New eponym

Arnold Zwicky zwicky at STANFORD.EDU
Wed Aug 12 13:16:31 UTC 2009

On Aug 11, 2009, at 8:21 PM, Ben Zimmer wrote:

> 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
>>> cheap."
>>> (
>>> 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":

going back some years, there's Paul Simon's "A Simple Desultory
Philippic (or How I Was Robert McNamara'd into Submission)", with
plenty of passive eponymous verbs (referring to political, military,
and artistic figures).  there are two recorded versions (from 1965 and
1966), with somewhat different names in them.


The American Dialect Society -

More information about the Ads-l mailing list