"Eponymous" redirects here. For the R.E.M. album, see Eponymous (album).
Not to be confused with Namesake.
The mythological Greek hero Orion is the eponym of the constellation Orion, shown here, and thus indirectly of the Orion spacecraft.[1]

An eponym is a person, place, or thing for whom or for which something is named, or believed to be named.[2] For example, Elizabeth I of England is the eponym of the Elizabethan era.

Many genericized trademarks such as aspirin,[3] heroin[4] and thermos[5] are based on their original brand eponyms.

The adjectives derived from eponym, which include eponymous and eponymic,[2][6] similarly refer to being the person or thing after whom something is named, as "the eponymous founder of the Ford Motor Company" refers to Henry Ford.[7][8] Recent usage, especially in the recorded-music industry, also allows eponymous to mean "named after its central character or creator".[7]


Periods have often been named after a ruler or other influential figure:


Specific types of incidents

Other eponyms

Orthographic conventions

Capitalized versus lowercase

For examples, see the comparison table below.

Genitive versus attributive

National varieties of English

Comparison table of eponym orthographic styling

Prevalent dictionary styling today Stylings that defy prevalent dictionary styling Comments
Addison disease[23] *Addison Disease
*addison disease
Allemann syndrome[23] *Allemann Syndrome
*allemann syndrome
cesarean [only][23]
cesarean also cesarian [but no cap variant][12]
cesarean, "often capitalized" or caesarean also cesarian or caesarian[24]
  The full information on this word's orthographic variants is at cesarean section > orthography.
darwinian [only][23]
darwinism [only][23]
Darwinian [only][12][13]
Darwinism [only][12][13]
Darwinist [only][12][13]
diesel (n/adj/vi) [no cap variant][12][13]
and also
diesel engine[12][13]
dieselize, dieselization[12]
*Diesel engine
*Dieselize, Dieselization
draconian often Draconian[12]
eustachian [only][23]
eustachian often Eustachian[12]
eustachian tube [only][23]
eustachian tube often Eustachian tube[12]
eustachian tube or Eustachian tube[13]
*Eustachian Tube  
fallopian [only][23]
fallopian often Fallopian[12]
fallopian tube [only][23]
fallopian tube often Fallopian tube[12]
fallopian tube also Fallopian tube[13]
*Fallopian Tube  
Marxism [only][12][13]
Marxist [only][12][13]
mendelian [only][23] or Mendelian [only][12]
mendelian inheritance [only][23] or Mendelian inheritance [only][12] 
Mendel's laws[12][23]
*Mendelian Inheritance  
Newtonian [only][12][13] *newtonian  
parkinsonism [only][12][23]
parkinsonian [only][12][23]
parkinsonian tremor[23]
Parkinson disease [only][23]
Parkinson's disease [only][12]
*Parkinsonian tremor
*Parkinsonian Tremor
*Parkinson Disease
*Parkinson's Disease
quixotic [only][12][13] *Quixotic  
Roman numerals[13]
roman numerals[12]
  AMA Manual of Style lowercases the terms roman numerals and arabic numerals. MWCD enters the numeral sense under the headword Roman but with the note "not cap" on the numeral sense.[12]

Lists of eponyms

By person's name

By category

See also


  1. "Orion Spacecraft - Nasa Orion Spacecraft". aerospaceguide.net.
  2. 1 2 "eponym". Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com LLC. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  3. 1 2 Bayer Co. v. United Drug Co., 272 F. 505 (S.D.N.Y. 1921), Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University, accessed March 25th, 2011
  4. 1 2 "Online Etymology Dictionary". etymonline.com.
  5. 1 2 King-Seeley Thermos Co. v. Aladdin Indus., Inc., 321 F.2d 577 (2d Cir. 1963); see also this PDF
  6. "eponym". Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  7. 1 2 "eponymous". Dictionary.com. Dictionary.com LLC. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  8. "eponymous". Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary. Merriam-Webster. Retrieved 30 December 2014.
  9. Beolens, Bo; Watkins, Michael; Grayson, Michael (2014). The Eponym Dictionary of Birds. Bloomsbury Publishing. ISBN 1472905741.
  10. 1 2 3 Waddingham, Anne (28 August 2014). New Hart's Rules: The Oxford Style Guide. OUP Oxford. p. 105. ISBN 978-0199570027.
  11. Marthus-Adden Zimboiant. No Grammar Tears 1. pp. 256257. ISBN 9781491800751.
  12. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 17 18 19 20 21 22 23 24 25 26 27 28 29 Merriam-Webster (1993), Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (10th ed.), Springfield, Massachusetts, USA: Merriam-Webster, ISBN 978-0-87779-707-4
  13. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 Houghton Mifflin (2000), The American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language (4th ed.), Boston and New York: Houghton Mifflin, ISBN 978-0-395-82517-4
  14. University of Chicago (1993), The Chicago Manual of Style (14th ed.), Chicago, Illinois, USA: University of Chicago Press, ISBN 0-226-10389-7, section 7.49, pp. 253–254.
  15. Lorraine Villemaire, Doreen Oberg (29 December 2005). Grammar and Writing Skills for the Health Professional (2nd Revised ed.). Delmar Cengage Learning. p. 167. ISBN 978-1401873745.
  16. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Emerging Infectious Diseases Journal Style Guide. Preferred Usage
  17. Lisa Brown, Julie M. Wolf, Rafael Prados-Rosales & Arturo Casadevall (2015). "Through the wall: extracellular vesicles in Gram-positive bacteria, mycobacteria and fungi". Nature Reviews Microbiology. 13: 620–630. doi:10.1038/nrmicro3480. PMID 26324094.
  18. Kristen L. Mueller (12 June 2015). "Detecting Gram-negative bacteria". Science. 348 (6240): 1218. doi:10.1126/science.348.6240.1218-o.
  19. "Gram-positive". Dictionary.com.
  20. "Newtonian". Merriam-Wester.
  21. "New·ton". The American Heritage Dictionary.
  22. Iverson, Cheryl (editor) (2007), AMA Manual of Style (10 ed.), Oxford, England: Oxford University Press, ISBN 978-0-19-517633-9, chapter 16: Eponyms.
  23. 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13 14 15 16 Elsevier (2007), Dorland's Illustrated Medical Dictionary (31st ed.), Philadelphia: Elsevier, ISBN 978-1-4160-2364-7
  24. Merriam-Webster (2003), Merriam-Webster's Collegiate Dictionary (11th ed.), Springfield, Massachusetts, USA: Merriam-Webster, ISBN 978-0-87779-809-5
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