Eponymous Adjectives!

How would you like to be remembered? A beautiful portrait of you hanging in the National Gallery, perhaps? A famous cocktail, maybe? Or a skyscraper with your name in giant golden letters on top?


Some lucky (and not so lucky) people have had their names ring through the ages, becoming a commonly used adjective.  We call these eponymous adjectives. From the Ancient Greek Epi- (upon) combined with the -onuma (name), some eponymous adjectives date back all the way to the Ancient Greeks themselves!

Starting in Greece: Draconian laws/rulesMeaning: Harsh, tough, strict, extreme, or drastic.

E.g. “The government’s new laws are draconian, to say the least!”

Over to Britain for… Blairite Politics/politicians – Meaning: Similar to/Following in the footsteps of Tony Blair, the ex UK Prime Minister. Neo-liberal political views.

E.g. “He’s definitely more of a Blairite politician than a Corbynista.”

In Literature, we have: ByronicMeaning: Moody, dark, mysterious and alluring.

E.g. “The Byronic hero of this new drama Poldark is quite a dish.”

In Football, who could forget: Beckhamesque -Like something David Beckham might do!

E.g. “That free-kick was absolutely beckhamesque! It curled right in the top corner!”


Last but not least: Pythonesque Absurd, silly humour similar to the work of Monty Python.

E.g. “When he hit him with that fish, it was very Pythonesque.”

There are hundreds! Maybe you are trumpian in your public speaking, or you like a ritzy hotel. You feel like too much CCTV is orwellian, or that mirrors are narcissistic. If it takes a herculean effort to get your rubenesque figure out of bed, it could be time to lay off the tantalising treats…

So, it begs the question: what would be your eponymous adjective?

Thanks to Luke for this great blog all about Eponymous Adjectives! To find out more about our lovely school click this link: www.ttischool.com

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