Association of British Scrabble Players

Culture > Names > Eponyms

This is a collection of valid Scrabble words derived from the proper names of persons, whether real or mythical. It does not include words like DAISY or COOPER, where the proper name is derived from the common word rather than vice versa; nor does it include mere coincidences like ANEURIN where the common word derives from the Greek and has nothing to do with the Welsh name Aneurin.

Now updated for CSW19. New words, if any, and new inflections of existing words, are shown in red.

ABELIA any of several hardy evergreen shrubs of the honeysuckle family Clarke Abel, 1780-1826, British botanist
ABELIAN a term in group theory designating a type of commutative group. Niels Henrik Abel, a mathematician
ABERNETHY a hard biscuit, orig. with caraway seeds possibly after Dr John Abernethy (1764—1831) who was interested in diet
ABIGAIL a lady's maid Abigail, a character in Beaumont & Fletcher's "The Scornful Lady" (mid-1600s)
ACHILLEA a plant of the yarrow genus Achilles, the Greek hero
ADAMSITE a lung-irritating gas Roger Adams, 1889-1971, American chemist
ADONISE ADONIZE to adorn oneself Adonis, a strikingly beautiful youth loved by Aphrodite in Gk myth
AEGIRINE AEGIRITE a green pleochroic pyroxene Aegir, the Norse sea-god
AEOLIAN relating to erosion or transportation by wind; giving forth or marked by a moaning or sighing sound or musical tone produced by or as if by the wind Aeolus, Greek god of the winds
AKELA the adult leader of a group, or pack, of Cub Scouts Akela, a character in Kipling's The Jungle Book
ALBERT a short kind of watch-chain Prince Albert, Queen Victoria's consort
ALBIZIA ALBIZZIA a tropical tree Filippo de Albizzi
ALDRIN a kind of insecticide Kurt Alder, 1902-1958, American chemist
ALECK a smartass perhaps in allusion to Aleck Hoag, a notorious thief and confidence man in New York City in early 1840s
ALEXANDRINE a French verse form perhaps from a poem on Alexander the Great by Alexandre Paris
ALEXANDRITE a gem variety of chrysoberyl Alexander I of Russia, 1777-1825
ALFREDO cooked with a cheese and egg sauce Alfredo de Leilo
ALGORISM use of the Arabic number system (rather than, say, Roman numerals) Al-Khwarizm, 9th cent. mathematician
ALGORITHM a step-by-step procedure for solving a particular problem or set of problems Al-Khwarizm, 9th cent. mathematician
ALLANITE a cerium-bearing aluminium iron silicate T. Allan (1777—1833), a Scottish mineralogist
ALSTROEMERIA a plant of the amaryllis family C Alströmer, an 18c Swedish botanist
AMARYLLIS the belladonna lily Amaryllis, a girl's name in the Gr and L poets and others
AMAZON a tall, aggressive, strong-willed woman Amazons, a tribe of warrior women in classical legend
AMETHYST a gem, formerly believed to prevent intoxication from the nymph Amethyst, when pursued by the god of wine, was changed into this gem to protect her
AMP AMPERE a unit of electric current Andre Marie Ampere, 1775-1836, French physicist
ANDRADITE a yellowish, green or brownish-black garnet, a silicate of calcium and iron, used as a gemstone JB d'Andrada e Silva (1763—1838), Brazilian mineralogist
ANDROMEDA a shrub of the heath family Andromeda, in Greek mythology, a maiden delivered by Perseus from a sea-monster
ANGSTROM a unit of wavelength Anders Jonas Angstrom, 1814-1874, Swedish scientist
ANKERITE a mineral, a rhombohedral carbonate of calcium, iron, magnesium and manganese Professor MJ Anker (1772—1843), Austrian mineralogist
ANTONINIANUS a Roman coin equal to two denarii in value Antoninus, official name of the 3c emperor Caracalla
APGAR as in APGAR score, a system for determining the condition of an infant at birth Virginia Apgar
APOLLONIAN In the philosophy of Nietzsche, denoting or relating to the set of static qualities that encompass form, reason, harmony Apollo, Greek god of the sun
APHRODISIAC an agent (as a food or drug) that arouses or is held to arouse sexual desire Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love and beauty
APHRODITE a kind of butterfly Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love and beauty
APOLLO a kind of butterfly Apollo, a Greek sun-god
ARETHUSA a kind of orchid Arethusa, in Greek myth a girl turned into a fountain by Artemis
ARFVEDSONITE a sodium-rich amphibole JA Arfvedson (1792—1841), Swedish mineralogist
ARGAND a gas or oil lamp A. Argand (1755-1803), French physicist
ARGONAUT a sort of cuttlefish the Argonauts who sailed in the ship Argo in search of the golden fleece
ARGYLE ARGYLL a silver gravy dish John, 4th Duke of Argyll
ARISTOTLE rhyming slang for a bottle Aristotle, Greek philosopher
ATHENAEUM ATHENEUM a place with print materials to read; or, an institution to promote learning (e.g. a literary or science club, or a library) ultimately from Gk meaning the "temple of Athena"
ATLAS a book of maps Atlas, the Greek giant believed to hold up the world, whose figure used to appear on title pages of atlases
AUBRIETA AUBRIETIA AUBRETIA a plant of the purple-flowered Mediterranean genus Aubrieta of trailing cruciferous plants, much grown in rock-gardens, etc Claude Aubriet (c.1665—1742), naturalist-painter
AURORA a luminous atmospheric phenomenon Aurora, Roman goddess of dawn
AUSTENITE a solid solution of carbon or other substance in one of the forms of iron WC Roberts-Austen (1843-1902), English metallurgist
AXEL a kind of jump in figure skating Axel Paulsen, Norwegian figure skater (1856—1938)
BABBITRY narrow-minded middle-class complacence from George Babbitt, hero of novel (1922) by American writer Sinclair Lewis
BABBITT to fit with Babbitt's metal, a soft anti-friction alloy (tin, with copper, antimony, and usu lead). Isaac Babbitt, an American inventor, died 1862
BABESIA a parasite causing cattle fever Victor Babès (died 1926), Romanian bacteriologist
BABESIASIS BABESIOSIS a disease of cattle Victor Babès (died 1926), Romanian bacteriologist
BABINGTONITE a pyroxene, ferrous silicate with admixtures, sometimes worked as an iron ore William Babington (1756—1833), mineralogist
BACCHANAL a drunken feast; an orgy Bacchus, Roman god of wine
BACITRACIN an antibiotic obtained from a certain bacterium and used against Gram-positive bacteria, esp in skin infections LL bacillus, and Margaret Tracy, an American child in whom the substance was found
BADDELEYITE a mineral Joseph Baddeley, who brought specimens to Europe in 19c
BAINITE a constituent of a certain stage in the heat treatment of steel EC Bain (1891-m1971), US metallurgist
BAKELITE tradename of an early, successful plastic Leo Hendrik Baekeland (1863-1944), Amer, its inventor
BALTHAZAR a large bottle = sixteen bottles of champagne biblical Balthazar, one of the three wise men (magi)
BANKSIA an evergreen, flowering shrub, native to Australia Sir Joseph Banks, English naturalist
BANDONEON BANDONION BANDOLEON a kind of button accordion popular in S America, esp for playing tango music S American Spanish, from H Band, its German inventor
BANT to diet, esp. a high-protein, low-carbohydrate diet William Banting (1797-1878), author of a 'Letter on Corpulence' (1869)
BAROQUE a bold, vigorous, exuberant artistic style possibly from Federigo Barocci (~1530-1612), Italian artist
BARTSIA a kind of flower Johann Bartsch (1709—38), Prussian botanist
BATISTE a fine fabric of linen, cotton or wool Fr. cambric, from Baptiste, the reputed original maker or from its use in wiping the heads of children after baptism
BAUD a unit of data transmission speed Maurice Emile Baudot, Fr engineer (1845—1903)
BAUHINIA a genus of tropical trees J and G Bauhin, 17c Swiss botanists
BEAUMONTAGUE BEAUMONTAGE a composition for hiding cracks and holes in wood or iron, varying in make-up Perh from Elie de Beaumont (1798—1874), French geologist
BECHAMEL a white sauce flavoured with onion and herbs and sometimes enriched with cream Louis de Béchamel (1603-1703), steward of Louis XIV of Fr
BECQUEREL a unit of radioactivity Antoine Henri Becquerel, Fr physicist (1852—1908)
BEDSONIA a kind of virus Sir Samuel Phillips Bedson
BEGONIA a kind of flower Michel Bégon, Fr governor of Haiti (1638—1710)
BEL, DECIBEL a unit of difference in sound power Alexander Graham Bell, Sc-Am inventor (1847—1922)
BELCHER a small blue scarf with white dots Jem Belcher (1781—1822), champion Brit. boxer, who regularly wore such a scarf, knotted suavely about the neck
BELLARMINE a greybeard, or large jug with a big belly, decorated with a bearded face. said to represent Cardinal Bellarmine
BELLINI a cocktail made from prosecco and peach puree. named for Giovanni Bellini, Italian painter, because the drink's pink colour resembles one used in one of his paintings
BENEDICT BENEDICK a former newly married man who was previously a confirmed bachelor Benedick, character in Shakespeare's Much Ado About Nothing
BENJAMIN a kind of overcoat Joseph Benjamin, a tailor
BERGENIA a genus of flowers KA von Bergen (1704—60), German botanist and physician
BERTHA BERTHE a woman's deep lace collar to hide a low neckline Berthe, 8th century Frankish queen, mother of Charlemagne
BERTILLONAGE a system of criminal identification by detailed measurement. Alphonse Bertillon (1853-1914), a Paris police officer.
