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A.Word.A.Daywith Anu Garg
Having a word coined after yourself -- that’s quite an achievement -- doesn’t happen all that often. Examples: Socratic irony and Socratic method.
You’re more likely to win a Nobel prize than to have a word, known as an eponym (from Greek ep-: after + -onym: name), coined after you. Let’s just call such people overachievers.
Then there are words coined after places, known as toponyms (from Greek topos: place). Again, it’s rare to have a word coined after a place name, but there are some places -- overachievers of sorts -- that have given us multiple words.
This week, we’ll visit five places and look at words coined after them. In a couple of weeks, we’ll revisit them and look at another word that came from there.
noun: A state of ostracism.
After Coventry, a city in central England. It’s unclear how Coventry developed this sense. One conjecture is that Royalist prisoners were sent there during the English Civil War. Earliest documented use: 1691. Also see stellenbosch.
“When I was about twelve, all the girls at school stopped talking to me ... I arrived at school and gradually realized that I had been sent to Coventry. It made me miserable, so upset.”
Rowan Coleman; The Day We Met; Ballantine; 2015.
See more usage examples of Coventry in Vocabulary.com’s dictionary.
A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:Beware the stories you read or tell; subtly, at night, beneath the waters of consciousness, they are altering your world. -Ben Okri, poet and novelist (b. 15 Mar 1959)