I have a question and a limerick for you. First, the limerick:
William Banting, a Brit dietician,
Made weight loss his lifelong ambition.
This ran counter, it seems,
To his other job's themes.
He was also an able mortician.
William Banting (1797–1878) was one of the first dieters to achieve significant success with the sort of low-carb diet that is so popular today. A booklet he wrote outlining his success (and his previous failures) was still in print as of 2007.
Bantingism refers to the following of a strict low-carb, low-sweets diet. Moreover, Banting's name is one of the very few to enter the English language as a verb. To bant, though not heard much today, referred to following such a diet or, later, to dieting in general.
I recently submitted this to The OEDILF and, yes, I realize that the Line 1/5 rhymes are homophones. My question is not about them since those two words can't be replaced with non-homophonic occupations and still deliever the same message.
No, my question is prompted by some research that went into the writing of the Author's Note to this one. One source claimed that Banting was one of only three people in the entire world whose names have entered the English language as verbs. Granted, to bant, meaning "to diet" is rarely, if ever, heard today, but I considered that claim intriguing, in large part because they didn't mention the other two verbs (which is why I worded that part of the AN as I did).
So. Does anyone have any idea as to the identity of the other two individuals who have been immortalized as English verbs? It was an old source, so there may be more than just three by this time. The best I can come up with is to sandwich, as in "to sandwich someone into your schedule," but I strongly suspect that the Earl of Sandwich is not one of the three individuals the source was referring to.This message has been edited. Last edited by: Chris J. Strolin,
Off the top of my head, boycott comes to mind, and is a heck of a lot more familiar than banting. And that's just off the top of my head.
If we're willing to go to the non-familiar, I'm sure there are a heck of a lot more than three.
Edit a few minutes later: I just now thought of bowdlerize.
Based on a response to this same question in the workshop of the above limerick, to sandwich may be one of the verbs after all based on the usage "to sandwich meat (or whatever) between two slices of bread."
The same person to come up with that also mentioned to bowdlerize, meaning "to sanitize the writing of another to suit one's own tastes" (definition off the top of my head, so it may not be dictionary-perfect), a verb that has got to be one of the very limited number of person-to-verb English words.
We were simul-posting, wordnerd, so you grab the prize for "bowdlerize." And "boycott"? That's definitely a winner as well. Thanks much.
Let's not forget the famous Dr. Ida P. Rolf.
A look through the eponyms page provide to barnumize, to bishop, to bork and to burk. And that's just through the Bs, where we already have four others
I bounced this off my wife, and she came up with Daguerreotype and xerox. Was there a Mr. Xerox? what of martinizing? sodomize? the town had to be named after someone, maybe? To Vulcanize rubber, who's to say that ol' vulcan is not a real person?
OK, i'm reaching on a few (most) of these.
I do belive I heard someone threaten to "rodney king" someone. That counts.
If the tree has too many illy placed branches, then the remedy is to lop them off, right?This message has been edited. Last edited by: jerry thomas,
Xerox comes from xerography, and was invented by Chester Carlson (one of the few modern inventions that was invented by a single individual); I think Martin was a real person; vulcanization was invented by either Charles Goodyear or Thomas Hancock, depending on the color of your passport.
"To hoover" is commonly used to mean "to vacuum clean" in the UK. Although Hoover didn't invent the vacuum cleaner, his firm became the most popular manufacturer of domestic vacuum cleaners for the UK market.
"To fisk" (from the British journalist Robert Fisk) has become common blog slang in the last few years.
And of course "Flay" is synonymous with "throw-down".
OEDILFers came up with a few that aren't on your list. How acceptable they may be, for various reasons, is totally up to you:
to bobbit -- to remove a man's penis
to garn -- to vomit (This one's totally new to me though I'm informed there is a Jake Garn involved somehow.)
to lewinsky -- Much to the dismay of her father, their surname has become a verb. He has made several public appeals that their name not be used in this fashion. Part of me wants to say, "Screw 'im, that's what he gets for raising his daughter to be such a slut," but I suppose that that's just a tad on the callous side.
I thought this verb also had a secondary connotation as a pseudonym for oral sex.
"Happiness is not something ready made. It comes from your own actions.
a secondary connotation as a pseudonym for oral sex
—Ceci n'est pas un seing.
I hadn't heard of it in the UK - but it's an obvious connection in the USA, where the verb "to suck" can mean almost anything, oral sex included.
One characteristic of all vacuum cleaners is that they suck.
Jake Garn was a senator who flew on the Space Shuttle, where he suffered from incapacitating motion sickness.