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Eponyms -- AWAD's perennial favorites -- make their appearance once again. There is a reason for their popularity: where else can you a find a whole story in just one word? This week's selection features words named after people famous and infamous, real and fictional, well-known and obscure. Among the folks we'll meet are a Roman actor, an English preacher, a legendary hero, and a Greek god.

roscian (ROSH-ee-uhn) adjective

Of or related to acting.

[After Quintus Roscius Gallus (c.126-62 BCE), a Roman actor famous for his talent in acting.]

Roscius was born in slavery but his success on stage won him freedom from the dictator Sulla. He was considered the greatest comic actor and Cicero took elocution lessons from him. Cicero later returned the favor by defending him in a lawsuit and the defense speech survives to this day. In his honor, accomplished actors are sometimes called Roscius.

-Anu Garg (garg AT wordsmith.org)

"I put my hands in my pockets. A folded piece of paper in one of them attracting my attention, I opened it and found it to be the playbill I had received from Joe, relative to the celebrated provincial amateur of Roscian renown." Charles Dickens; Great Expectations; 1861.


The thing that makes you exceptional, if you are at all, is inevitably that which must also make you lonely. -Lorraine Hansberry, playwright and painter (1930-1965)

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