Monday, November 19, 2007

Word Origins

An interesting article on the origin of ten common words that are based upon the names of actual people.

For example: Chauvinism

Nicolas Chauvin was an early 19th–century French soldier who was so patriotic and nationalistic, he gave patriotism and nationalism a bad name—or at least a new name. A slave to the cult of Napoleon, Chauvin shed his fair share of blood for the emperor. How did Napoleon show his appreciation? By giving Chauvin a ceremonial saber, a ribbon, and a pittance of a pension. Later, however, French dramatists began basing ├╝ber-patriotic characters on Chauvin, which paved the way for the soldier’s ultimate reward: a dubious spot in the English language.

Check it out and learn something new today.


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