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


Usage of the word

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, but the Elizabethan era can also be referred to as the eponym of Elizabeth I of England.

When Henry Ford is referred to as "the eponymous founder of the Ford Motor Company", his surname "Ford" and the name of the motor company have an eponymous relationship. The word "eponym" can also refer 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 although 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

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Gram stain</span> Investigative procedure in microbiology

Gram stain, is a method of staining used to classify bacterial species into two large groups: gram-positive bacteria and gram-negative bacteria. It may also be used to diagnose a fungal infection. 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.

A proper noun is a noun that identifies a single entity and is used to refer to that entity 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. 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; another medical syndrome named as premotor syndrome can be caused by various brain lesions; and premenstrual syndrome is not a disease but simply a set of symptoms.

A demonym or gentilic is a word that identifies a group of people in relation to a particular place. Demonyms are usually derived from the name of the place. Demonyms are used to designate all people of a particular place, regardless of ethnic, linguistic, religious or other cultural differences that may exist within the population of that place. Examples of demonyms include Cochabambino, for someone from the city of Cochabamba; French for a person from France; and Swahili, for a person of the Swahili coast.

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 that are not the first or last word of the title. There are different rules for which words are major, hence capitalized. As an example, a headline might be written like this: "The Quick Brown Fox Jumps over the Lazy Dog".

<span class="mw-page-title-main">American and British English spelling differences</span> Comparison between U.S. 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/Commonwealth 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.

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

Webster's Third New International Dictionary of the English Language, Unabridged is an American English-language dictionary 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.

Capitalization of <i>Internet</i> Conventions for capitalizing word

Orthographic conventions have varied over time, and vary by publishers, authors, and regional preferences, on whether and when Internet should be capitalized. When the Internet first came into common use, most publications treated Internet as a capitalized proper noun, but this has become less common. This reflects the tendency in English to capitalize new terms and move them to lowercase as they become familiar. The word is sometimes still capitalized to distinguish the global internet from smaller networks, though many publications, including the AP Stylebook since 2016, recommend the lowercase form in every case. In 2016, the Oxford English Dictionary found that, based on a study of around 2.5 billion printed and online sources, "Internet" was capitalized in 54% of cases, with Internet being preferred in the United States and internet being preferred in the United Kingdom.

<i>God</i> (word) English word

The English word god comes from the Old English god, which itself is derived from the Proto-Germanic *gudą. Its cognates in other Germanic languages include guþ, gudis, guð, god, and got.

English orthography sometimes uses the term proper adjective to mean adjectives that take initial capital letters, and common adjective to mean those that do not. For example, a person from India is Indian—Indian is a proper adjective.

<span class="mw-page-title-main">Adverbial genitive</span> Grammatical component

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 predominantly found in journalistic writing. It formally resembles 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 Timothy McVeigh".

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

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 international nonproprietary names (INNs); and trade names, which are brand names. Under the INN system, generic names for drugs are constructed out of affixes and stems that classify the drugs into useful categories while keeping related names distinguishable. A marketed drug might also have a company code or compound code.

In etymology, back-formation is the process or result of creating a new word via inflection, typically by removing or substituting actual or supposed affixes from a lexical item, in a way that expands the number of lexemes associated with the corresponding root word. The resulting is called a back-formation, a term coined by James Murray in 1889.


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  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)
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