Mark Mandel thnidu at GMAIL.COM
Thu May 31 21:11:34 UTC 2007

My sister drew my attention to this word on "Battery Change Procedure - Lacy West
Jewellery Tools and Supplies":

Step 2  Clean the outside of the watch with a selvyt, at the same time
checking to see how it should be opened.

OED Online has
[An arbitrary name.]
    A kind of duster or polishing cloth.
1891 Patent Specif. No. 21,399. 1898 Cycling 76 Plating is best cleaned of
rust by hard rubbing with paraffin and polished with chamois leather or

But Google turned up


For well over 100 years Selvyt(r) has been the world's leading brand in
polishing cloths for the jewellery, watchmaking and silversmiths' trade.
Used by all the finest craftsmen it has become the benchmark by which all
other products are judged. Modern day applications also include optical,
leather and gun polishing.

Selvyt(r) cloths are manufactured by Hanes International (UK) Ltd, a leading
supplier of textiles to the Furniture, Bedding and Home Furnishing
A Leggett & Platt company

So it's a registered trademark. Now compare these entries:


orig. U.S.
    The proprietary name of an absorbent disposable cleansing paper tissue.
Also attrib.


Jell-o, Jello
Chiefly N. Amer.
    The proprietary name of a powder used to make a fruit-flavoured gelatin
dessert; loosely (with lower-case initial), jelly*
[*Not US "jelly"]


Kodak, n.
    The proprietary name of a range of cameras produced by Kodak Ltd.


Shouldn't OED label this one "proprietary" too? Or is there a distinction
that I'm missing?

m a m

The American Dialect Society -

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