Most eponyms are the names of men. This week we will present a group of varied eponyms that are the names of women.
bloomers – women's loose trousers gathered about the ankles and worn under a short skirt [after Amelia Jenks Bloomer (1818-1894), U.S temperance and women's rights reformer and editor, who promoted the outfit]
quote:William L. Shirer, The Rise And Fall Of The Third Reich, quoting SS General Juergen Stroop, who put down the Warsaw ghetto rebellion: "The Jews [Stroop wrote] no longer had any intention to resettle voluntarily. Whereas it had been possible to during the first days to catch considerable numbers of Jews, who are cowards by nature, it became more and more difficult. Over and over again new battle groups consisting of 20 to 30 Jewish men, accompanied by a corresponding umber of women, kindled new resistance." The women, Stroop noted, had the habit, he said, of "firing pistols with both hands" and also of unlimbering hand grenades which they concealed in their bloomers."
Typhoid Mary – one who, by circumstances, spreads something undesirable [Contrast the bonus word, though not listed in dictionaries as a word] Johnny Appleseed – one who seeds and spreads something desirable
[Mary Mallon (1869?1870?-1938), a seemingly healthy Irish cook, was a carrier who spread typhoid. John Chapman (1774?-1845) wandered up and down the Ohio River valley in U.S., sowing apple seeds and tending the trees.]
quote:… no matter how many firewalls and antivirus scanners you install, it takes only one Typhoid Mary computer to infect a whole network. - Robert Vamosi, CNET News.com (UK), April 16, 2004
Most of the time he wandered from one American university to another – the Johnny Appleseed or Typhoid Mary of deconstruction, depending on your point of view. – Adam Gopnik, Paris to the Moon
Some people are Typhoid Marys of stress, and just being around them can fatigue you. – Maria Simonson, Ph.D., Sc.D., Director, Health, Weight and Stress Program, Johns Hopkins
The world is going mad at an accelerating rate and television is the Typhoid Mary of this madness. – Edward Robb Ellis, N.Y. Times, Feb. 25, 1981
magdalen(oft. cap.) – 1. a reformed prostitute 2. a house of refuge or reformatory for prostitutes [biblical Mary Magdalene, considered to be the repentant sinner forgiven by Christ, Luke 7]
quote:Her heros ceased to be the world's favorites, and became such as ... Abby Gibbons, who for thirty years has made Christmas merry for two hundred little paupers in a city almshouse, beside saving Magdalens and teaching convicts. - Louisa May Alcott, Rose in Bloom
Dodge is an optimistic writer. He understands that if we're willing to try it, to trust ourselves and trust each other, … then freedom is the most wild crazy fun. We'd really better make sure we've got a firm grasp on what's going to happen if we choose to live permanently stoned with a Polish magdalen in a jerry-built Black Hills rock fort (and refuse to pay taxes). But if we've got a handle on that, then we're ready to go. Why should anyone tell us not to do it? - London News Review, April 4, 2004, reviewing Not Fade Away by Jim Dodge
A reader notes: Bloomers became popular as a result of the bicycle craze of the late nineteenth century. Women took to bicycling as a pre-women's lib liberator - no longer stuck in the house. However, skirts and bikes didn't mix, so some form of modest but bike-friendly clothing was needed - thus Bloomer's invention!
I surrender! This theme is impossible! Almost every day, the woman who give us the day's eponym is so remarkable that I want to research and write a long essay telling you about her.
Alice Roosevelt Longworth (1884-1980), the independent, wild-thing daughter of turn-of-the-century US President Theodore Roosevelt, was a genuine popular sensation who kept that celebrity all her long life. Her motto was, "If you don't have anything nice to say, come sit by me." It's well worth looking at her biography and pictures.
Alice blue – a pale grayish-blue color, supposedly the color of Alice's eyes The color became a fashion craze, described in this hit song from 1919 (and shown in the link).
quote:In my sweet little Alice blue gown, When I first wandered down into town, I was so proud inside, As I felt every eye, And in every shop window I primped, passing by. A new manner of fashion I'd found, And the world seemed to smile all around. 'Til it wilted, I wore it, I'll always adore it, My sweet little Alice blue gown!
In my sweet little nightie of blue On the night when I first slept with you I was both shy and scared As the bed was prepared And you played peek-a-boo through the ribbons I weared Then in silent submission I lay As each duty to me you did pay You said you'd adore it But that night you tore it My sweet little nightie of blue
Shirley Temple (or 'Shirley Temple cocktail') – a nonalcoholic drink, for children who want to have a "cocktail" with the adults. It is grenadine syrup and ginger ale, garnished with a maraschino cherry. It has a sweet taste flavor and a reddish color, for a child's taste. [After Shirley Temple, child star of 1930s movies]
quote:The trip to the [Rose Valley] falls is a little like a Shirley Temple cocktail-colorful and exciting, but with no possible hazard in it. - Ann Marie Brown, California Waterfalls
She cleared some businessmen out of our seats and dispatched a waitress to take our orders. "Boodles martini, very dry, straight up with a twist," I said. "Single malt Scotch. Warm." "I'd like a Shirley Temple, please." Shikra smiled so sweetly that the waitress frowned, then raised one cheek from her stool and scratched. If the woman hadn't fled it might have gotten ugly." - Michael Swanwick, The Dragon Line
catherine wheel – a firework that forms a rotating wheel of colored flames (a/k/a 'pinwheel') [After Saint Catherine of Alexandria, died A.D. 307, who was condemned to be tortured on a wheel.]
quote:[T]he bells and whistles were out the window and two football teams were going to simple down and play bone and muscle football. ... Berrigan got hit so hard by Justin Hodges that his chest remained where it was while his legs kept running in front of him, and his body seemed to spin as if he was on a catherine wheel. – Paul Kent, Blood and guts like the old days, The Daily Telegraph (Australia), April 10, 2004
The week marked the 25th anniversary of Margaret Thatcher's election as Prime Minister of Great Britain. Some dictionaries list her name as a eponym.
Thatcherism - the political policy of Margaret Thatcher
But what "political policy" is that? Perhaps our Brits, to explain that to us, will find this an apt time to reflect back upon her influence.
quote:I've never understood what Thatcherism was. To me, I was a member of a Conservative government pursuing Conservative policies under a Conservative philosophy. – Michael Heseltine, a former Conservative cabinet minister who served under Thatcher