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Eponyms 1 - Language Stories - Language
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Eponyms 1

Printer-friendly version worddoc (1 page) For Elementary students to learn by heart by ear!

Eponyms are proper names that have become nouns or adjectives.

MedusaMedusa

Medusa, a Greek myth, was a beautiful woman. Poseidon, the god of the sea, fell in love with her. They got involved. The goddess Athena was very jealous. She punished Medusa. Athena changed Medusa's hair into serpents and her face into something horrible — if you looked at Medusa you turned to stone. iPoor Medusa!

Medusas are jellyfish. You can find them in the sea, when you go on holidays.

Look at the picture of a marble sculpture by Gian Lorenzo Bernini (1598-1680), "Medusa", kept in the Musei Capitolini in Rome.

 

Hooligan

Patrick Hooligan was born in Ireland. He travel(l)ed to England and he became a criminal. He was active in the 1890s. He and his family met the members of their gang every night. They all met at The Lamb & The Flag, a pub in south London. By the way, pubs are "public houses", places to eat and drink, to socialize and sometimes to sleep!

At the beginning, hooligans were lawless people. Today hooligans are violent football supporters.

The League of Ass Kickers mentions a Mr Patrick Hooligan external link which seems to be this very one!

 

Jacuzzi BrothersJacuzzi

The Jacuzzis were Italian inventors. Candido created a pump for ornamental gardens. In 1968 Roy used this pump for massage in baths because he had a son who was ill, and he wanted to cure the child.

Today jacuzzis are very popular. But they are very expensive, too.

 

Earl of SandwichSandwich

John Montagu, 4th Earl of Sandwich (1718-92), was an English diplomat. He was addicted to gambling. He could play cards for two days non-stop! So he told his servants to bring him food — slices of cold beef and bread. This had never been done before. It was very strange and very funny.

Today a sandwich is a snack.

The Earl of Sandwich, John Montagu

 

Demeter/CeresCereal

Ceres was the Roman goddess of grain and agriculture. So the Romans called cerealis their grains. Then the Anglo Saxons used the Latin word (a borrowing), but adapted it to English — they said "cereal".

"Cereal" is pronounced like "serial". They are homophones. Tell me, why are people obsessed with cereal killers?

 

PanPanic

Pan was the Greek god of woods, shepherds and flocks. He had a human body and human ears. But he had the horns and the legs of a goat. He was very naughty. He scared people in the forest — he appeared suddenly and made weird noises at night.

Today "to panic" is to be terrified, very scared or frightened.

Here you can see Lord Leighton's illustration of Pan, July 1860, from Cornhill Magazine. Read the poem external link Elizabeth Barrett Browning wrote on this god