New eponym

Steve Kl. stevekl at GMAIL.COM
Wed Aug 12 13:50:48 UTC 2009

Whaddya know? I have a document of all the books and papers I read for my
field exam, along with notes.
You want to read Herbert Clark's 1992 book *Arenas of Language Use*, which I
highly recommend for discussion on these topics, particularly the chapter
Making Sense out of Nonce Sense and Understanding Old Words With New

- Steve

On Wed, Aug 12, 2009 at 9:43 AM, Steve Kl. <stevekl at> wrote:

> 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:
>> ---------------------- Information from the mail header
>> -----------------------
>> 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
>> ------------------------------------------------------------
>> The American Dialect Society -
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