Gentle Readers . . . and Maxwell,
Many of us spend our waking hours searching for exactly the right word. Some of you search because you long to improve your writing. I search because of some something or other, probably dementia, that keeps me from thinking of the word I want. It usually comes to me at 3 a.m. The word or the dementia. I can't remember which one.
A good word to help you expand your vocabulary is eponym.
According to Vocabulary For A New World by Linda J. Palumbo and Frank J. Gaik, eponyms are words that "started out as names of real people or groups."
A favorite eponym of mine is bloomers. Palumbo and Gaik explain that
In nineteenth-century America women wore large, long skirts that made it difficult to walk
through the streets. Amelia Bloomer used her influence as a magazine editor to popularize a
pantaloon costume that came to be associated with her name.
The authors define bloomers as "loose, baggy underpants or trousers gathered at the bottom, worn by girls or women."