the real McCoy という表現を前回取り上げたが、実在・架空の人名に由来する単語を eponym と呼ぶ。荒川静香選手によって知られるようになったフィギュアスケートの「イナバウアー」も、これを編み出した Ina Bauer というスケーターにちなむので eponym といえるはずである。

real McCoy を扱った実例としては、
- Men like Thomas Edison, Alexander Graham Bell and Elijah McCoy, whose inventions earned him the eponym "real McCoy," became household names.
( http://www.ambrosevideo.com/resources/documents/40.pdf )

というものがあった。また、以前、John Hancock という表現について書いたことがあったが、これも eponym である。その時にあげた実例にこの単語が出てきたので、再度掲げてみよう。

- Named for John Hancock, the first person to sign the United States Declaration of Independence. According to legend, signed his name largely and clearly to be sure King George III could read it, causing his name to become an eponym for "signature".

もうひとつ、やはり以前 Svengali という単語を取り上げたことがあったが、これもそうである。

- "Svengali" almost immediately became an eponym (a word drawn from a proper name) for a manipulative, usually sinister, usually older man.
( http://listserv.linguistlist.org/cgi-bin/wa?A2=ind0001e&L=ads-l&P=6255 )


- a name or noun formed after a person

- a person after whom a discovery, invention, place, etc. is named or thought to be named



- Romulus is the eponym of Rome.

- "Rome" is an eponym coming from "Romulus."

Rome という都市名は Romulus という伝説の人物から来ているが、どちらの単語も、もう片方から見て eponym といえる、ということになる。


- Alzheimer's mentor and promoter, Emil Kraepelin, authorized the eponym "Alzheimer's disease" on the basis only of Alzheimer's 1907 report and a few case reports by another worker.

- German neurologist Alois Alzheimer is the eponym of Alzheimer's disease.

形容詞は eponymous である。

- having the name that is used as the title or name of something else, especially the title of a book, play, or movie

- 1 (of a person) giving their name to something.
2 (of a thing) named after a particular person.


- Romulus, the eponymous founder of Rome

- Robinson Crusoe is the eponymous hero of the book.

- (Ina) Bauer is the inventor of the eponymous skating element.


- Eponymous passwords are not a good idea.


ところで、eponym を英和辞典で引いたら、「名祖」という日本語で説明されていた。知らない言葉だったが、「なおや」と読むそうである。

最後におまけであるが、http://members.aol.com/jeff570/e.html には、こんな愉快な「法則」が紹介されていた。

- "No scientific discovery is named after its original discoverer." (Stigler's law of eponymy)

- "Mathematical formulas and theorems are usually not named after their original discoverers." (Boyer's law)

- "Every scientific discovery is named after the last individual too ungenerous to give due credit to his predecessors."(詠み人知らず)

ここには他に Whitehead's law というのも紹介されていて、これに従えば、

- "Everything of importance has been said before by someone who did not discover it."


正真正銘のreal McCoy