BIGNONIA a large genus of American, mostly tropical, climbing shrubs the Abbé Bignon (1662—1743), Louis XIV's librarian
BILHARZIA a genus of parasitic worms with adhesive suckers, infesting human and other blood Theodor Bilharz (1825—62), German parasitologist
BILLY a cylindrical container with a wire handle and lid for boiling water, cooking, etc out of doors probably from the name Bill
BIOTITE a black or dark ferromagnesian mica JB Biot (1774—1862), French physicist and astronomer
BIRO a ball-point pen L´szló Biró, Hungarian, its inventor
BISHOP to file down a horse's teeth to hide its age from one Bishop who first practised it
BLOOMERS an outfit for women, consisting of a jacket with close sleeves, a skirt falling a little below the knee, and long (or short), loose, baggy trousers gathered at the ankle (or below the knee) Amelia Jenkins Bloomer, 1818-94, American feminist, who advocated this costume
BLUCHER a type of high shoe or half boot Gebhard Leberecht von Blücher, (1742—1819) Prussian field marshal, defeated Napoléon at Laon, aided in victory at Waterloo
BLUEBEARD a man who repeately marries and kills wives Bluebeard, a fairy-tale character
BOBBITT to cut off the penis of (one's husband or lover) Lorena Bobbitt, an American woman who was annoyed with her husband and did this
BOBBY a policeman Sir Robert (Bob) Peel, who organized the London police force
BOEHMITE a mineral present in BAUXITE Johann Böhm, Ger. chemist
BOGART to hog a thing; take more than one's share Humphrey Bogart (1899-1957), Amer film actor
BOHRIUM an artificially produced radioactive transuranic element Niels Bohr (1885—1962), Danish physicist
BOLIVAR the unit of currency of Venezuela Simón Bolívar, So. Amer liberator died 1830
BOLTONIA a N. American plant James Bolton, 18th century English botanist
BONIFACE the proprietor of a hotel, nightclub, or restaurant Boniface, innkeeper in The Beaux' Stratagem (1707) by George Farquhar (1678—1707)
BORACHIO a drunkard perhaps taken from Spanish; perh. taken from Borachio, a character Shakespeare's Much Ado about Nothing
BOREAL of the north wind, or the north Boreus, Gk god of the north wind
BORK to systematically attack a public figure, esp. in the media Judge Robert H. Bork, whose confirmation to the U.S. Supreme Court was blocked by his opponents' media campaign (1987)
BORNITE a copper ore, sulphide of copper and iron I von Born (1742—91), Austrian mineralogist
BORONIA an Australian scented shrub of the genus Boronia F Borone (1769—94), Italian botanist
BOSIE in criket, a googly Bernard Bosanquet, its inventor
BOSON a class of subatomic particles SN Bose (1894—1974), Indian physicist
BOUGAINVILLEA BOUGAINVILIA BOUGAINVILLAEA a certain flowering plant, common in gardening Louis Antoine de Bougainville, Fr explorer (1729—1811), and who discovered the this plant
BOULE BOULLE BUHL BUHLWORK a form of marquetry with e.g. gold and silver inlaid in tortoiseshell Andre Charles Boule, 1642-1732, French cabinet maker
BOWDLERIZE to expurgate (a book, for example) prudishly Thomas Bowdler, English physician (1754—1825), published a "family Shakespeare", expurgating wording he deemed unsuitable (1818)
BOWIE a heavy hunting, fighting and throwing knife Jim Bowie, American frontiersman
BOWLER a stiff felt hat with a round crown and narrow brim Bowler, the name of a hatter who made it in 1850
BOWSER a light tanker used for refuelling aircraft on an airfield Sylvanus Bowser, of Fort Wayne, Indiana, who owned the company that manufactured these originally
BOYCOTT to engage in concerted refusal to deal with Captain Charles Cunningham Boycott (1832—1897), Irish landlord ostracized for refusing to reduce rents
BOYSENBERRY a hybrid of certain raspberries and blackberries Rudolph Boysen (1895—1950), US horticulturalist
BRAGGADOCCIO empty, vain bragging Braggadocchio, character in The Faerie Queene by Edmund Spenser (1552—1599)
BRAILLE a kind of raised type in relief for the blind Louis Braille, 1809-1852, French teacher of the blind
BRAUNITE an ore of manganese AE Braun, German treasury official
BROCARD an elementary legal principle or maxim Burchart, 11th-cent. bishop of Worms and compiler of volumes of ecclesiastical rules
BROMELIA any plant of the genus Bromelia, giving name to the pineapple family Swedish botanist Olaf Bromel (1639—1705
BROOKITE a mineral, titanium oxide Henry James Brooke (1771—1857), English mineralogist
BROUGHAM a car, or a closed carriage, with an open driver's seat Henry Peter Brougham, Baron Brougham and Vaux, Scot jurist (1778—1868)
BROWALLIA a flowering plant Johann Browall, Swedish botanist
BRUCELLOSIS a disease of animals, communicable to man as undulant fever Sir David Bruce (1855—1931), Australian-born bacteriologist
BRUCINE an alkaloid obtained from nux vomica James Bruce (1730—94), Scottish traveller
BRUCITE magnesium hydroxide A Bruce, American mineralogist
BRUIN a bear Bruin, the name of the bear in medieval stories of Reynard the Fox.
BUCKYBALL a ball-shaped molecule containing 60 carbon atoms. Buckminster Fuller, American architect
BUDDLEIA a plant of the genus Buddleia, shrubs and trees with opposite leaves and showy clusters of purple or orange flowers Adam Buddle (died 1715), English botanist
BUMBLEDOM pompous self-importance and officiousness in a minor official Mr. Bumble, an officious beadle in Dickens' Oliver Twist
BUNSEN a device used in chemistry, for heating Professor Robert Wilhelm Bunsen (1811—1899), who perfected the device
BURKE to suffocate; figuratively, to suppress quietly or indirectly William Burke, died 1829, who smothered victims to sell the bodies to medical students for dissection
BURNETTISE BURNETTIZE to subject (wood, fabrics, etc.) to a process of saturation in a solution of chloride of zinc, to prevent decay Sir William Burnett who invented the process
BURNSIDES side whiskers General Ambrose Burnside, 1824-1881, US Civil War general
BURPEE a gymnastic exercise combining a squat thrust and a star jump RH Burpee, its US inventor
BURSERA a tropical American genus of trees yielding elemi and timber Joachim Burser (1593—1649), German botanist
BUSBY a tall ceremonial hat of some Brit soldiers Richard Busby (1606-1695), headmaster of Westminster school
CAESAREAN an operation to deliver a baby Gaius Julius Caesar,(100-44 BC), Roman dictator delivered by this means
CALLIOPE a keyboard instrument similar to an organ Calliope, the Muse that presides over eloquence and heroic poetry; mother of Orpheus, and chief of the nine Muses
CAMELIA CAMELLIA a flowering shrub Georg Josef Kamel, Moravian Jesuit missionary (1661—1706)
CANFIELD a card game, a kind of patience RA Canfield (1855-1914), US gambler
CAPPUCINO a kind of coffee the Cappuchin monks, who wear a habit of the same color
CARDIGAN a type of sweater or jacket J.T. Brudnell, 7th Earl of Cardigan, 1797-1818
CARNALLITE a hydrous chloride of potassium and magnesium Rudolf Von Carnall (1804—74), mineralogist
CARNOTITE a hydrous chloride of potassium and magnesium Rudolf Von Carnall (1804—74), mineralogist
CAROLUS a gold coin of the time of Charles I; any gold coin of the reigns of various kings named Charles Carolus, Latin for Charles
CARPACCIO an hors-d'oeuvre made of thin strips of raw meat or fish, often eaten with a relish Vittore Carpaccio (c.1455-1522), Venetian painter, noted for his vivid red colours
CARYATID a female figure used to support columns Karyatis, a priestess of Artemis
CATTLEYA any American orchid of the genus Cattleya, grown for their large pink or white flowers William Cattley, English botanist
CAVENDISH tobacco moistened and pressed into rectangular cakes possibly from the name of the orig manufacturer
CECROPIA a tree of the mulberry family the mythical Attic King Cecrops represented as half-dragon, half-human
CELADON a pale-green colour; a Chinese pottery glaze of the colour; the pottery so glazed. Fr, perh after a character Celadon in D'Urfé's Astrée
CENTIMORGAN one hundredth of a MORGAN, a unit of distance between genes on a chromosome Thomas Hunt Morgan, 1866-1945, US biologist
CEREAL a food made from grain Ceres, Roman goddess of agriculture
CERBEREAN CERBERIAN like a grim watchman Cerberus, in Greek myth the three-headed dog that guards the gates of the Underworld
CHANTICLEER a rooster Chanticleer, the name of the rooster in medieval 'Reynard the Fox' stories. The name means 'sing loud' in Fr.
CHAPTALISE CHAPTALIZE to add extra sugar to wine during its fermentation to increase its alcohol content, usu a prohibited or closely controlled practice JA Chaptal (1756—1832), French chemist
CHARLOTTE a kind of deep tart containing fruit and covered with sponge or bread from the female personal name Charlotte
CHASSEPOT a breech-loading rifle used by the French army between 1866 and 1874 AA Chassepot, who invented it
CHATEAUBRIAND a large tenderloin steak usually grilled or broiled and served with a sauce Francois Rene, Vicomte de Chateaubriand (1768-1848), French author and statesman
CHAUVINISM fanatical glorification of one's country Nicolas Chauvin, fanatically devoted soldier under Napoleon; became an eponym when his name was used as a character in the Cogniard brothers' play La Cocarde Tricolore (1831)
CHESTERFIELD a type of sofa, large with upholstered arms Philip Dormer Stanhope, 4th Earl of Chesterfield (1694-1773)
CHURRIGUERESQUE a baroque architectural style characterized by elaborate surface decoration José Benito Churriguera, Sp architect (1665—1725)
CICERO a typeface Cicero, a Roman orator
CICERONE a guide who conducts sightseers Cicero, a Roman orator
CIMMERIAN very dark or gloomy Gk Kimmerioi, a mythical people reputed to lvie in darkness
CINCHONA the tree bark that yields quinine Countess of Chinchón, wife of viceroy of Peru. Legend: when this bark cured her 1638 fever, she had more collected for malaria sufferers
CLARENCE a four-wheeled carriage the Duke of Clarence (William IV)
CLARKIA any plant of the N American genus Clarkia, a favourite border plant named in honour of William Clark (1770—1838), US explorer of the Pacific North-west
CLAYTONIA a N American plant of the genus Claytonia, related to Lewisia, having succulent leaves and small cup-shaped flowers J Clayton (1693—1773), US botanist
CLEOPATRA a yellow butterfly Cleopatra, a queen of Egypt
CLERIHEW a witty verse, of two rhyming couplets, on a person named in one of the rhymes Edmund Clerihew Bentley, Br writer (1875—1956)
CLEVEITE a pitchblende in octahedral crystals containing helium, a variety of uraninite PT Cleve (1840—1905), Swedish chemist
CLINTONIA any liliaceous plant of the genus Clintonia De Witt Clinton, 1769-1828, US politician and naturalist
CLIOMETRICS the study of history using mathematical and economic models and analysis Clio, Gk muse of history
CLIVIA any of the leek-like S African plants of the genus Clivia Lady Charlotte Clive (1787—1866)]
CLUSIA any plant of the American genus Clusia, evergreen climbing plants, shrubs and trees, including the pitch apple Charles de Lécluse (L Clusius), French botanist
COEHORN, COHORN a small mortar for throwing grenades Baron van Coehoorn (1641—1704)]
COESITE a mineral Loring Coes Jr (1915-1973), American chemist
COFFINITE a uranium-yielding ore [RC Coffin, a worker of the ore in Colorado]
COLEMANITE a mineral William T. Coleman, mine owner
COLLINS a type of cocktail, as in vodka collins possibly after a well-known barman, Tom Collins
COLONE a monetary unit of Costa Rica from Cristobal Colon (Columbus)
COMSTOCKERY censorship on basis of immorality or obscenity (coined by George Bernard Shaw) Anthony Comstock (1844-1915), self-appointed Am crusader against immorality
COMUS a revel Comus, son of Bacchus and Circe, a god of mirth and revelry
CORDIERITE the mineral iolite or dichroite. PLA Cordier (1777—1861), French mineralogist
CORDOBA the standard monetary unit of Nicaragua Francisco Fernandez de Córdoba (died about 1518)
CORREA an Australian evergreen shrub with large showy tubular flowers Jose Francesco Correa da Serra, (1750—1823),Portuguese botanist
COULOMB a unit of electric charge Charles Augustine de Coulomb, 1736-1806, French physicist/inventor
COVELLITE a blue mineral, cupric sulphide N Covelli (1790—1829), Italian mineralogist
CRISPIN a poetic name for a shoemaker Crispin of Soissons, the patron saint of shoemakers, martyred 25 October 287.
CUDBEAR a purple or reddish dyestuff obtained from various lichens Dr Cuthbert Gordon, 18c Scottish chemist
CURIE, CURIUM a unit of radioactive activity Marie Curie, Pol-born Fr chemist (1867—1934)
DAEDAL cunningly made; skillful; artul; ingenious Daedalus ("the cunning one"), Athenian inventor in Gk myth
DAGUERREOTYPE an early type of photograph L. J. M. Daguerre, Fr. painter died 1851
DAHLIA a kind of flower Anders Dahl, Swedish botanist (1751—1787)
DALMAHOY a bushy bobwig worn in the 18c. said to be named from a wearer
DALTON a unit of atomic mass John Dalton, Br chemist (1766—1844)
DANTHONIA a tufted grass native to Australia and New Zealand E Danthoine, 19c French botanist
DARBIES handcuffs apparently from the personal name Darby
DARIC an old gold or silver Persian coin Darius I of Persia
DAUPHIN (in France, from 1349—1830) the eldest son of the king from Delphinus, family name of the lords of the Viennois
DAVENPORT a kind of sofa originally designed for Captain Davenport, a ship's captain, by the firm of Gillow & Barton
DAVY the safety lamp used in coalmines Sir Humphry Davy (1778—1829).
