New eponym

Benjamin Zimmer bgzimmer at BABEL.LING.UPENN.EDU
Wed Aug 12 03:21:56 UTC 2009

On Tue, Aug 11, 2009 at 9:20 PM, Laurence Horn<laurence.horn at> wrote:
> At 5:59 PM -0700 8/11/09, Mark Peters wrote:
>>Lindsey Graham coined a vivid expression recently, saying, "My
>>message to my Democratic colleagues is: We made mistakes in Iraq,
>>let's not Rumsfeld Afghanistan. Let's not do this thing on the
>>Political eponyms--like Clintonista, Jeffersonian, Bushism--are
>>pretty common. I can think of plenty of nouns and adjectives, but
>>can anyone think of political eponymic verbs that work like
>>Rumsfeld? I'm doing a column on Rumsfelding this week, and I
>>appreciate any leads. I just hope I don't Rumsfeld the article. Mark
> Would "boycott" count?  It certainly has political applications and
> it's also pretty clearly eponymic.  And of course "pander", although
> that one had a non-political origin.

Well, there's always "Bork". And there have been various ad-hoc
eponymic verbs on the "Bork" model, usually expressed in the passive
-- "Soutered", "Miered", and most recently, "Sotomayored":

--Ben Zimmer

The American Dialect Society -

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