25 Words You Might Not Have Realized Were Named After People

Cities, squares, streets, buildings and universities are among the things that are often named after people. Officially known as eponyms, these terms usually contain names of famous people somehow associated with the particular objects. While in most eponyms, the person after whom the thing was named is obvious and well known, there is a surprisingly high number of words you might have never known were actually also named after people. From saxophone to sandwich, check out these 25 of them.

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25

Boycott

Boycott

Officially defined as an act of voluntarily abstaining from using, buying, or dealing with a person, organization, or country, boycott is basically a kind of political or social protest. But only few people know the word has its origin in Charles Boycott, a British land agent living in the 19th century, who was ostracized by his local community after he refused his tenants´ demands for reduction in rates.

24

Decibel

Bell

The decibel is a logarithmic unit used to express the ratio between two values of a physical quantity, commonly used to measure the intensity of sound. One decibel is one tenth of one bel, named in honor of Alexander Graham Bell, a famous Scottish scientist, inventor, engineer and innovator who is credited with inventing the first practical telephone.

23

Chauvinism

Napoleon

Defined as an exaggerated patriotism and a belligerent belief in national superiority and glory, chauvinism has also its roots in a historical figure. Nicolas Chauvin was a legendary French soldier and patriot alleged to have served in the First Army of the French Republic and subsequently in the army of Napoleon.

22

Casanova

Casanova

Today, if a man is referred to as Casanova, it generally means he is very interested in women. The meaning can differ with the context from an attentive seducer to a mere lecher. This eponym was named after Giacomo Casanova, an 18th century Italian adventurer and nobleman famous for his numerous elaborate affairs with women.

21

Mesmerize

Mesmer

This commonly used word relates to Franz Mesmer, a German physician with an interest in astronomy, alternative healing methods and hypnosis. However, it was not until the half of the 19th century, long after Mesmer´s death, when the word became a synonym for hypnosis.



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