What’s in a name?

Things named after people that you wouldn’t necessarily think were named after people.

Leotard – French acrobatic performer Jules Léotard (1842–1870), about whom the song “The Daring Young Man on the Flying Trapeze” was written.

Shrapnel – Major-General Henry Shrapnel (1761–1842), an English artillery officer.

Hookers – Slang developed due to United States Army officer Joseph Hooker’s (1814 – 1879) inclination to hang out with “loose” women.

America – Amerigo Vespucci (1454 – 1512) an Italian explorer and cartographer.

Bloomers – Amelia Bloomer, an American social reformer.

Braille – Louis Braille, the French teacher of the blind who invented, well, braille.

Chauvinist – Nicolas Chauvin, a character in a 19th-century play.

Diesel – Rudolf Diesel (1858-1913), the guy who invented it.

Guillotine – Joseph Guillotin, a French physician.

Silhouette – Etienne de Silhouette (1709-67), a French finance minister.

Bermuda – Juan de Bermúdez, a Spanish navigator of the 16th century.

Bluetooth – Harald Bluetooth Gormson, 10th century king of Denmark.

Sideburns – Ambrose Everett Burnside (1824 – 1881), an American soldier, railroad executive, inventor, industrialist, and politician.

Doily – The Doiley family, 17th century London drapers.

Jacuzzi – Candido Jacuzzi (1903 – 1986), Italian immigrant to the United States of America.

Lynching – Charles Lynch (1736 – 1796), a Virginia planter and American Revolutionary.

What will your name be associated with?


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