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Eponyms

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churrigueresque
Mata Hari
rachmanism
mausoleum
martinet

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Churrigueresque Zacatecas Cathedral, Mexico
Zacatecas Cathedral, Mexico

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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

Self-improvement author Dale Carnegie once said, "A person's name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language." No wonder we put it to use any chance we get: from naming a business (Wal-Mart) to naming a child (Ron Jr.). For the same reason, we insist that a hospital auditorium or a park bench carry our name in return for our money.

We name inventions, diseases, countries, products, plants, mountains, planets, and more after people's names. We even coin words after them. Such words are called eponyms, from epi- (upon) + -onym (name).

This week's AWAD examines five words named after people.

churrigueresque

PRONUNCIATION:
(choor-ee-guh-RESK)

MEANING:
adjective: Baroque; lavish; over-the-top.
Also, churrigueresco.

ETYMOLOGY:
After José Benito Churriguera (1650-1725), Spanish architect and sculptor, whose family was known for extravagant architectural decorations.

USAGE:
"I had what I considered to be a reasonable plan for finding out what was going on in McAllen, Texas. I would call on the heads of its hospitals, in their swanky, decorator-designed, churrigueresco offices, and I'd ask them."
Atul Gawande; The Cost Conundrum; The New Yorker; Jun 1, 2009.

"With Chihuly, who works with an army of technicians, everything depends on visual excess. He is the most baroque of modern artists -- or more accurately, his art belongs to the tradition of the Churrigueresque."
Richard Dorment; The Mind-blowing Gift of a Master; The Daily Telegraph (London, UK); Feb 20, 2009.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
I have never gone to sleep with a grievance against anyone. And, as far as I could, I have never let anyone go to sleep with a grievance against me. -Abba Agathon, monk (4th/5th century)

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