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Junior Member
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what exactly is an eponym? looking at the list it seems to be a phrase generalizing the role or action of a specific person.
so shouldn't this list include "to pull a jack ruby", meaning to assassinate a criminal before he can be tried, like ruby did to oswald?
 
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It's a word that comes from a person.

I wouldn't call "to pull a jack ruby" an eponym; more like a metaphor, or, if it's meant literally, an allusion. If "Jack Ruby" came to mean "to assassinate a criminal before he can be tried", as in "Look out, someone will try to Jack Ruby him if the police aren't careful." that might become an eponym.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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Picture of Kalleh
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quote:
I wouldn't call "to pull a jack ruby" an eponym; more like a metaphor, or, if it's meant literally, an allusion.

Interesting question, Peter, that I missed. So, Arnie, do eponyms begin as metaphors and allusions and then get to be used so much that they finally become eponyms? Or is there some distinction from the beginning?
 
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So, Arnie, do eponyms begin as metaphors and allusions and then get to be used so much that they finally become eponyms?

I'd say so, yes.


Build a man a fire and he's warm for a day. Set a man on fire and he's warm for the rest of his life.
 
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