New eponym

Steve Kl. stevekl at GMAIL.COM
Wed Aug 12 13:43:27 UTC 2009

Herbert and Eve Clark have discussed this phenomenon extensively over the
past several decades and it's a theme in many of their books and papers. One
of my books at home has a chapter devoted precisely to this. I'll look it up
tonight and get back to you.
 - Steve

On Wed, Aug 12, 2009 at 9:36 AM, Dave Wilton <dave at> wrote:

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> -----------------------
> Sender:       American Dialect Society <ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU>
> Poster:       Dave Wilton <dave at WILTON.NET>
> Subject:      Re: New eponym
> -------------------------------------------------------------------------------
> The verbal phrase "to pull a [eponym]" is very common. Usually, the eponym
> chosen is fleeting and only of local interest to the speaker and his
> immediate circle, where the named person had done something either stupid or
> embarrassing in the immediate past.
> So if I had crashed my car while fumbling with my iPod, my friends, upon
> seeing another friend driving and attempting to change songs on their MP3
> player, might be advised "not to pull a Wilton." (fictional example, I have
> not crashed my car lately)
> -----Original Message-----
> From: American Dialect Society [mailto:ADS-L at LISTSERV.UGA.EDU] On Behalf
> Of Mark Peters
> Sent: Tuesday, August 11, 2009 6:00 PM
> Subject: New eponym
> 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
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