February 8th, 2015

BATS - book

Saturday & Sunday Word: Jeremiad & Eponym

jer·e·mi·ad [ˌjer-ə-ˈmī-əd]:
origin: [biblical] Hebrew; ירמיה= "Jeremiah"

e•po•nym [ˈe-pə-ˌnim]:
origin: [1770-80] Greek; epōnymos,= epi-= "upon" + onyma= "name"

A jeremiad is a prolonged, seriously-worded, angry, and impassioned list (or account) of woes; a cautionary verse or prophecy of doom; the sort of thing that can get you labeled as a "Debbie Downer" in the modern world, unless put into a catchy rap or country music hit.

The origin of the word references biblical prose from The Book of Jeremiah, making this word an eponym (adjective form) -- a word whose origins can be traced to a proper noun that is real or fictional -- such as teddy bear (Theodore Roosevelt), Dickensian (Charles Dickens), or pavlovian (Ivan Pavlov). However, I encountered the word jeremiad through an author attempting to describe the bodies of male nudists who are famous for joggling about San Francisco!

Can you "name" an eponym?