only] [15]
mendelian inheritance [only] [27]  or Mendelian inheritance [only] [15]  
Mendel's laws [15] [27]
*Mendelian Inheritance 
Newtonian [only] [15] [16] *newtonian 
parkinsonism [only] [15] [27]
parkinsonian [only] [15] [27]
parkinsonian tremor [27]
Parkinson disease [only] [27]
Parkinson's disease [only] [15]
*Parkinsonian tremor
*Parkinsonian Tremor
*Parkinson Disease
*Parkinson's Disease
quixotic [only] [15] [16] *Quixotic 
Roman numerals [16]
roman numerals [15]
 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. [15]

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 distinguish and 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.

Noun Part of speech

A noun is a word that functions as the name of a specific object or set of objects, such as living creatures, places, actions, qualities, states of existence, or ideas. However, noun is not a semantic category, so that it cannot be characterized in terms of its meaning. Thus, actions and states of existence can also be expressed by verbs, qualities by adjectives, and places by adverbs. Linguistically, a noun is a member of a large, open part of speech whose members can occur as the main word in the subject of a clause, the object of a verb, or the object of a preposition.

Caesarean section Surgical procedure in which a baby is delivered through an incision in the mothers abdomen

Caesarean section, also known as C-section, or caesarean delivery, is the surgical procedure by which a baby is delivered through an incision in the mother's abdomen, often performed because vaginal delivery would put the baby or mother at risk. Reasons for this include obstructed labor, twin pregnancy, high blood pressure in the mother, breech birth, and problems with the placenta or umbilical cord. A caesarean delivery may be performed based upon the shape of the mother's pelvis or history of a previous C-section. A trial of vaginal birth after C-section may be possible. The World Health Organization recommends that caesarean section be performed only when medically necessary. Some C-sections are performed without a medical reason, upon request by someone, usually the mother.

English plurals How English plurals are formed; typically -(e)s

English nouns are inflected for grammatical number, meaning that if they are of the countable type, they generally have different forms for singular and plural. This article discusses the variety of ways in which English plural nouns are formed from the corresponding singular forms, as well as various issues concerning the usage of singulars and plurals in English. For plurals of pronouns, see English personal pronouns.

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. Non-hyphenated is an example of a hyphenated word. The hyphen should not be 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 London, Jupiter, Sarah, or Microsoft, 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 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.

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.

Empiric therapy or empirical therapy is medical treatment or therapy based on experience and, more specifically, therapy begun on the basis of a clinical "educated guess" in the absence of complete or perfect information. Thus it is applied before the confirmation of a definitive medical diagnosis or without complete understanding of an etiology, whether the biological mechanism of pathogenesis or the therapeutic mechanism of action. The name shares the same stem with empirical evidence, involving an idea of practical experience.

<i>Websters Third New International Dictionary</i> Unabridged American English dictionary

Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged was published in September 1961. It was edited by Philip Babcock Gove and a team of lexicographers who spent 757 editor-years and $3.5 million. The most recent printing has 2,816 pages, and as of 2005, it contained more than 476,000 vocabulary entries, 500,000 definitions, 140,000 etymologies, 200,000 verbal illustrations, 350,000 example sentences, 3,000 pictorial illustrations and an 18,000-word Addenda section.

Conventions for the capitalization of Internet when referring to the global system of interconnected computer networks, vary by publishers, authors, and regional preferences.

Adverbial genitive

In grammar, an adverbial genitive is a noun declined in the genitive case that functions as an adverb.

A false, coined, fake, bogus or pseudo-title, also called a Time-style adjective and an anarthrous nominal premodifier, is a kind of appositive phrase before a noun. It is said to formally resemble a title, in that it does not start with an article, but is a common noun phrase, not a title. An example is the phrase convicted bomber in "convicted bomber Timothy McVeigh", rather than "the convicted bomber..."

Capitalization or capitalisation in English grammar is the use of a capital letter at the head of a word. English usage varies from capitalization in other languages.

Drug nomenclature

Drug nomenclature is the systematic naming of drugs, especially pharmaceutical drugs. In the majority of circumstances, drugs have 3 types of names: chemical names, the most important of which is the IUPAC name; generic or nonproprietary names, the most important of which are the International Nonproprietary Names (INNs); and trade names, which are brand names. Generic names for drugs are nowadays constructed out of affixes and stems that classify the drugs into different categories and also separate drugs within categories. A marketed drug might also have a company code or compound code.

In etymology, back-formation is the process of creating a new lexeme by removing actual or supposed affixes. The resulting neologism is called a back-formation, a term coined by James Murray in 1889.


  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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  6. "eponymous". Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com LLC. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  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. 1 2 3 Waddingham, Anne (28 August 2014). New Hart's Rules: The Oxford Style Guide. OUP Oxford. p. 105. ISBN   978-0199570027.
  14. Marthus-Adden Zimboiant (2013-08-05). No Grammar Tears 1. pp. 256–257. ISBN   9781491800751.
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  16. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Houghton Mifflin (2000), The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4th ed.), Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, ISBN   978-0-395-82517-4
  17. 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.
  18. 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.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  19. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal Style Guide. Preferred Usage
  20. 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.CS1 maint: uses authors parameter (link)
  21. Kristen L. Mueller (12 June 2015). "Detecting Gram-negative bacteria". Science. 348 (6240): 1218. doi:10.1126/science.348.6240.1218-o.
  22. "Gram-positive". Dictionary.com.
  23. "Newtonian". Merriam-Wester.
  24. "New·ton". The American Heritage Dictionary.
  25. Iverson, Cheryl (editor) (2007), AMA Manual of Style (10 ed.), Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, ISBN   978-0-19-517633-9 CS1 maint: extra text: authors list (link), chapter 16: Eponyms.
  26. 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.
  27. 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
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