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Apr 5, 2021
This week’s theme
Eponyms

This week’s words
Apgar
Pinkerton
Yarborough
Orwellism
Oakley

apgar
Virginia Apgar, 1959
Animated from a still photo
Photo: NY World-Telegram & Sun

Previous week’s theme
Places that have given us multiple toponyms
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A.Word.A.Day
with Anu Garg

MyHeritage, a genealogy company, recently announced a way to turn a still picture into a video clip. They call it Deep Nostalgia. I tried a black-and-white picture of my grandmother and was pleasantly surprised. Fond memories came flooding back.

I started wondering about people from history who have had words coined after them. I picked five people who lived in a time when videos were not very common, yet not so long ago that they didn’t have even black-and-white pictures.

Enjoy this week’s eponyms and look at the people behind them in a new way. A word coined after a person is known as an eponym, from Greek ep- (after) + -onym (name).

Also, MyHeritage’s other technologies can colorize black-and-white pictures and turn grainy pictures into sharp snaps. This week we’ll try all of them one by one. Note that MyHeritage was not involved in the making of this week’s words in A.Word.A.Day.

Apgar or apgar

PRONUNCIATION:
(AP-gar)

MEANING:
noun: A method of assessing a newborn’s health. Also known as Apgar score.

ETYMOLOGY:
After anesthesiologist Virginia Apgar (1909-1974) who devised it. Earliest documented use: 1959.

NOTES:
This is a judging world and we get evaluated right from birth (Apgar) to death (how many people came to the funeral). In 1953, Dr. Virginia Apgar devised a quick way to assess the health of a newborn child. She assigned 0, 1, or 2 points for each of the five criteria: heart rate, respiration, muscle tone, skin color, and reflex response. The score is typically calculated at one minute and five minutes after birth.
Ten years after the debut of the Apgar score, Dr. L. Joseph Butterfield introduced an acronym as a mnemonic aid for the term: Appearance, Pulse, Grimace, Activity, Respiration. See backronym.

USAGE:
“She placed the eye drops in and pronounced his apgar of nine and ten.”
Marsha Brooks; The Architect; Xlibris; 2014.

A THOUGHT FOR TODAY:
You can't hold a man down without staying down with him. -Booker T. Washington, reformer, educator, and author (5 Apr 1856-1915)

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