DAWSONITE a kind of mineral Sir John W. Dawson (1874).
DEBYE a unit of electric dipole moment PJW Debye (1884—1966), Dutch physicist
DERBY a kind of hat Edward Stanley, 12th Earl of Derby (1752—1834), founder of the English Derby (name transferred from person to race, and then from race to hat worn there)
DERRICK a lifting device Thomas Derrick, (c. 1600), a well-known Tyburn hangman
DERRINGER a short-barreled pocket pistol Henry Deringer, 19th century American gunsmith
DEUTZIA a genus of saxifragaceous plants with panicles of white flowers, introduced from China and Japan Johann van der Deutz, 18c Dutch patron of botany
DEWAR a type of vacuum flask Sir James Dewar (1842—1923), its inventor
DEWITT to lynch from the fate of Jan and Cornelius De Witt in Holland in 1672
DEXTER a breed of cattle possibly from the name of a breeder
DIDDLE to cheat, swindle in a small way Jeremy Diddler, character in the successful 1803 farce Raising the Wind by James Kenney
DIEFFENBACHIA any plant of the tropical American araceous genus Dieffenbachia, including the dumbcane E Dieffenbach (died 1855), German botanist
DIESEL a diesel engine; a locomotive, train, etc driven by a diesel engine; diesel oil Rudolph Diesel, 1858-1913, German automotive designer
DIONYSIAC DIONYSIAN sensuous, frenzied, or orgiastic Dionysus, Greek god of wine and revelry
DOBBIN a workhorse an altered dimin of Robert, traditionally used as a name for a horse
DOBRO an acoustic steel guitar with metallic resonator from the Dobson brothers, American guitar makers, 1920s
DOILY a lace mat for a cake-plate from a Mr Doiley (or possibly Doyley/Doyly), successful London draper or milliner around 1700
DOLOMITE a mineral, double carbonate of calcium and magnesium; a rock composed of that mineral, magnesian limestone D Guy de Dolomieu (1750—1801), French geologist
DOMETT a plain cloth with cotton warp and woollen weft perhaps a proper name
DOOLAN (NZ) a Roman Catholic probably from the Irish family name
DOPPLERITE a black elastic substance (calcium salts of humus acids) found in peat beds Christian Doppler, (1803—53), Austrian physicist
DRACONIAN exceedingly harsh; very severe Draco, Gk politician who codified the laws of Athens (~621 BC). His code was unpopular for its severity.
DRAISENE DRAISINE an early kind of bicycle Baron von Drais, of Sauerbrun, its inventor
DRYASDUST a dull, pedantic speaker or writer Dr. Jonas Dryasdust, a fictitious character to whom Sir Walter Scott dedicated some of his novels
DULCINEA a sweetheart from Dulcinea del Toboso, the name given by Don Quixote to the mistress of his imagination
DUMORTIERITE a blue, greenish-blue, pink or violet semi-precious gemstone, aluminium borosilicate French palaeontologist Eugène Dumortier (1802—76), who discovered it
DUNCE a slow learner, a stupid person John Duns Scotus, c.1265-1308, a Scottish theologian
DUNDREARIES long flowing sideburns Lord Dundreary, character in the play Our American Cousin (1858) by Tom Taylor
DUNNITE a kind of explosive based on ammonium picrate from its inventor, the US army officer, Col BW Dunn (1860—1936)
DUXELLES a mince of mushrooms, chopped shallots and herbs simmered in butter The Marquis d'Uxelles, 17c French nobleman
ECHEVERIA a plant of the genus Echeveria of succulent plants of the Crassulaceae family Echeveri, 19c Mexican botanical artist
EGLOMISE made of glass with a picture painted on the back; (noun) the technique of gilding the back of a sheet of glass Jean-BaptisteGlomy, 18c French decorator and art-dealer
EINSTEINIUM a chemical element Albert Einstein, physicist
EONISM adoption by a male of female dress and manner Chevalier d'Éon, French diplomat (died 1810) who chose female dress as a disguise
EPICUREAN one who is devoted to luxury Epicurus, Gk philosopher (341—270 BC)
ERISTIC disputatious Eris, Gk god of strife and discord
ERLANG a unit of traffic intensity on a telephone system AK Erlang, 1878-1929, Danish mathematician
EROTIC relating to sexual love Eros, Gk god of sexual love
ESCALLONIA a plant of the S American genus Escallonia of shrubs of the saxifrage family Escallon, an 18c Spanish traveller
ESCHSCHOLTZIA ESCHCHOLZIA a plant of the genus Eschschol(t)zia of the poppy family Papaveraceae, including the Californian poppy, a showy garden annual JF von Eschscholtz, a member of the expedition that discovered the poppy in 1821
EUGENIA any plant of the clove genus Eugenia of the myrtle family after Prince Eugene of Savoy (1663—1736)]
EUPHORBIA a plant of the spurge genus Euphorbia Euphorbos, Greek physician to Juba, king of Mauretania
EUPHUISM affected elegance of language Euphues, a character in Euphues, the Anatomy of Wit and Euphues and his England by John Lyly
FAGIN one who instructs others in crime Fagin, character in Charles Dickens' Oliver Twist (1839)
FANG (Australian slang) to drive recklessly Juan Manuel Fangio, 191195, Argentine racing car driver
FARAD a unit of electrical capacitance Michael Faraday, Br physicist and chemist (1791—1867)
FARADAY a unit used in electrolysis Michael Faraday, Br physicist and chemist (1791—1867)
FARNESOL an alcohol found in various essential oils and used in perfumes from Acacia farnesiana, after Odoardo Farnese, 16c Italian cardinal
FAUSTIAN insatiably striving for worldly knowledge and power at the price of spiritual values Johann Faust (1480?—1540?), Ger magician and alchemist
FAVONIAN mild; benign Favonius, the west wind personified in myth
FEDORA a brimmed felt hat dented lengthways Fédora Romanoff, title role in Victorien Sardou's tragedy Fédora (1882), in which Sarah Bernhardt made a triumphant comeback
FEIJOA any of various evergreen shrubs or trees of the genus Feijoa; the aromatic quince-like fruit they bear J da Silva Feijo, 19c Brazilian naturalist
FERMI a unit of wavelength Enrico Fermi (1901—54), Italian physicist
FERMION a kind of subatomic particle Enrico Fermi (1901—54), Italian physicist
FERMIUM an artificially produced radioactive transuranic metallic element Enrico Fermi (1901—54), Italian physicist
FILBERT a hazelnut from St. Philibert, whose feast day falls at the peak of the nutting season
FLACK to work as a publicity agent possibly after Gene Flack, a publicity agent for movies
FLEROVIUM an artificially produced element from the Soviet physiciat G.N.Flerov (1913—1990)
FLINDERSIA any tree of the Australian genus Flindersia, valuable trees of the Rutaceae family from the explorer Matthew Flinders (1774—1814)
FLINKITE a kind of mineral from the Swedish mineralogist Gustav Flink (1849-1931)
FOLEY in filmmaking, the adding of sound effects; the person who does this job Jack Foley, pioneering sound effects editor at Universal Studios in the 1930s (1891—1967)
FORSTERITE a variety of olivine JR Forster (1729—98), German naturalist
FORSYTHIA any shrub of the genus Forsythia, a popular garden plant producing clusters of yellow jasmine-like flowers in the spring William Forsyth (1737—1804), Scottish botanist
FOTHERGILLA any plant of the Fothergilla genus of N American deciduous shrubs of the witch-hazel family Dr John Fothergill, 18c British physician and botanist
FRANGIPANI pastry cream filling, almond-flavored; also, perfume of the frangipani shrub Muzio Frangipani, 16th c. Ital marquis
FRANSERIA any of a genus of W. American plants of the composite family A Franseri, 18th century botanist
FREESIA a plant of the S African genus Freesia of scented greenhouse plants of the iris family FHT Freese or HT Frees, German physicians, or according to some, EM Fries, Swedish botanist
FRESNEL a unit of optical frequency AJ Fresnel (1788—1827), French physicist
FRISBEE a disc used for throwing originally tins from Mrs. Frisbie's Pies, made by the Frisbie Bakery, which U.S. college students began throwing around in the 1930s
FUCHSIA a flowering shrub Leonhard Fuchs, Ger botanist died 1566
FUCHSITE a brilliant green chromium mica JN von Fuchs (1774—1856), German mineralogist
FULLERENE a ball-shaped molecule consisting of carbon atoms Buckminster Fuller (1895—1983), US engineer
FUNCKIA FUNKIA any plant of an E Asiatic genus allied to the day lilies, now called hosta German botanist, HC Funck (1771—1839)
FURCRAEA a tropical American genus of plants related to the agave. A. F. de Fourcroy (1755-1800), French chemist
FURPHY Australian slang: an unreliable report; a "latrine rumor" either 1) Furphy company's portable toilets in WWI Australia, or 2) Joseph Furphy (1843-1912), Aus. author of tall stories
GADOLINIUM a rare metallic element found associated with yttrium Johann Gadolin, Finnish geologist and chemist
GAHNITE a zinc spinel JG Gahn (1745—1818), Swedish chemist
GAILLARDIA a N American plant of the genus Gaillardia Gaillard de Marentonneau, 18c French botanist
GALATEA a durable cotton cloth, often striped from HMS Galatea
GALTONIA any of several bulbous plants of the lily family native to Southern Africa Sir Francis Galton (1822—1911), British scientist
GALVANISE GALVANIZE stimulate to action, as if by electric shock Luigi Galvani, It physician and physicist died 1798
GAMP a large baggy umbrella as carried by Mrs. Sarah Gamp, character in Charles Dickens' Martin Chuzzlewit
GANYMEDE a cupbearer, a serving boy from Ganymedes, the beautiful youth who succeeded Hebe as cupbearer to Zeus
GARCINIA a tropical evergreen tree of the Garcinia genus of Guttiferae, yielding gamboge, kokum butter, and mangosteen Laurent Garcin (1683—1752), French botanist
GARDENIA a kind of flower Alexander Garden, Sc-born Am naturalist and physician (1730?—1791)
GARGANTUA a monster in a Japanese film Giant-hero Gargantua in Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantagruel
GARGANTUAN of immense size Giant-hero Gargantua in Rabelais' Gargantua and Pantagruel
GARIBALDI a type of biscuit; a type of woman's blouse Giuseppe Garibaldi (1807—1882), Italian patriot and leader of the drive to unite Italy.
