14th century Italian monk, Domenico
da Comma, was charged with heresy for creating a punctuation mark
that was not in the scriptures. The comma survived, and so did the
Nathaniel Bigot's intolerance was extreme, even for the
Puritans; he was arrested by Oliver Cromwell as a nuisance.
Martha Gingham, a 17th century English brothel keeper, dressed
her "girls" in neat checkered fabrics.
Etienne Corset made stiff underpinnings for the French cavalry
around Napoleon's time.
Jeremy Botch, a really bad 19th century English carpenter, left
us the phrase "a botch job" and possibly "jerrybuilt."
A German doctor, Franz Mesmer, did not realize his "cures" were
achieved by hypnosis; he was all the rage in the French court of
the 1780s. Soon after, a French doctor, Joseph Guillotin, advocated
new technology for executions.
They gave us mesmerize and guillotine -- and Dr. Guillotin's
kids changed their names.
These are a few people whose names have entered the language. In
travel, Thomas Cook gave us the cook's tour.
But, just imagine what we could see in a future dictionary:Crandallize, v (fr. Bob Crandall, once chairman of American) To
evolve into something way beyond the creator's expectations (as in,
frequent flyer programs, created on Crandall's watch, grew to be a
worldwide phenomenon; they were crandallized).Dickins-on, n (fr. Bob Dickinson, president of Carnival Cruise
Lines) Anything that pushes others to rethink business practices
(as in, that speech was a real dickins-on).Frommer, adj (fr. Arthur Frommer, author of "Europe on $5 a
Day," among others) Low-cost but having value (as in, the trip was
in the Frommer price range).Good-win, n (fr. James Goodwin, chairman and CEO of United)
Very bad news, such as a pay cut (said with sarcasm: that was
really a good-win). [Note: Goodwin assumed his posts only for one
of the three times United led on pay cuts, but working with the
name -- eerily similar to my own -- was irresistible.]Hilton, n (fr. Conrad Hilton, founder of a well-known hotel
business) A synonym for hotel, inn or resort (popularized as a
generic term by Jay Leno, David Letterman, sitcom writers and
others needing a word to describe a hotel of a specific type).Hopper, n (fr. Max Hopper, "father of Sabre") A stage setter, a
visionary (as in, Jay Walker was the hopper behind
Priceline.com).Rosenbluth, adj (fr. Philadelphia family surname)
Multigenerational, covering at least a century (as in, a
100-year-old family operation fits the Rosenbluth mold).