Wordsmith.org: the magic of words


A.Word.A.Day

About Us | What's New | Search | Site Map | Contact Us  


Home

Today's Word

Yesterday's Word

Archives

FAQ


Oct 26, 2009
This week's theme
Eponyms

This week's words
byronic
orwellian
manichean
machiavellian
draconian

Lord Byron
Lord Byron
Image: Wikimedia

Discuss
Feedback
RSS/XML

Bookmark and Share Facebook Twitter Digg MySpace Bookmark and Share
A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

"Proper names that have become improper and uncommonly common" is how the author Willard R. Espy described eponyms, and that is the theme for this week's words in AWAD: words coined after people's names.

We are going to meet a poet, a novelist, a prophet, a statesman, and a legislator. They wrote poems, novels, holy books, political treatises, and laws.

In our quest for eponyms, we are going to visit England, Persia, Italy, and Greece. All aboard!

Byronic

PRONUNCIATION:
(by-RON-ik)

MEANING:
adjective: Having characteristics of the poet George Gordon, such as being melancholic, passionate, and melodramatic, and having disregard for societal norms.

ETYMOLOGY:
After poet Lord Byron (1788-1824), who displayed such characteristics, as did his poetry, i.e. a flawed character marked by great passion who exhibits disrespect for social institutions and is self-destructive.

NOTES:
A little-known fact: He was the father of Ada Lovelace, today known as the first computer programmer, who wrote programs for Charles Babbage's analytical engine.

USAGE:
"Zenovich casts [movie director Roman] Polanski, whose face repeatedly fills the screen with a Byronic luminosity, as a tragic figure, a child survivor of the Holocaust haunted by the murder of his wife, the actress Sharon Tate, at the hands of the Manson family."
Bill Wyman; Whitewashing Roman Polanski; Salon (New York); Feb 19, 2009.

"Laurie may have his pet theories as to why [Gregory] House-the-character has become a cult -- the damaged, Byronic genius/healer who can say the unsayable and (almost always) get away with it."
Stuart Husband; Hugh Laurie Interview; The Daily Telegraph (London, UK); Jun 3, 2009.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
You talk when you cease to be at peace with your thoughts. -Kahlil Gibran, mystic, poet, and artist (1883-1931)

A.Word.A.Day by email:

Subscribe

"The most welcomed, most enduring piece of daily mass e-mail in cyberspace."

The New York Times

Sponsored by:

Give the Gift of Words

Share the magic of words. Send a gift subscription of A.Word.A.Day.

Anu on Words:
Writer Magazine
Globe & Mail

Interact:

Bulletin board
Wordsmith Talk

Moderated Chat
Wordsmith Chat

Readers' Voice
AWADmail

Subscriber Services
Awards | Stats | Links | Privacy Policy
Contribute | Advertise

© 2014 Wordsmith