GARNIERITE a green hydrated nickel, magnesium silicate Jules Garnier (1839—1904), French geologist who discovered it in New Caledonia
GARRYA any of various N. American evergreen shrubs named after N Garry (1781—1856) of the Hudson's Bay Company
GATLING as in gatling gun, a machinegun with a cluster of rotating barrels named after its inventor RJ Gatling
GAULTHERIA a plant of the Gaultheria genus of evergreen aromatic plants of the heath family, which includes the American wintergreen and salal Swedish-Canadian botanist Hugues Gaulthier
GAUSS a unit of magnetic flux density Karl Friedrich Gauss, German mathematician (1777-1855)
GAUSSIAN of or due to Gauss Karl Friedrich Gauss, German mathematician (1777-1855)
GAVOTTE a kind of country dance originally a dance of the Gavots, a people of the French Upper Alps
GAZANIA any plant of the genus Gazania of the southern hemisphere with bright yellow or orange composite flowers Theodore of Gaza (1398—1478), who translated the botanical works of Theophrastus
GENTIAN any plant of the genus Gentiana, herbs, usu blue-flowered, abounding chiefly in alpine regions according to Pliny from Gentius, king of Illyria, who introduced it in medicine (2c BC)
GEORGETTE a sheer silk clothing fabric with a dull, creped surface. named after Georgette de la Plante, Fr dressmaker
GERARDIA any of a genus of often root-parasitic herbs of the snapdragon family John GerardEnglish botanist
GERBERA a plant belonging to the Gerbera genus of composite plants of S Africa, etc T Gerber (died 1743), German naturalist
GERONIMO a shout given by paratroopers Geronimo, 1829-1909, Apache leader
GERRYMANDER to rearrange (voting districts) in the interests of a particular party or candidate Elbridge Gerry, 1744-1814, politician
GESNERIA a plant of the tropical American genus Gesneria Konrad von Gesner (1516—65), Swiss botanist and scholar
GIARDIA a genus of parasitic protozoa which commonly infect the small intestine of mammals, including man A Giard (1846—1908), French biologist
GIBBSITE hydroxide of aluminium, Al(OH)3, an important constituent of bauxite George Gibbs (died 1833), American mineralogist
GIBUS a collapsible top hat Fr, from the maker's name
GILBERT an electromagnetic unit of magnetomotive force William Gilbert, Eng court physician (1544—1603)
GILSONITE the trademark name of the mineral uintaite or uintahite Samuel H. Gilson, owner of a mining company
GLADSTONE a four-wheeled pleasure carriage with two inside seats, calash top, and seats for driver and footman William Ewart Gladstone (1809—1898), British Prime Minister
GLAUBERITE a greyish-white mineral, sodium calcium sulphate, found chiefly in rock salt Johann Rudolf Glauber (1604—68), German chemist
GLOXINIA a plant of the tropical American genus of Gesneriaceae, Gloxinia, with bright bell-shaped flowers BP Gloxin, German botanist
GMELINITE a sodium aluminium zeolite CG Gmelin (1792—1860), German chemist
GNATHONIC flattering from Gnatho, a character in Terence's Eunuchus, from Greek gnathos, jaw
GODETIA any plant of the American genus Godetia, closely related to the evening primrose CH Godet, Swiss botanist (1797—1879)
GOETHITE, GOTHITE a mineral in honour of J.W.Goethe, German poet
GOLIARD any of a band of medieval wandering students and scholars noted for their riotous behaviour and esp their satirical Latin poems lampooning the Church after a mythical bishop Golias to whom the poems were attributed
GOLIATH a person or thing of colossal size or power Goliath, a philistine giant in the bible, slain by David
GORGON an ugly or repulsive woman Gorgons, three snaky-haired sisters in Gk myth
GORGONEION a mask carved in imitation of a gorgon's head Gorgons, three snaky-haired sisters in Gk myth
GRAHAM bread made of unbolted wheat flour Sylvester Graham, 19th-century American Presbyterian minister and proponent of a puritan lifestyle based on teetotalling, vegetarianism, and whole wheat
GRAMICIDIN a kind of antibiotic HCJ Gram (1853—1938), Danish bacteriologist who devised the method, and L caedere to kill
GRANGERIZE to illustrate with pictures collected from other books; to mutilate books to get such materials James Granger, Eng. biographer died 1776
GRAY a unit of energy absorbed from ionizing radiation Louis Harold Gray, British radiobiologist (1905—1965)
GREENGAGE a kind of fruit Sir William Gage, 2nd Baronet (c. 1656—1727), a botanist and 2nd Baronet of Hengrave, is believed to have brought the plum to England from France in 1724.
GRINCH someone who ruins others' enjoyment from the Grinch, a character in How the Grinch Stole Christmas (1957) by Dr. Seuss, pseudonym of Theodor Seuss Geisel (1904-1991)
GRINDELIA a resinous, composite Californian plant, aka tarweed D.H.Grindel, a Russian
GROG rum cut with water Old Grog, nickname of Edward Vernon died 1757, Eng admiral admiral who ordered that his sailors' rum be served diluted. The admiral earned the nickname from his habit of wearing a grogram cloak. Grogram is a coarse fabric of silk, wool, mohair, or a blend of them. The word grogram is from French gros grain(large grain or texture).
GUILLOCHE ornamental borders or mouldings formed of interlacing curved bands enclosing roundels; (verb) to decorate with intersecting curved lines Fr, a guilloching tool; said to be named from one Guillot
GUILLOTINE an instrument for beheading people with a sharp descending blade Joseph Ignace Guillotin (1738—1814), physician and Fr Revolution Assembly-member, advocated it as more humane than hanging
GUNNERA a very large-leaved ornamental plant of the Gunnera genus JE Gunnerus (1718—73), Norwegian botanist
GUPPY a small brightly coloured W. Indian fish R. J. Lechmere Guppy (1836—1916), Trinidad clergyman who first supplied specimens to the British Museum
GURNEY a wheeled stretcher or cart (as used in a hospital, etc origin uncertain; perh from the personal name Gurney
GUSSIE an effeminate man from dimin of the personal name Augustus
GUY chap, fellow originally, an effigy of Guy Fawkes, leader of the Gunpowder Plot to blow up British king
GUYOT a flat-topped underwater mountain AH Guyot (1807—84), Swiss-born American geologist
HAHNIUM a former name for the element dubnium or hassium Otto Hahn (1879—1968), German physicist
HALCYON a bird that calmed the sea on the winter solstice; the kingfisher Alkyone, the daughter of the Greek god of the winds, changed into a kingfisher
HALLOYSITE a clayey mineral, a hydrated aluminium silicate Omalius d'Halloy (1783—1875), Belgian geologist
HANSOM a light two-wheeled horse-drawn cab with the driver's seat raised behind Joseph A Hansom (1803—82), its inventor
HANUMAN a long-tailed sacred monkey of India Hanuman, an Indian monkey-god
HARLEQUIN a clown-like pattern of brightly diamond shapes Arlecchino (in French Harlequin), Ital commedia dell'arte's buffoonish stock-character. (Ital term may come from Old F Hellequin, who led a band of demons across the sky on ghostly horses.)
HATCHETTITE mountain tallow, a natural waxy hydrocarbon Charles Hatchett (died 1847), English chemist
HAUYNE a blue mineral, in composition like nosean, with calcium René J Haüy (1743—1822), French mineralogist
HAVELOCK a covering on a cap to protect the back of the neck Sir Henry Havelock, Eng. general died 1857
HAWKSHAW a detective Hawkshaw, a theatrical gumshoe introduced in the 1863 play The Ticket of Leave Man by British dramatist Tom Taylor
HECTOR a bully, braggart Hektor, the Trojan champion in the Trojan War
HELLERI a kind of tropical fish C. Heller, a 20th century tropical fish collector
HENRY a unit of inductance Joseph Henry, Amer physicist (1797—1878)
HERCULEAN of extraordinary power, size, or difficulty Hercules, a hero of Greek myth
HERDIC a low-hung two- or four-wheeled carriage with a back entrance and side seats P. Herdic (1824—88), its inventor
HERMAPHRODITIC animal or plant with both male and female reproductive organs; also, a combination of diverse elements Hermaphroditos, son of Hermes and Aphrodite who becomes joined in one body with a nymph while bathing
HERMETIC recondite. Also: [from belief he invented a magic seal] airtight, or impervious to external influence Hermes Trismegistus (lit. 'Hermes thrice greatest), legendary author concerning magic, astrology and alchemy
HERTZ a unit of wave frequency Heinrich Rudolf Hertz, Ger physicist (1857—1894)
HEUCHERA any plant of the N American Heuchera genus of the Saxifragaceae family with stems of many small flowers and heart-shaped leaves Johann Heucher (1677—1747), German botanist
HEULANDITE a zeolite like stilbite H Heuland (1777—1856), English mineralogist
HIDDENITE an emerald-green variety of spodumene found in North Carolina William E. Hidden, b. 1918, American mineralogist
HOBDAY to cure a breathing impediment (in a horse) by surgical operation Sir Frederick Hobday (1869—1939), British veterinary surgeon
HOMERIC grand, heroic Homer, Greek poet
HOOLIGAN a lout perh. fr. Patrick Hooligan, Irish hoodlum in London floruit 1898
HOOVER a vacuum cleaner; to vacuum with one William Henry Hoover, Amer industrialist (1849—1932)
HORLICKS a mess tradename of a hot drink
HOSTA any plant of the Hosta genus of decorative perennial herbaceous plants NT Host (1761—1834), Austrian botanist
HOUSTONIA a small N. Americna plant with blue or white flowers Dr William Houston (died 1733), Scots botanist
HOYLE a rule book Edmond Hoyle (1672?-1769), Br writer on games
HOTSPUR a hot-headed, impetuous man Hotspur, in Shakespeare's Henry V.
HYACINTH a type of flower Hyacinth, a handsome young man in Greek myth adored by two gods
IGNORAMUS an utterly ignorant person Ignoramus, a lawyer in George Ruggle's play Ignoramus (1615). Latin for "we are ignorant of"
IRUKANDJI a venomous jellyfish After the Irukandji people of N. Queensland.
JACKANAPES a silly, conceited person; a ridiculous upstart nickname for William de la Pole, Duke of Suffolk (1396-1450), whose coat of arms included an ape; slang for monkey was Jack Napes ("Jack of Naples")
JACQUARD an intricately-woven variegated fabric J.M. Jacquard, 1757-1834, French inventor, industrialist
JACUZZI a type of bath or small pool equipped with a mechanism that agitates the water to massage and invigorate the body trademarked name, from company founder Roy Jacuzzi
JANSKY a unit in radio astronomy Karl G Jansky, the American radio engineer who first discovered radio interference coming from the stars
JEFF (Australian slang) to spoil ruthlessly Jeff Kennett, a former premier of the state of Victoria
JEHU one who drives furiously Jehu, king of Israel, known for his wild chariot driving (Bible II Kings)
JEMIMA an elastic-sided boot from the female name Jemima
JEREMIAD a speech of bitter lament or righteous prophecy of doom Jeremiah, pessimistic Old Testament prophet, died ~585 B.C.
JEROBOAM a large bottle = four bottles of champagne Jeroboam, king of Israel, died ~907 BC
JESUS a paper-size Jesus, founder of Christianity
JEZEBEL a evil and scheming woman Jezebel, a wicked woman in the bible (I and II Kings)
JOE Australian slang: a policeman Charles Joseph La Trobe, 1801-75, fanatical and petty lawman, Lt. Gov. of Victoria in 1851
JOANNES JOHANNES a gold coin of John V of Portugal Johannes, from Joannes, from Gr Ioannes, John
JOLIOTIUM a former name for the element dubnium After Irene and Frederick Joliot-Curie, physicists
JORAM JORUM a large drinking bowl after Jorum who brought vessels of sivler, gold or brass to King David (Samuel II)
JOULE a unit of energy James Prescott Joule, Brit physicist (1818—1889)
JOVIAL good-humoured Jupiter, Roman god
JUDAS a one-way peep-hole in a door Judas Iscariot, biblical traitor
JUGGERNAUT a massive inexorable force that crushes everything in its path Jaggernaut, a title of Krishna (an incarnation of Vishnu)
JULIENNE a clear soup, with shredded vegetables; any foodstuff which has been shredded; (verb) to shred or cut into thin strips French personal name
JUMBO an elephant Jumbo, name of the London Zoo's huge elephant, sold in 1882 (the word is from the elephant's name, not vice versa). The name may come from Swahili jumbe = chief
KALMIA any shrub of the N American Kalmia genus of evergreen shrubs of the heath family Peter Kalm (1715—79), pupil of Linnaeus
KELVIN the SI unit of temperature William Thompson, First Baron Kelvin, Brit physicist (1824—1907)
KENNETT (Australian slang) to spoil ruthlessly Jeff Kennett, a former premier of the state of Victoria
KENTIA a name formerly applied to many pinnate varieties of palm, but now only to the Howea feather palm W Kent (died in 1820s), Dutch botanist
KERRIA a deciduous yellow-flowering shrub William Kerr, late 18c-early 19c English gardener
KEWPIE a kind of doll named for the god Cupid by its creator, commercial illustrator Rose O'Neill (1874—1944)
KIR a blackcurrant drink Canon Felix Kir (1876-1968), mayor of Dijon, who is said to have invented the drink
KIESERITE a mineral, hydrated magnesium sulphate, a source of Epsom salts DG Kieser (1779—1862), German scientist
KLAXON a mechanical horn with a loud rasping sound, of a kind used on early motor vehicles; any electric horn; (verb) to sound a klaxon name of the manufacturer
KLIEG as in klieg light, an intense carbon-arc light used for illumination in producing films. brothers John H. Kliegl (1869—1959) and Anton Tiberius Kliegl (1872—1927), German-born Am lighting experts
KNICKERBOCKER in pl. loose breeches gathered in at the knee from historian Deidrich Knickerbocker, Washington Irving's pseudonym in his humorous History of New York
KNIPHOFIA any plant of the African Kniphofia genus of the lily family, otherwise called Tritoma, the red-hot poker named after JH Kniphof (1704—65), German botanist
KOCHIA a plant of the goosefoot family whose foliage turns dark red in late summer WDJ Koch (1771—1849), German botanist
KRAMERIA the shrub rhatany, a S American plant with thick roots from which an astringent is prepared; the astringent itself JGH and WH Kramer, 18c German botanists
KUNZITE a lilac-coloured variety of spodumene, used as a gemstone GF Kunz (1856—1932), US gemologist
KURCHATOVIUM a former name for rutherfordium IV Kurchatov (1903—60), Russian physicist
LABANOTATION a method of writing down the movements, etc., of ballet diagrammatically. from choreographer Rudolph Laban (1879-1958) who devised it.
