Words Inspired by Real People

  1. bloomers — after Amelia Bloomer, a women’s rights advocate
  2. cardigan — after the Seventh Earl of Cardigan, James Thomas Brudenell (1797-1868)
  3. chauvinism — after legendary French soldier Nicolas Chauvin
  4. decibel — after Alexander Graham Bell, one tenth of a bel
  5. guppy — after R.J. Lechmere Guppy (1836-1916), a Trinidadian clergyman
  6. leotard — after Jules Léotard (1830-1870), the French aerialist
  7. masochism — after Leopold von Sacher-Masoch (1836-1895), the Austrian author of Venus in Furs
  8. pompadour — after Jeanne Antoinette Poisson, the Marquise de Pompadour
  9. saxophone — after Belgian instrument designer and musician Adolphe Sax
  10. silhouette — after Étienne de Silhouette (1709-1767), a French finance minister


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