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Top 10 Words You Didn’t Know Named After People

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Although you probably don’t use the words below on a daily basis, they are part of our vocabulary. If you know that these words are all named after people, you will say them more often. In any case, it has brought the people concerned world fame!

10. Boycott

Charles Boycott

In the mid-nineteenth century it was very common for farmers to give up large sums of rent. Likewise in Ireland. The Earl of Earne appointed people to collect the money. Charles Boycott was one of them. Despite all his efforts – and displays of power – Boycott failed to complete his duties. He was simply ignored by the peasants and workers. There was unmistakable talk of a boycott. By deliberately excluding him, or in other words, isolating him, they managed to escape their obligation to pay.

9. Chauvinism

It will happen to you; you are called up to serve in Napoleon ‘s army , you are wounded 17 times in all and they ship you off with a small pension. And with an honorable saber! It happened to the French soldier Nicolas Chauvin. If you think he was overcome with revenge, you’re wrong. Chauvin manifested himself as a true Napoleon fan! Everywhere he went he praised the army chief to heaven. His bigotry inspired two playwrights to write ‘La Cocarde tricolore’. In this Chauvin was sublimely portrayed.


8. Decibel

Alexander Graham Bello

The name Alexander Graham Bell probably rings a bell. We owe the telephone to this Scottish inventor – also known as a scientist. At least, he has contributed to the development of this means of communication. The principle on which this invention is based boils down to the propagation of sound waves. The intensity of the sound is expressed in decibels. As you can see from this, one decibel is equal to 1/10 of a bell. Whatever standard you use, you will come across the name Alexander Graham Bell. It is worth mentioning that the telephone company Bell, founded by him, has grown into the American Telephone and Telegraph Company (AT&T). A provider of size!

7. Saxophone

Antoine Sax

Antoine Sax, who lived from 1814 to 1894, was born among musical instruments. His father owned a music studio in Brussels. Musical instruments were built here. It was inevitable that Antoine would succeed his father. Perhaps the term surpass is more appropriate. During one of the many experiments with instruments, Antoine Sax invented a new wind instrument: the saxophone. Incidentally, it took a while before the public was allowed to see which instrument it was. The first performances took place behind a curtain! Sax only showed the saxophone when he had applied for a patent.

6. Nicotine

Jean Nicot

As an ambassador you are often allowed to travel, the French ambassador Jean Nicot could talk about it. During a trade mission to Portugal – at the end of the sixteenth century – he was given a tobacco plant to take home. The plant grew well under the French sun. Jean Nicot soon realized that he could earn money from the nicotine contained in tobacco. He quit his job as ambassador and laid the foundations for a company that managed to attract many people. This made him – at the expense of many nicotine addicts worldwide – a huge fortune!

5. Sadism

Marquis de Sade

The origin of the word sadism also lies in France. The Marquis de Sade once lived here. He was part of the French aristocrats. On paper that is, because he has spent most of his life behind bars. The Marquis de Sade engaged in violent sexual practices. They spoke of ‘outrageous acts of sexual perversion’. By the way, his feelings in prison were not suppressed. In fact, here he wrote many plays and novels with sexual cruelty as the theme. His efforts have been rewarded with a word of his own: sadism.

4. Lynch

During the period that William Lynch was alive, a namesake also played a role. Politician Charles Lynch was a member of the United States House of Representatives in Virginia. However, he has never been guilty of lynching. For that reason, it is very likely that this verb was not named after him. Like many Virginians, William Lynch was plagued by bandit raids. Time and again, the gang managed to evade the police. William took matters into his own hands with some friends; they rounded up the bandits and arbitrarily staged an execution. This is where the word lynching comes from.

3. Silhouette

A silhouette is equivalent to a shadow portrait. This concept applies to the working method of the Frenchman Étienne de Silhouette. As Auditor General of the Treasury, he decided in the mid-eighteenth century to introduce a new tax system. Thus, the French economy had to be restored. His approach proved unsuccessful. When it became clear that he had profited from raising the funds, Silhouette was fired. He had used pants without pockets. And shadow portraits! He did, however, have a word named after him from his career.

2. Braille

Louis Braille

When fate overtakes you, it can lead to high-level innovations. At the age of three, Louis Braille was involved in an accident. He went blind. Yet this limitation did not prevent him from developing. Louis Braille was determined to learn to read. Together with a number of experts he developed books for blind people; they used embossed letters. A wide range of Braille books has been published in recent centuries.

1. Sandwich

louis sandwich

John Montagu, a British statesman, as a 10-year-old grandson of Edward Montagu, inherited the title of Earl of Sandwich (Earl of Sandwich). When Count’s cook served him a sandwich, this sandwich became world famous. Montagu was an avid poker player; he couldn’t stop. Not even when the clock showed dinner time.

The cook was concerned for the count’s health. That is why he prepared a double-thick sandwich from two thin slices of bread, richly topped with meats, cheese and raw vegetables. So the poker-addicted count could just continue playing at the table! Incidentally, it is very likely that this way of investing bread has been around for some time. Since John Montagu lived in the village of Sandwich – and enjoyed the necessary fame – the sandwich was noticed. Anyway.

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