LALIQUE ornamental glassware, esp with bas-relief decoration of figures, flowers, etc René Lalique (died 1945), French designer of jewellery and glassware
LAMBERT a unit of brightness, one lumen per square centimetre JH Lambert (1728—77), German scientist
LAMINGTON a small cakes, considered one of Australia's national foods. Lord Lamington, Charles Wallace Alexander Napier Cochrane-Baillie (c. 1860—1940), who was governor of Queensland 1896—1901.
LANGBEINITE a double sulfate of potassium and magnesium, used in the fertiliser industry A. Langbein, 19th century German chemist
LANGLEY a unit of solar radiation Samuel Pierpoint Langley, Amer astronomer (1834—1906)
LATIMERIA a fish of the coelacanth family Marjorie E.D.Courtenay Latimer (1907—2004), director of the East London Museum (South Africa) at the time of the fish's discovery
LAVALIERE a pendant worn on a chain around the neck Françoise Louise de la Baume Le Blanc (1644—1710), Duchesse de La Vallière, the lover of Louis XIV of France
LAVATERA any plant of the genus Lavatera of herbs and shrubs with large pink, white or purple mallow-like flowers the brothers Lavater, 17c and 18c Swiss physicians and naturalists
LAWRENCIUM an artificially produced radioactive transuranic element Ernest O. Lawrence (1901—58), American physicist
LEISHMANIA any protozoan of the genus Leishmania named after Sir William Leishman (1865—1926), who discovered the cause of kala-azar
LEISLER a small black bat 19c zoologist TP Leisler
LEMPIRA the standard monetary unit of Honduras Lempira, a department of Honduras named after a native chief
LEOTARD a skintight garment worn by dancers, acrobats, etc Jules Leotard, French aerialist (1830—1870)
LESPEDEZA a perennial herb with pink or white flowers, of the genus Lespedeza V.M.CESPEDEZ, a governor of East Florida around 1785
LEVIS heavy, close-fitting denim, etc trousers, reinforced at points of strain with copper rivets Levi Strauss, the original manufacturer
LEWISIA a perennial herb with pink or white flowers, of the genus Lewisia American explorer Meriwether Lewis (1774—1809
LEWISITE a poison gas developed for war use Winford Lee Lewis, Am chemist (1878—1943)
LINDANE a powerful insecticide T. van der Linden, 20th century Dutch chemist
LISTERIA a bacterium frequently found in certain foods (esp chicken, soft cheeses, etc), which if not killed in cooking can affect the central nervous system Lord Joseph Lister (1827—1912), English surgeon
LOBELIA a plant of the genus, including garden plants with red, white, blue, purple or yellow flowers after the botanist Matthias de Lobel (1538—1616)
LOGANBERRY a type of blackberry/raspberry cross James H. Logan (1841-1928), Am lawyer develped it, 1881
LOGANIA any plant of the Logania genus of Australian plants related to the gentians after James Logan (1674—1751), botanist, scholar and statesman
LONICERA the honeysuckle, a shrub of the Lonicera genus A Lonicerus (died 1586), German botanist
LOTHARIO a man whose chief interest is seducing women Lothario, seducer in Nicholas Rowe's play The Fair Penitent (1703)
LOOYENWORK therapy of the body tissues aimed at releasing muscle fibre adhesions and easing physical and emotional tensions Ted Looyen, who introduced it in 1985
LUSH a drunk one theory cites a drinking club known as City of Lushington after Dr Thomas Lushington (1590-1661), British chaplain
LUTZ a kind of jump in figure skating Alois Lutz, Austrian figure skater (1898—1918).
LYNCH to judge and put to death without the usual forms of law thought to be after Captain William Lynch (1742—1820) of Virginia who set up and presided over tribunals outside the regular law
MACADAM a common type of paving of roads John Loudon Macadam, British engineer died 1836
MACADAMIA a kind of nut John Macadam, Australian chemist died 1865
MACH a number indicating the ratio of the speed of an object to the speed of sound in the surrounding medium Ernst Mach, Austrian physicist and philosopher (1838—1916)
MACHIAVELLIAN (someone) characterised by ruthless political cunning Niccolo Machiavelli, Italian statesman (1469—1527)
MACINTOSH MACKINTOSH a kind of waterproof coat Charles Macintosh, Sc chemist & inventor (1766—1843)
MACONOCHIE tinned meat and vegetable stew; any tinned food packer's name
MADELEINE a small, plain sponge cake, often baked in the shape of a shell probably named after Madeleine Paulmier, 19c French pastry cook
MAGDALENE a reformed prostitute; a reformatory for prostitutes Mary Magdalene in the bible
MAGNOLIA a flowering shrub Pierre Magnol, Fr botanist (1638—1715)
MAHONIA a plant of the pinnate-leaved Mahonia genus (or section of Berberis) of the barberry family Bernard McMahon (died 1816), Irish-American gardener and botanist
MALAPROP MALAPROPISM a humorous misuse of a word sounding like the one intended Mrs. Malaprop, character in R. B. Sheridan's comedy The Rivals, noted for her misuse of words
MANSARD a roof having its angle divided to slope more steeply in the lower part than in the upper François Mansard or Mansart (1598—1666), French architect
MARANTA the arrowroot genus of monocotyledons Bartolommeo Maranta, 16c Italian herbalist
MARCEL a deep soft wave made in the hair by the use of a heated curling iron Marcel Grateau, Fr hairdresser (1852—1936)
MARCHANTIA a liverwort of the Marchantia genus, with a flat, lobed and branched thallus, growing in damp places Nicolas Marchant (died 1678), French botanist
MARGARITA a kind of cocktail Dallas socialite Margarita Samas claimed to have invented it in 1948 for one of her Acapulco parties.
MARIALITE a variety of scapolite rich in sodium, chlorine, and silica, poor in calcium Maria Rose vom Rath, mineralogist's wife
MARPLOT one whose meddling ruins the plans of others after Marplot, character in The Busy Body, play by Susannah Centlivre (1669—1723)
MARPRELATE to inveigh after Martin Marprelate, the name assumed by the author of certain anti-episcopal tracts, 1588-9.
MARROWSKY a spoonerism; (verb) to utter a spoonerism said to be from the name of a Polish count
MARTIAL warlike Mars, Roman god of war
MARTINET a strict disciplinarian; also, a demander of absolute adherence to forms and rules Jean Martinet, Fr army officer died 1672
MASONITE a kind of dark brown hardboard William HMason, US inventor
MASOCHISM the driving of sexual gratification from the suffering of pain Leopold von Sacher-Masoch, Austrian novelist (1836—1895)
MATILDA a swag from the female personal name
MAUDLIN tearfully sentimental Mary Magdalene, often depicted as a weeping, penitent sinner
MAUSOLEUM a monumental tomb Mausolus, Persian satrap of Caria (died ~353 BC), whose wife commissioned a huge tomb for him
MAVERICK an unbranded steer Samuel A. Maverick, 1803-1870, Texan cattleman who did not brand his calves
MAXIMITE a picric-acid high explosive used as a bursting charge for projectiles Hudson Maxim, American inventor
MAXWELL a unit of magnetic flux James Clerk Maxwell, Sc physicist (1831—1879)
MAZARINE a rich blue or reddish-blue colour Cardinal Mazarin, prime minister of France, 1643—1661
MAZARINADE a satirical attack on Cardinal Mazarin Cardinal Mazarin, prime minister of France, 1643—1661
MEDUSA the tentacled stage in the life cycle of a jellyfish. Medusa of Gk myth, one of the three Gorgons with snakes for hair
MEITNERIUM an artificially produced radioactive transuranic element Lise Meitner, a physicist
MENDELEVIUM an artificially produced radioactive transuranic element Dmitr Mendeleev
MENTOR a trusted counselor or guide Greek Mentor, whom Odysseus entrusted with educating his son
MERCERISE MERCERIZE to treat (cotton fabric or thread) under tension with caustic soda, so as to cause swelling and increase the strength and dye absorption John Mercer (1791—1866), inventor of the process
MERCURY an element Mercury, Roman messenger god
MESMERISE MESMERIZE to hypnotise Franz Mesmer, Austrian physician (1734—1815)
MHO unit of electrical resistance Georg Simon Ohm, Ger physicist (1789—1854)
MICAWBER one who is poor but lives in optimistic expectation of better fortune Wilkins Micawber, character in Charles Dickens' novel David Copperfield
MICKEY to drug someone's drink Mickey Finn, a Chicago saloon owner who drugged his customers' drinks in order to rob them
MILLERITE a mineral, nickel sulfide William H. Miller, b. 1880, English mineralogist
MILQUETOAST a meek, timid, unassertive person Caspar Milquetoast, a comic-strip character created by Harold Tucker Webster (1885—1952)
MILTONIA a plant of the Miltonia genus of tropical American orchids with brightly-coloured flowers Charles Fitzwilliam, Viscount Milton (1786—1857), English statesman and horticulturalist
MIRANDIZE in the USA, to inform an accused person of their rights from court case Miranda v. Arizona
MIREPOIX a carrot and onion mixture used for sauces and garnishes the Duc de Lévis-Mirepoix, 18th-century marshal of France and one of Louis XV's ambassadors.
MITHRIDATE an antidote to poison Mithridates, king of Pontus (reigned c.120—63BC), who was said to have acquired immunity to poisons by taking gradually increased doses of it
MOLOCH a spiny Australina lizard (Labiatae) family Moloch, a Semitic god to whom children were sacrificed
MOMUS a satirist, a critic: MOMI or MOMUSES Momus, the Greek god of ridicule
MONARDA a plant of the Monarda genus of N American aromatic herbs of the mint family N. Monardes (died 1588), Spanish botanist
MONTBRETIA a plant of the Montbretia genus of S African iridaceous plants Coquebert de Montbret (1780—1801), French botanist
MONTEITH a large 17c or 18c bowl, usu of silver, fluted and scalloped, for cooling punch-glasses Monteith, the Glasgow manufacturers
MONTGOLFIER a hot-air balloon Fr Brothers Jacques Étienne (1745—99) and Joseph Michel (1740—1810) Montgolfier, aeronauts who invented the first practical balloon 1783
MONTICELLITE an orthorhombic calcium-magnesium silicate Teodoro Monticelli (1759—1845), Italian mineralogist
MORNAY a cheese sauce diplomat and writer Philippe de Mornay (1549—1623), a member of Henri IV's court.
