How to Write an Eponym
In order to use an eponym,
- Think of an idea or object which does not have a name.
- Coin a name based on a specific person or thing.
For example, imagine you are a pioneering chemist named Harold Thompkins who has discovered a unique effect of mixing certain chemicals.
A chemical reaction
The Thompkins Reaction
For a second example, imagine you are interested in comparing authors. You notice W. Somerset Maugham has a particular way of writing, but it has not been named before.
- Somerset Maugham’s writing style
Creating an eponym is simple: apply a name to a thing based on its unique origin.
When to Use Eponyms
Eponyms are often used to describe specific time periods, scientific or mathematic discoveries or theories, specific products, and trends. Canonized writers often have their styles defined, such as Shakespearean for William Shakespeare and Byronic for Lord Byron. Diseases and medical terms are often named after famous patients or doctors such as Lou Gehrig’s Disease for the baseball star and pasteurization for Louis Pasteur. Eponyms are appropriate whenever coining a name for an idea or product.