Revealing the history behind words from Hoover to Sandwich and Wellington Boots to the Biro, this guide to eponyms is full of surprises.
What's in a name? From Achilles to zeppelin, the words we use in everyday language invoke a cast of historical characters, from figures of ancient legend to modern-day sports stars. But have you ever stopped to wonder how on earth the names became the words we use so often?
How, for example, did Italian nationalist leader Giuseppe Garibaldi give his name to something so sweet as a biscuit? Who was the Gordon Bennett whose name has become an expression of surprise or displeasure? And who knew, when Odysseus set off on his ten-year voyage home in Homer's epic, that long journeys would take his name?
Behind so many words are real people with a story to tell. This fascinating book reveals the history behind the most familiar and more unusual eponyms.