Discussion in 'Linguistics' started by mathman, Nov 20, 2017.
Shrapnel and sandwich are common words, named after inventors. Others?
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Not necessarily inventors, but here are some common words named after people:
There are lots of scientific units named after scientists, like:
From characters in plays and books:
Also, there are lots of adjectives referring to people, like:
Wellington, hence wellies.
Poubelle (French for dustbin)
Hoover (vacum cleaner)
The Beaufort scale
There was a time when folks had only one name like John, Joseph, or Peter.
To distinguish various folks named John in a small town or neighborhood, People would say John the blacksmith or John the silversmith, or Peter the son of John..
When local politicians needed to keep better records (EG: for Tax collection data), they required folks to have an extra name. This resulted in last names like the following.
John Smith & John Peterson
The above is the reason for Smith becoming a very common name: There are a lot of professions using Smith in the title: Black smith, silver smith, gold smith.
The above is the reason for many last names ending in son.
In Wales UK a common surname is said to be Jones, and so...
A Russian spy was dropped by parachute in the Welsh hills with instructions to contact a Mr Jones in the small village of Llanfair and give him the coded message: “The tulips are blooming well today.”
Arriving at the village he asked a small boy where Mr Jones lived and was directed to a small cottage.
He knocked on the door and the owner emerged: “Are you Mr Jones?”
“The tulips are blooming well today.”
Mr Jones stared at him in amazement then smiled: “Ah, you must have the wrong house.
“It's Jones the Spy you want.”
Almost all last names had some particular meaning long ago. For example.
My last name is Cadwallader (Welsh), which meant strategist (actually battle planner) in the distant past. I am not sure if the word still has that meaning in modern Welsh.
BTW: The English were (perhaps still are) clever in sneaky ways.
There was a time when England & Wales fought over sovereignty. Hundreds of years ago (when some English king was circa 35-40), The English proposed that Wales accept England as sovereign with the promise that a prince of Wales would always be chosen as the next king of England after the demise of the current king.
The above seemed like a good deal to the Welsh.
20-40 years later, Wales & England were completely integrated, with the Welsh having no army or police force of their own. From that time on, The English king has always appointed some English noble to be a prince of Wales & later appoints him to be king of England.
England always appoints some member of the royal family to be the Prince of Wales & that prince becomes the King of England.
In modern times the above is not particularly important, but there was a long period of time when it was important.
My understanding of history was that Edward I promised to appoint someone who did not speak English as the Prince of Wales. He then appointed a baby, his infant son. Since then the heir to the throne (usually the king's son) has always been the prince of Wales
Separate names with a comma.