MORGAN a unit of distance between genes on a chromosome Thomas Hunt Morgan, 1866-1945, US biologist
MORGANITE a pink or rose-coloured variety of beryl, obtained chiefly from California and Madagascar, used as a gemstone J Pierpont Morgan (1837—1913), US financier
MORPHINE a drug Morpheus, Roman god of dreams
MULES to carry out the Mules operation on a sheep J.H.W. Mules, an Australian grazier who invented the operation
MUNCHKIN a person who is notably small and often endearing Munchkins, diminutive creatures in The Wonderful Wizard of Oz by L. Frank Baum
MURPHY a potato from the common Irish surname
MYRMIDON a loyal follower who executes orders unquestioningly Myrmidons, warriors accompanying king Achilles in Trojan War
NAPOLEON a gold coin Napoleon 1, French emperor
NAPOLEONITE a mineral, a kind of diorite Napoleon 1, French emperor
NARCISSISM NARCISSIST excessive love or admiration of oneself Narcissus, a youth in Gk legend who pined away for love of his own reflection in a pool of water
NEBUCHADNEZZAR a large bottle = twenty bottles of champagne Nebuchadnezzar, king of Babylon (~630 -~561 BC)
NELLIE NELLY a weak or foolish person; an effeminate man from the female personal name
NEGUS a drink of port or sherry mixed with hot water, sweetened and spiced said to be from Colonel Negus (died 1732), its first maker
NEMESIS one who inflicts retribution or vengeance Nemesis, the Gk goddess of retributive justice
NEPER a unit for expressing the ratio of two currents or voltages JohnNapier, Scottish mathematician (1550-1617)
NERD NURD a clumsy, foolish, socially inept person perhaps after a character invented by Dr Seuss (1904-1991), US children's author
NEROLI an oil distilled from orange flowers said to be named from its discoverer, an Italian princess
NESSELRODE a rich frozen pudding made of chestnuts, eggs, cream etc from Count Karl Robert Nesselrode, Russian diplomat, whose chef invented the dish.
NESTOR a kind of parrot Greek Nestor, a aged king who serves as a counselor to the Greeks at Troy
NEWTON a unit of force Sir Isaac Newton
NICOL a crystal of calcium carbonate cut and cemented in such a way as to transmit only the extraordinary ray, used for polarizing light William Nicol (c.1768—1851), Scottish physicist
NICOTINE a poisonous narcotic alkaloid of the pyrimidine series Jean Nicot, Fr diplomat and scholar died 1600
NIMROD a mighty hunter Nimrod, in Genesis in the bible, "a mighty hunter before the Lord"
NIOBIUM a metallic element discovered in the mineral tantalite Niobe, daughter of Tantalus, from the connection with tantalite
NOAH (Aust. sl.) a shark rhyming slang for Noah's ark
NOBELIUM an artificially produced radioactive transuranic element Alfred Nobel, Swedish industrialist; the element was first created at the Nobel Institute, Stockholm
NOSEAN NOSELITE a cubic mineral, aluminium sodium silicate and sulphate KW Nose (died 1835), German mineralogist
OBSIDIAN a shiny and black stone, formed by cooling of lava Obsius, a Roman, the supposed discoverer of obsidian. (Later, obsianus was misread as obsidianus.)
OCKER an oafish uncultured Australian a form of Oscar, esp after a character in a television programme
ODYSSEY a long wandering usu. marked by many changes of fortune Odysseus, Greek hero
OEDIPAL of the Oedipus complex: a boy's unconscious sexual desire for his mother Oedipus, mythical Gk who, abandoned at birth, later unwittingly killed his father and then married his mother
OERSTED the CGS unit of magnetic field strength HC Oersted (1777—1851), Danish physicist
OHM OHMIC unit of electrical resistance Georg Simon Ohm, Ger physicist (1789—1854)
OLLIE a manoeuvre in skateboarding Alan Ollie Geltan
ONANISM masturbation Onan, biblical character, Gen. 38:9
ORPHARION ORPHOREON a large lute-like instrument with six to nine pairs of metal strings Orpheus and Arion, mythical musicians
ORPHIC mystic, oracular Orpheus, a minstrel in Greek myth
ORRERY a mechanical model of the solar system Charles Boyle, Fourth Earl of Orrery (1676—1731), for whom one was made.
OSCAR (Aust. sl) cash rhyming slang for Oscar Asche (1871—1936), Australian actor
OTTOMAN a low stuffed seat Othman, founder of the Turkish empire
PAEAN a song of thanksgiving from Paian, physician ot the Greek gods
PAILLARD a slice of meat pounded thin and grilled from Paillard, a 19th century French restaurateur
PALLADIUM a silvery-white metallic element Pallas Athene, Greek goddess
PANDAR PANDER a procurer Pandarus, procurer for Cressida and Troilus in med. romance
PANIC a sudden attack of fear Pan, Gk god of woods and shepherds, credited with causing the Persians to panic at the battle of Marathon
PANTALEON a very large dulcimer Pantaleon Hebenstreit, its inventor c. 1700
PAPARAZZO a photographer who specializes in spying on or harassing famous people in order to obtain photographs of them in unguarded moments, etc from the surname of a photographer in the film La Dolce Vita (1960) by Federico Fellini
PASCAL pressure Blaise Pascal, Fr mathematician, philosopher inventor (1623—1662)
PASQUINADE (noun or verb): satire or lampoon, esp. one that ridicules a specific person Pasquino, nickname of a statue in Rome on which lampoons were posted
PASTEURISE PASTEURIZE to sterilise milk Louis Pasteur, microbiologist 1822 - 1895
PAULOWNIA any tree of the Chinese and Japanese genus Paulownia, of the figwort family, with showy flowers Russian princess Anna Pavlovna (1795—1865)
PAVLOVA a type of sweet dish consisting of a meringue base topped with whipped cream and fruit Anna Pavlova(1881—1931), famous Russian ballerina.
PEAVEY a lumberman's spiked and hooked lever Joseph Peavey, its 19c inventor
PEEL in croquet, to cause another player's ball to go through the next hoop Walter Peel (fl 1868), British croquet player
PEELER a policeman Sir Robert Peel
PEGASUS a member of a genus of small fishes superficially like sea-horses Pegasus, in Greek myth the winged horse that sprang from Medusa's blood
PELHAM on a horse's bridle, a type of bit, a combination of the curb and snaffle designs perhaps from the name Pelham
PELORUS a kind of compass from which bearings can be taken perhaps from Pelorus, Hannibal's pilot
PENELOPIZE to procrastinate Penelope, wife of Odyssseus, who kept putting off her suitors
PEREIRA a S American apocynaceous tree, the bark of which is used medicinally Jonathan Pereira (1804—53), English pharmacologist
PEROVSKITE a mineral form of calcium Count Lev Alekseevich Perovski (1792—1856), Russian statesman
PETERSHAM a heavy corded ribbon used for belts, hatbands, etc Lord Petersham (1790—1851), English army officer
PETRI as in petri dish, a shallow glass dish with an overlapping cover used for cultures of bacteria. JR Petri, (1852—1922), German bacteriologist
PHAETON a touring car Greek myth of Phaëthon, a son of the sun god, killed while trying to drive his father's chariot across the sky.
PHILANDER to carry on a love affair, without serious intentions (said of a male) Philander, popular name for a lover in stories, drama, and poetry
PHILIPPIC a discourse or declamation full of acrimonious invective from the speeches of Demosthenes against Philip II of Macedon.
PHILLIPSITE a zeolite, hydrated silicate of potassium, calcium, and aluminium W Phillips (1775—1828), English mineralogist
PHILISTINE a person of material outlook, usu indifferent or hostile to culture Philistines, in ancient times one of the inhabitants of south-west Palestine, enemies of the Israelites;
PHILOMEL PHILOMELA a nightingale from Philomela, daughter of Pandion, changed into a nightingale (some say a swallow)
PINCHBECK an alloy used imitate gold in jewelry; also, (noun & adj.) cheap imitation Christopher Pinchbeck, Eng watchmaker (1670?—1732)
PINKERTON a private detective Allan Pinkerton (1819—84), Scottish-born American detective
>PITOT A tube used to measure the pressure of a fluid stream Henri Pitot, a French scientist, who proposed the use of the Pitot tube in 1732.
PLATONIC of a relationship marked by the absence of romance or sex Plato, Gk philosopher (429 —~347 BC)
PLIMSOLL a line on a ship, indicating how high it may be loaded Samuel Plimsoll (1824-1898), Br shipping reformer
PLUMERIA a flowering shrub, aka FRANGIPANI Charles Plumier, b. 1704, French botanist
PLUTONIC formed under conditions of subterranean heat Pluto, Roman god of the Underworld
POINCIANA a tree of the tropical genus Poinciana De Poinci, a French W. Indian governor
POINSETTIA a kind of flower Joel Roberts Poinsett, American diplomat (1779—1851)
POISE a unit of dynamic viscosity Jean Louis Marie Poiseuille, Fr physician and physiologist (1799—1869)
POLLYANNA a person of irrepressible optimism who tends to find good in everything Pollyanna, heroine of the novel Pollyanna, by Am author Eleanor Porter
POMPADOUR a hairstyle where the hair at the front is brushed up into a mound or a roll, above the forehead Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, Marquise de Pompadour (1721—1764), the lover of Louis XV of France
POOTER a suction bottle for collecting insects apparently after F. W. Poos, Amer. entomologist (1891—1987)
POWELLISE POWELLIZE to season and preserve (timber) by boiling in a saccharine solution W Powell, the inventor of the process
POWELLITE a mineral, calcium molybdate John Wesley Powell (1834—1902), American geologist, etc
PRALINE PRAWLIN an almond or nut kernel with a brown coating of sugar, or a similar confection made with crushed nuts Marshal Duplessis-Praslin, whose cook invented it
PREHNITE a zeolite-like mineral, an acid calcium aluminium silicate Colonel von Prehn (1733—85), who brought it from South Africa
PROCRUSTEAN producing strict conformity by ruthless or arbitrary means Procrustes, mythical robber of Attica who seized travelers, tied them to his bed, and to make them fit either stretched their limbs or lopped of their legs
PROTEAN readily assuming different shapes or roles Proteus, Gk sea-god able to assume various shapes
PROUSTITE a red silver ore, sulphide of arsenic and silver, also known as ruby silver ore JL Proust (1754—1826), French chemist
PSYCHE PSYCHOLOGY soul, mind; the study of mind Psyche, a young woman in Gk myth, beloved of Eros; subsequently became the personification of the soul
PRUSIK a type of rope sling used in climbing Karl Prusik (1895—1961), Austrian climber
PULLMAN a railroad parlour car or sleeping car George M. Pullman, American industrialist (1831—1897)
PURDONIUM a kind of coal-scuttle a Mr Purdon
PUSCHKINIA any plant of the genus Puschkinia, spring-flowering bulbous plants native to western Asia A. Mussin-Puschkin (1760—1805), Russian scientist
PUSSYFOOT a prohibitionist from Pussyfoot, nickname of William E Johnson (1862-1945), a US revenue officer noted for his stealthy ways and his prohibitionist campaigns
PYRRHIC an ancient Greek war dance said to be from Pyrrichos, its inventor
PYTHON a large constricting snake probably from Python, a mythical serpent killed by Apollo
QUASSIA a medicine against intestinal worms, once very popular in Europe; still in use today Graman Quassi, captured into slavery from Africa, obtained freedom, and ~1730 discovered the curative power of the bark from which quassia is made
QUISLING a traitor who collaborates by serving in the invader's puppet government Vidkun Quisling(1887 — 1945), Norwegian traitor
QUIXOTE an extravagantly romantic and chivalrous person Don Quixote in the romance by Cervantes
QUIXOTIC extravagantly romantic in ideals or chivalrous in action Don Quixote in the romance by Cervantes
RAFFLESIA any of various stemless leafless parasitic plants, native to Java and Sumatra Sir Stamford Raffles, (1781-1826), British governor in Sumatra (1818)
