Posts Tagged ‘eponymy’

Slice of Life Challenge Day 3

Slice of Life Challenge Day 3

A mother of one of my students went to a garage sale last weekend. She selected a book to give to me, Anonyponymous, The Forgotten People Behind Everyday Words by John Bemelmans Marciano. She wrote, “I found this little book and I picked it up for you because I thought you would enjoy it.” When she was paying for the book, she struck up a conversation with the woman holding the garage sale. She told her she was buying the book for her child’s teacher. Come to find out! the seller is my husband’s cousin. Two things strike me about this gift: 1) This mother was thinking of me when she saw a book about words, and 2) What a small world!

Fun Facts from Anonyponymous: Anonyponymous refers to those people whose names, eponymous, have become so much a part of our language that the person of origin has become anonymous.

1) Cereal comes from a reference to the goddess Ceres, goddess of crops.

2) Frisbee comes from drunk Yale students playing catch with a leftover tin plate from Mrs. Frisbie’s Pies of Bridgeport.

3) Hooligan (I sometimes call my students this when they are acting up.) Patrick Hooligan was a bouncer at an Irish pub in the slums of London, but his legacy was the mentoring of young hoodlums in the arts of robbery and assault.

4) Blurb was a buxom cartoon character placed on the cover of books Gelett Burgess handed out at the annual American Booksellers Association Dinner in 1907. Burgess defined blurb as “a sound like a publisher.”

On further examination of the book, I realized it is not going on the shelf in my classroom. I’m afraid some of the words are inappropriate for classroom research.

To see what my students are writing for their Slice of Life Challenge, click here.

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