The word maverick and other eponyms

Der Kassenschlager Top Gun: Maverick bricht Rekorde, aber auch in sprachlicher Hinsicht ist der Film interessant, denn maverick ist ein Eponym, also ein Wort, das auf einen berühmten Namen zurückgeht. Im folgenden Auszug aus der aktuellen Ausgabe der Read On finden Sie einige kuriose Geschichten rund um englische Eponyme.


By Siobhan Bruns

               A maverick is a person who thinks and acts in an independent way. The word maverick is an eponym. An eponym is a word that comes from a name, either real or fictional.

2                Samuel A. Maverick (1803–70) was a Texas rancher who did not brand the cattle in his herd. Sometime later, all unbranded and wild cattle came to be called “mavericks”. Eventually, people outside the ‘herd’ – those who didn’t go along with the group – became known as mavericks, too. Here are some other examples of eponyms:

               A boycott is a non-violent protest. The word comes from the Irish land agent Charles Boycott, whose tenants protested against his treatment of them.

4                An atlas is a book of maps. The word comes from Greek myth: the god Atlas was forced to hold the heavens on his shoulders.

5                Jumbo means something that is very large. A very big plane can be called a jumbo jet. Jumbo was the name of a giant African elephant (1860–1885) which lived in the London Zoo before being sold to the legendary circus owner P. T. Barnum.

6                A sandwich is two slices of bread with another food between them, like meat or cheese. The word comes from the 4th Earl of Sandwich in England, John Montagu (1718–1792), who liked to play cards so much that he didn’t want to have to stop so he could eat. The Earl would place his lunch meat between two slices of bread to avoid getting his hands greasy, which allowed him to continue playing cards while he ate.

Noch mehr Eponyme im Englischen finden Sie in der aktuellen Ausgabe der Read On!


0–1            maverick Rebell(in) — to act handeln — independent unabhängig — either … or … entweder … oder … — fictional fiktiv

2–3            rancher Viehzüchter(in) — to brand cattle Vieh mit einem Brandzeichen versehen — eventually schließlich — to come to be called schließlich bezeichnet werden als — to go along with s.o. (fig) mit jdm. mitziehen — non-violent gewaltlos — land agent Gutsverwalter(in) — tenant Pächter(in) — treatment Behandlung

4–5            Greek griechisch — to be forced to do gezwungen sein zu tun — the heavens der Himmel — shoulder Schulter — giant riesig — legendary legendär

6                Earl Graf (brit. Adelstitel) — to place legen — to avoid vermeiden — greasy fettig — to allow s.o. to do jdm. ermöglichen zu tun — to continue doing etw. weiter tun

Foto: Pixabay