RAGAMUFFIN an urchin Ragamoffyn, demon in Piers Plowman (1393, attrib. William Langland)
RAGLAN a particular style of sleeves for an overcoat Lord Raglan, 1788-1855, British field marshal
RASTAFARI, RASTAFARIAN a member of a W. Indian cult which rejects western ideas and regards the Emperor Haile Selassie as divine Ras Tafari, the precoronation name of Haile Selassie
RAUWOLFIA a tropical genus of apocynaceous trees and shrubs, of which Rauwolfia serpentina and other species yield valuable drugs Leonhard Rauwolf (died 1596), German botanist
RECAMIER a backless couch Madame de Recamier, a French lady
REDIA a form in the life cycle of the trematodes: REDIAE or REDIAS Francesco Redi (died prob. 1698), Italian naturalist
REHOBOAM a large bottle = six bottles of champagne Rehoboam, king of Israel, died ~913 BC
RENSSELAERITE a kind of firm-textured talc, used for carved or lathe-turned ornaments Stephen Van Rensselaer (1764—1839), N American statesman
RHADAMANTHINE rigorously just and severe Rhadamanthus, a judge of the lower world
RICKETTSIA a genus of micro-organisms found in lice and ticks Howard Taylor Ricketts (1871—1910), US pathologist
RIEBECKITE a monoclinic amphibole, silicate of sodium and iron Emil Riebeck (1853—85), German traveller
RITZ, RITZY posh César Ritz (1850—1918), Swiss hotelier
RHODOMONTADE RODOMONTADE vain boasting or bluster Rodomonte, character in Orlando Innamorato by Matteo M. Boiardo
ROBINIA any plant of the locust or false acacia genus Jean Robin (1550—1629), Parisian gardener who introduced it to cultivation
RODGERSIA any of a group of flowering perennial herbs native to E Asia, with large divided leaves and small, white panicled flowers John Rodgers (1812-1882), US admiral
ROENTGEN a unit of X-ray or gamma ray radiation exposure Wilhelm Konrad Roentgen, Ger physicist (1845—1923)
ROGALLO a flexible fabric delta wing, orig designed as a possible satellite retrieval vehicle but actually developed in the 1960s as the first successful hang-glider Francis M. Rogallo, (1912-2009), the US engineer who designed it
ROMEO a swain, a beau Romeo, the hero of Shakespeare's Romeo and Juliet
ROMNEYA a plant of the Romneya genus of papaveraceous shrubs, with large white poppy-like flowers with yellow centres Thomas Romney Robinson (1792—1882), British astronomer and physicist
ROORBACK a false or slanderous story used for political advantage Baron von Roorback, pen-name of author of Roorback's Tour Through the Western and Southern States, used in 1844 US presidential campaign
ROQUELAURE a knee-length cloak with bright silk lining and fur trim, worn by 18c European men Antoine Gaston Jean Baptiste, Duc de Roquelaure (1656—1738), Fr marshal
RUDBECKIA any of the N American composite plants of the genus Rudbeckia, of the sunflower subfamily Olaf Rudbeck (1660—1740), Swedish botanist
RUELLIA any plant of the Ruellia genus of the acanthus family Jean Ruel (1479—1537), French botanist
RUTHERFORD a unit of the rate of radioactive decay Baron Rutherford, New Zealand-born British physicist(1871—1937)
RUTHERFORDIUM An artificially produced radioactive transuranic element Baron Rutherford, New Zealand-born British physicist(1871—1937)
SABIN a unit of acoustic absorption Wallace Clement Ware Sabine (1868—1919), American physicist
SADISM the derivation of sexual pleasure from acts of cruelty Donatien Alphonse Francois de Sade ("the Marquis de Sade"), French Count and writer (1740—1814)
SAINTPAULIA a tropical African flowering plant of the genus Saintpaulia, commonly grown as a pot plant, the African violet Baron Walter von Saint Paul (1860—1910), who discovered it
SALCHOW an ice-skating leap with turns from inner backward edge of one skate to outer backward edge of other from Ulrich Salchow, a Swedish figure-skater.
SALMANAZAR a large bottle = twelve bottles of champagne Shalmaneser, a king of Assyria in the Bible
SALMONELLA a type of bacteria, often toxic Daniel Elmer Salmon, Amer pathologist (1850—1914)
SAMARIUM a metallic element observed spectroscopically in SAMARSKITE from Colonel Samarski, 19c Russian engineer
SAMARSKITE a black mineral containing uranium from Colonel Samarski, 19c Russian engineer
SANDWICH any sort of food between two slices of bread said to be named after the fourth Earl of Sandwich (1718—92), who ate a snack of this kind in order not to have to leave the gaming-table
SAPPHIC a verse form Sappho, ancient Gk poetess
SARRACENIA an American insectivorous flowering plant of the genus Sarracenia, with leaves modified to form pitchers for trapping insects Dr Sarrazin, 17c botanist, who sent them to Europe from Quebec
SARRUSAPHONE a double-reed woodwind instrument made of brass or silver French bandmaster Pierre Auguste Sarrus (1813-1876)
SAUSSURITE a dull opaque mass of zoisite, albite, etc, formed by the alteration of feldspar HB de Saussure (1740—99), Swiss geologist
SAVARIN a ring-shaped cake made with yeast, containing nuts, fruit, etc, and often flavoured with rum Antheline Brillat-Savarin (died 1826), French politician and gourmet
SAXHORN SAXOPHONE SAXTUBA varieties of musical instrument Adolphe Sax (1814—1894), Belg. musical instrument designer, inventor of the saxophone
SCARAMOUCH SCARAMOUCHE a cowardly buffoon Scaramuccia, a stock character in the Italian commedia dell'arte, characterized by boastfulness and cowardliness
SCHEELITE a greenish or brownish mineral, calcium tungstate, crystallizing in the tetragonal system, an important source of tungsten KW Scheele (1742—86), Swedish chemist, who investigated it
SCHLEMIHL SCHLEMIEL SHLEMIEL SHLEMIEHL. a clumsy person, a pitiful bungler, fool prob from Shelumiel, a biblical general notorious for losing battles, with spelling influenced by A von Chamisso's character Peter Schlemihl (1814)
SCOOBY a clue, as in 'I haven't a SCOOBY' rhyming slang from SCOOBY Doo, a cartoon character
SCOPOLAMINE an alkaloid with sedative properties, used eg to prevent muscle spasm and travel sickness and as a premedication before anaesthesia named after Scopoli (1723—88), Italian naturalist, plus amine
SEABORGIUM an artificially produced radioactive transuranic element Glenn T, Seaborg (1912—99), US physicist
SEQUOIA a huge species of coniferous tree, that may reach more than 300 feet tall Sequoya, a Cherokee Indian who created a notation for writing the Cherokee language (1770—1843)
SHADRACH a mass of iron on which the operation of smelting has failed of its intended effect from Shadrach, one of the three Hebrews who came forth unharmed from the fiery furnace of Nebuchadnezzar. (See Dan. iii. 26, 27.)
SHEILA a young girl or a woman from the female proper name
SHERARDIZE to coat with zinc by heating with zinc-dust in a vacuum Sherard Cowper-Coles (1867—1936), English chemist
SHERLOCK a detective Sherlock Holmes,a fictional detective invented by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle
SHIGELLA a rod-shaped bacterium, which causes bacillary dysentery K Shiga (1870—1957), the Japanese bacteriologist who discovered it
SHONEEN an Irishman who imitates the ways and manners of the English from Ir Seoinín, dimin of Seon John (a generic name for an Englishman)
SHORTIA an American herb Charles W. Short
SHRAPNEL a shell filled with musketballs with a bursting charge, or any later improved version of this; Henry S. Shrapnel (1761—1842), Brit artillery officer who developed it
SHUNAMITISM rejuvenation of an older man by a younger woman Abishag the Shunammite (Bible, 1 Kings 1.3)
SHYLOCK a loan shark; (verb) to force (a person) to repay a debt, esp. with exorbitant interest Shylock, Jewish usurer in Shakespeare's The Merchant of Venice
SIBYL a female prophet Sibylla Sibylla, name for any of several prophetesses consulted by ancient Greeks and Romans
SIDEBURNS long side whiskers General Ambrose Burnside, 1824-1881, US Civil War general
SIEMENS a unit of electrical conductance Ernst Werner von Siemens, Ger engineer (1816—1892)
SIEVERT a derived SI unit, the unit of radiation dose equivalent RM Sievert (1896—1966), Swedish physicist
SIKORSKY a kind of helicopter Igor Sikorsky
SILHOUETTE a pictorial representation of an object or esp a person, in profile, Étienne de Silhouette, Fr controller general of finances died 1767
SILLIMANITE a mineral, aluminium silicate in the form of orthorhombic crystals Benjamin Silliman (1779—1864), US scientist
SIMONY the buying or selling of a church office Simon Magus, Samaritan sorcerer in Acts 8:9-24
SINNINGIA any Brazilian plant of the genus Sinningia, popularly known as gloxinia W Sinning, German gardener
SIREN a signalling or warning instrument Sirens, female creatures in Gk myth, partly human, who lured mariners to destruction by their singing
SMITHSONITE a white mineral, carbonate of zinc, occurring in calcareous rocks (also called calamine) James Smithson (1765—1829), British chemist and mineralogist
SOLANDER a protective box shaped like a book, to hold botanical specimens, maps, etc. Daniel C. Solander, 18th c. Swedish botanist
SOLON a wise and skilful lawgiver Solon, Athenian lawgiver, 638?—559? BC
SONTAG a woman's knitted cape, tied down round the waist famous German singer Henriette Sontag (1806—54)
SOUBISE an 18c cravat; a sauce made from, or a side dish of, puréed onions French Marshal Prince de Soubise (1715—87)]
SOUSAPHONE a large brass wind instrument, similar in range to the tuba, for marching bands. John Philip Sousa, American bandmaster and composer, known as "the March King" (1854—1932)
SPENCER a type of men's breasted; a type of women's jacket George John Spencer, Second Earl Spencer (1758—1834)
SPERRYLITE an arsenide of platinum, the only known compound of platinum occuring in nature Frances L. Sperry, 19th century Canadian chemist
SPOONERISM transposition of initial sounds of words (as in tons of soil for sons of toil) William A. Spooner, Eng clergyman & educator died 1930
STAKHANOVITE (in the former Soviet Union) a worker who received recognition for his or her part in increasing the rate of production in a factory, etc. AG Stakhanov (1906-1977), Russian miner
STANHOPE a light open one-seated carriage. it was first made for Fitzroy Stanhope (1787-1864
STAPELIA any succulent plant of the carrion-flower genus Stapelia, native to S Africa, having toothed, four-angled stems and large, star-shaped, blotched flowers that smell of carrion JB van Stapel (died 1636), Dutch botanist
STENTORIAN extremely loud Stentor, a loud-voiced Greek herald in the Iliad
STEPHANITE a brittle silver ore, composed of silver, sulphur, and antimony Archduke Stephan (1817-67), Austrian mining director
STETSON trademark for a broad-brimmed high-crowned felt hat 1902, from John Batterson Stetson (1830—1906), US hat manufacturer
STIMPMETER a device that measures the speed of a putting green by propelling a golf ball down a ramp at a standard initial velocity and measuring how far it travels Edward Stimpson (died 1985), its US inventor
STOKES the CGS unit of kinematic viscosity, equal to 10-4 square metres per second Sir G Stokes (1819-1903), British physicist
STOKESIA a perennial herb Jonathan Stokes
STOVAINE a local anaesthetic, a substitute for cocaine, used for spinal analgesia from stove, Eng transl of Fr fourneau, after the name of E Fourneau (1872—1949), French pharmacologist, who first prepared it
STRASS a paste for making false gems Josef Strasser, 18c German jeweller, its inventor
STRELITZIA a plant of the S African genus Strelitzia, of the banana family, with large showy flowers from Queen Charlotte (1744—1818), wife of George III, of the house of Mecklenburg-Strelitz
STROGANOFF of meat, cut thinly and cooked with onions Count Pavel Aleksandrovich Stroganov, Russian diplomat.
