(noun) A word that is derived from the proper name of a person or place. The person or place may be real or fantasized. [1] The word usually comes from its creator or the person who invented that object.


  • sandwich: named after John Montagu, the Fourth Earl of Sandwich (1718–1792), a British politician. [2]
  • cardigan: a knitted garment, such as a sweater or jacket, that opens down the front. Named after the Seventh Earl of Cardigan, James Thomas Brudenell (1797–1868), a British army officer. [3]
  • saxophone: named after Sax, the surname of a 19th-century instrument-making family in Belgium. [4]

  • kleenex: the company "Kleenex" was such a popular seller of tissues that eventually, the public began calling the common object, tissues, "Kleenexes"

  • achilles' heel: named after Achille, a greek mythological character, who was dipped into the river of Styx by his heel and became untouchable and immortal exept for his heel which was not dipped[5]
  • adam's apple: from adam, a biblical character - believed to be the first man on Earth.[6]



Etymological processes

        Word creation

                Eponyms · Toponyms · Onomatopoeia · Reduplication · Blend · Back-formation

        Word evolution

                Phonological: Assimilation · Dissimilation · Metathesis

                Morphological: Folk etymology

                Semantic: Semantic widening · Semantic narrowing · Elevation · Degeneration · Metaphorical extension

Languages which have influenced English

        Latin · Greek · French · German · Spanish · Arabic · Old Norse · Proto-Indo-European

Special topics

        Shakespeare's impact on English · Origin and evolution of the alphabet

Ad blocker interference detected!

Wikia is a free-to-use site that makes money from advertising. We have a modified experience for viewers using ad blockers

Wikia is not accessible if you’ve made further modifications. Remove the custom ad blocker rule(s) and the page will load as expected.