SUCRE the standard monetary unit of Ecuador (100 centavos) Antonio José de Sucre (1795—1830), S American soldier-patriot
SURTARBRAND SURTURBRAND a lignite found interbedded with lavas in Iceland Surtr, a fire-giant in Norse myth
SVEDBERG a unit of time used to measure sedimentation velocity Theo Svedberg, Swedish chemist
SYPHILIS a venereal disease Syphilus, protagonist of Girolamo Fracastoro's (1478?—1553) poem "Syphilis, sive Morbus Gallicus" ('Syphilis, or the French Disease')
TAGETES a garden flower after Tagetes, an Etruscan god
TAGLIONI an early-19c overcoat after a family of Italian ballet dancers
TALBOTYPE an archaic photographic process William Henry Fox Talbot (1800—77)
TALMA a loose cloak or cape FJ Talma (1763—1826), the actor
TANTALIZE to torment by presenting something desirable but keeping it out of reach; Tantalus, king in Gk myth, who spends afterlife in a river up to his chin, under branches laden with fruit — but water and fruit withdraw whenever he tries to eat or drink
TANTALUS a case in which alcohol decanters are visible but locked up Tantalus, as above
TANTALUM an acid-resistant metallic element Tantalus, as above, from its inability to absorb water
TARMAC to cover with tarmacadam John Loudon Macadam
TARTUFE, TARTUFFE a hypocrite, esp. one who affects religious piety Tartuffe, hero of a play by the French playwright Moliere
TARZAN a very strong agile person Tarzan of the Apes, hero of series of books by Edgar Rice Burroughs
TAWDRY showy, gaudy St Audrey (i.e. Æthelthryth, daughter of Anna, king of E Anglia), who thought a tumour in her throat a punishment for having worn jewelled necklaces
TEDDY a furry, stuffed toy bear. Theodore (Teddy) Roosevelt, a famous hunter and President of USA (1901-1909)
TENNANTITE a mineral composed of sulphur, arsenic and copper, usu with iron Smithson Tennant (1761—1815), English chemist
TERMAGANT a quarrelsome, scolding woman; a shrew Termagaunt, a fictitious Muslim deity appearing in medieval morality play
TERPSICHOREAN relating to dancing Terpsichore, Gk muse of dancing
TESLA a unit of magnetic flux density equal to one WEBER per square meter Nikola Tesla, Serb William Thompson, -born Amer electrical engineer and physicist (1856—1943)
TETRAZZINI noodles, mushrooms, almonds, in a cream sauce topped with cheese from operatic soprano Luisa Tetrazzini, the "Florentine Nightingale" (1871—1941)
THALIAN pertaining to comedy Thalia, Gk muse of pastoral poetry and comedy
THENARDITE an anhydrous form of sodium sulphate Baron Louis-Jacques Thenard (1777—1857), French chemist
THERBLIG a basic elements in a task or manual operation Frank Gilbreth, US industrial engineer who originated time-and-motion-study.
THEREMIN an electronic musical instrument played by moving the hands around two antennae to vary pitch and volume Leon Theremin (1896—1993), its Russian inventor
THERSITICAL scurrilous; foul-mouthed; grossly abusive Thersites, a commoner who disagrees with leaders in Homer's Iliad
THESPIAN an actor or actress (adj: related to drama) Thespis, a Greek poet 6th cent BC, who reputedly originated drama
THORIUM a radioactive metallic element Thor, Norse god of thunder
THRASONIC THRASONICAL bragging, boastful Thraso, braggart soldier in the comedy Eunuchus by Terence
THUNBERGIA any plant of the Thunbergia genus of evergreen climbing plants of the acanthus family Carl Thunberg (1743—1828), Swedish botanist
TIEMANNITE a kind of mineral, mercuric selenide. Johann Carl Wilhelm Tiemann (1849- 1899), German scientist
TILLANDSIA any plant of the mainly epiphytic tropical American genus Tillandsia of the pineapple family Elias Tillands (died 1693), Finno-Swedish botanist
TIMOTHY a kind of grass Timothy Hanson, who promoted its cultivation in America about 1720
TINTOOKIE (Aust. sl.) a fawning or servile person from Tintookies, marionettes that appeared on Australian televison in the 1960s
TITAN anything gigantic Titan, a Greek giant
TITANIUM a strong, light and corrosion-resistant metallic element Titan, a Greek giant
TITCH, TITCHY very small Little Tich, stage name and childhood nickname of Eng comedian Harry Relph (1867-1928). Relph was only 4'6" tall.
TITIAN a brownish orange Titian (1490?-1576), painter who often used that color
TONTINE a pooled fund where the entire fund goes to the last-surviving participant Lorenzo Tonti, Italian-born French banker (1635—1690?)
TORBERNITE a bright-green radioactive hydrous phosphate of copper and uranium Torbern Bergmann (1735—84), Swed chemist
TORR a unit used in expressing very low pressure Italian mathematician Evangelista Torricelli (1608—47)
TORTONI a rich ice-cream flavoured with wine and containing chopped fruit an Italian Tortoni; the dish is said to be one of his creations.
TRADESCANTIA any plant of the American Tradescantia (spiderwort) genus John Tradescant (c.1567—1637), English gardener, naturalist and traveller
TRILBY a type of hat Trilby O'Ferrall, protagonist in 1884 novel Trilby by George Du Maurier. The novel was a runaway success. A hat featured in its illustrations.
TROLAND a unit of measurement of retinal response to light L. T. Troland, US physicist and psychologist
TROOSTITE a grayish mineral, a variety of willemite Gerard Troost, died 1850, US geologist
TRUDGEN, TRUDGEON a swimming stroke John Trudgen, British swimmer (1852—1902).
TULSI a kind of basil, sacred in Hindu belief the Hindu goddess Tulsi
TUTANIA a kind of Britannia metal W. Tutin (c.1780), its maker or inventor
TYPHON a whirlwind Typhon, son of Typhoeus, later identified with him, father of dangerous winds
ULEXITE a hydrous borate of lime and soda George L. Ulex, 19th century German chemist
UVAROVITE a green lime-chrome garnet Count SS Uvarov (1785—1855), Russian minister of education
VALENTINE a sweetheart Saint Valentine, Christian martyr, c. 270
VANADIUM a silvery metallic element named by a Swedish chemist Sefström from ON Vanadis, the goddess Freyja
VANDYKE a trim, pointed style of beard Sir Anthony Vandyke, Flem. portrait painter (1599—1641)
VARROA an Asiatic mite parasitic on bees Varro, a Latin writer on bees
VENEREAL related to love esp. of disease Venus, Roman goddess of love and beauty
VENTURI a device for measuring the flow of a liquid Giovanni Battista Venturi (1746-1822), Italian physicist
VENUS a genus of molluscs Venus, the Roman god of love
VERNIER a small auxiliary device to make fine adjustment in the main device Pierre Vernier, Fr mathematician died 1637
VERONICA a bullfighting pass in which the cape passes slowly over the bull's face St. Veronica, whose kerchief wiped the face of Christ
VICTORIA a low light four-wheeled carriage Victoria, queen of the United Kingdom (reigned 1837—1901)
VICTORINE a fur tippet with long ends; a variety of peach from the female name
VIVIANITE ferrous phosphate, blue by oxidation, often found coating fossil fishes and bones JG Vivian (1785—1855), English mineralogist, who first found it crystallized
VOLCANO a centre of eruption Vulcan, Roman god of fire
VULCANISE VULCANIZE to treat (rubber, etc) with sulphur or sulphur compounds, etc to improve its strength Vulcan, Roman god of fire
VOLT VOLTAIC a unit of electric potential and electromotive force (voltage) Count Alessandro Volta, Ital physicist 1745—1827)
WALDO a mechanical gadget, esp a remote control device after a character created by American writer Robert Heinlein (1907—88)
WARDIAN denoting a kind of glass case for transporting delicate ferns and other such plants or for growing them in indoors Nathaniel Bagshaw Ward (1791—1868), the inventor
WATT a unit of power James Watt, Sc engineer and inventor (1736—1819)
WAVELLITE a mineral, hydrated phosphate of aluminium Dr William Wavel or Wavell (died 1829), who discovered the mineral near Barnstaple
WEBER a unit of magnetic flux Wilhelm Eduard Weber, Ger physicist (1804—1891)
WEIGELA WEIGELIA a plant of a genus of deciduous shrubs with large showy pink, purplish or white flowers CE von Weigel (1748—1831), German botanist
WERNERITE a mineral, aka scapolite Abraham Gottlieb Werner (1749—1817), German geologist
WELLINGTON a leather boot with loose top, usually coming above the knee Arthur Wellesley, 1st Duke of Wellington, Brit general and statesman died 1852
WELWITSCHIA a S. African plant F.M.J. Welwitsch (1807—1872), Portuguese botanist
WHEWELLITE calcium oxalate after William Whewell (1794—1866)
WHISKERANDO a whiskered person in allusion to Dom Ferolo Whiskerandos in Sheridan's 'Critic' (1794—1866)
WIMP WIMPY weak and ineffectual possibly from J. Wellington Wimpy in Popeye comic strip
WISTARIA WISTERIA a flowering climbing plant named in 1818 in memory of American anatomist Caspar Wistar (1761-1818)
WITHERITE the chief source of barium compounds, barium carbonate Dr W Withering (1741—99), who first discriminated it
WOLLASTONITE a silicate of calcium, aka tabular spar WH Wollaston (1766—1828), English scientist
WOODBURYTYPE a photomechanical process in which an exposed and developed bichromated film is forced into a metal plate by great pressure, and so forms a matrix for subsequent printing: from its inventor Woodbury
WOODSIA a fern of the genus Woodsia (family Polypodiaceae) of cool or mountainous regions, with tufted rhizomes James Woods (1776—1864), botanist
WULFENITE a molybdate of lead, PbMoO4, occurring commonly as yellow crystals in veins with other lead ores FX von Wulfen (1728—1805), Austrian mineralogist
WURTZITE sulphide of zinc, ZnS CA Wurtz (1817—84), French chemist
YAGI denoting a type of highly directional television or radio astronomy aerial Hidetsugu Yagi (1886-1976), Japanese electrical engineer
YAPP a leather bookcover extending past the page edges William Yapp, London bookseller
YARBOROUGH cards: a bridge or whist hand (13 cards) with no card higher than a 9 Charles Anderson Worsley, 2nd Earl of Yarborough, (1809—1897). He bet 1000:1 against dealing a "yarborough" hand.
YEGG a burglar; orig. a safecracker often linked to supposed John Yegg, safecracker
YERSINIA a kind of bacterium AEJ Yersin (1863—1943), French bacteriologist
ZANTEDESCHIA a plant of the Zantedeschia genus of the arum family, including the calla lily Giovanni Zantedeschi (1773—1846), Italian botanist
ZANY a clown Fr zani, from Ital zanni, the Venetian form of Gianni, Giovanni John, a name given to comic servant characters in the commedia dell'arte
ZAPATA denoting a type of flowing moustache drooping down on each side of the mouth Emilio Zapata (1879—1919), Mexican revolutionary, who wore a moustache of this shape
ZARATITE a green amorphous mineral G. Zarate, a 19th century Spaniard
ZEPHYR a gentle breeze Zephyrus, the west wind personified in myth
ZEPPELIN a kind of airship Count Ferdinand von Zeppelin (1838—1917), Ger general who perfected its design
ZERK a grease fitting Oscar U. Zerk, American inventor
ZINNIA a flower JG Zinn, German botanist (1727—59)
ZOYSIA a kind of perennial grass Karl von Zois, b. 1800, German botanist