- Sideburns : Named after the American Civil War general Ambrose Burnside.
- Heaviside function (a mathematical step function) : named after Oliver Heaviside
- The Children's python (animal) : Named after John George Children.
- Snowflake, AZ : Named after Erastus Snow and William Jordon Flake.
- Lake Mountain, Victoria : No lake. Named after George Lake, who was the Surveyor-General of the area including the mountain.
[*] Search for the relevant comment for more info and references.
- German Chocolate Cake - Named after the English-American chocolate maker Samuel German.
- Baker's Chocolate (popular American brand of baking chocolate) - Named after Dr. William Baker
- Loop subdivision (CG term) - Named after its inventor Charles Loop.
- French Hill (neighborhood in Jerusalem) - Named after British general John French. (Disputed)
- Mobile Homes (my absolute favorite) - Named after their place of fabrication, Mobile Alabama. Bonus fact (mine): The product's original name (that sadly didn't catch on) was "Sweet Homes" after their inventor James Sweet! And The 1974 Lynyrd Skynyrd hit “Sweet Home Alabama” was a reworking of a 1951 radio jingle advertising “Sweet Homes, Alabama.”
Manufactured houses really did grow out of the camper/trailer industry. The name "mobile home" is a holdover from when they had wheels. The first companies to deliver prefab houses to set on foundations already had thriving businesses making trailer-homes or other prefab structures (like those seen on construction sites)
– Caesar salad — named after Caesar Cardini, a restauranteur in San Diego and Tijuana 
> So how did this claim arise? In a 1993 PC Professional article, columnist Lisa Holst wrote about the ubiquitous lists of “facts” that were circulating via e-mail and how readily they were accepted as truthful by gullible recipients. To demonstrate her point, Holst offered her own made-up list of equally ridiculous “facts,” among which was the statistic cited above about the average person’s swallowing eight spiders per year, which she took from a collection of common misbeliefs printed in a 1954 book on insect folklore. In a delicious irony, Holst’s propagation of this false “fact” has spurred it into becoming one of the most widely-circulated bits of misinformation to be found on the Internet.
This is NOT in their "TroLL" section -- it is not clearly marked as being a fake fact.
See https://www.snopes.com/fact-check/swallow-spiders/ .
Yet if you do the homework -- other people have, and I have tried to reproduce it myself -- there is no such source. See https://skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/2094/is-a-write... for example.
This Snopes article cites a column reportedly called "Reading Is Believing" from a periodical called "PC Professional", page 71, date 7 January 1993. I was unable to find the existence of any such periodical although there is "PC professionnel", published in German, ISSN 0939-5822, whose archives seem to only be available in German libraries (and I have not reviewed those).
However, I was able to find in the Cornell University archives, a quarterly periodical called the Cornell Engineer, which carried a column by a student columnist dated April 1992 (Volume 56 number 2, page 24, column title "Stress and Strain", author Margot Anne-Stephanie Vigeant '94). That seems to predate the January 1993 citation given in the Snopes article, and the 1992 student-publication column text says in part
> My first topic for this issue is worries. I've decided that there are just too many well adjusted, un-paranoid people in this school (NOT), so I've decided to wreck their peace of mind by sharing a list of my favorite worries with them. These are the kind of things that just jump into your mind right before you're about to fall asleep - horrible little night gremlins whose goal it is to keep you up just a little bit longer. So here they are, hope you can sleep after this:
> The average person swallows eight spiders while sleeping, in their lifetime. What if all eight show up tonight?
Meanwhile the source that Snopes apparently made up, Lisa Birgit Holst, is an anagram for "This is a big troll".
It's just odd. Their debunking contains a pointless lie; there is a real citation available they chose not to use.
Longyearbyen in Svalbard (Longyear Town), the main settlement, is named after John Monro Longyear, an American coal magnate from Michigan .
I have no idea what the correct pronunciation is. But between you and me, I think we have some viable candidates.
So what noun or adjective is "Adidas"?
I'm going to complain about being downvoted and I'm gonna grumpily say even HN isn't immune to anti-intellectualism...
The good ones in the list are good because they are not obviously a name of a person, the name of the thing makes sense independently to it being named after a person.
"Lake Mountain" could easily be named that because it is a mountain with a lake, so it is interesting that Lake Mountain is named after someone named Lake; Adidas and Debian are unexpected simply because they don't look like the name of a person, or anything else!
My contribution: Lake Mountain in Victoria!
"There is no lake at Lake Mountain, the area was named after George Lake, who was the Surveyor-General of the area including the mountain."
Tex-Mex and Cali-Mex aren't the same thing, and California has no claim to Tex-Mex...
I appreciate many different cuisines, so I am not saying Tex-Mex is better than Cali-Mex, just that they’re different. Bringing Taco Bell into the equation and saying it’s representative is deeply insulting to Tex-Mex, however.
Caesar isn't even a last name.
> Caesar isn't even a last name.
Worked out fine for Julius.
There are modern people today with a surname of Caesar. Somehow, the name of the late celebrity Sid Caesar pops up for me. Wikipedia has more: https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Caesar_(surname) -- and I know of other languages where their cognate for Caesar is also a surname.
But yes, it is common to address people by their last name as a nickname. I seem to recall it was especially common back in school, something guys did kind of informally. Plenty of reasons explained here: https://www.google.com/search?q=call+someone+by+last+name
I also recall nickname variations of various surnames. Somebody called Fitzgerald might be called Fitz. Somebody called Smith might be called Smitty. Those are two I recall from school days.
And yes clearly, McDonald's and Hardee's are named for surnames.
Huh? "Caesar" is how he's generally referred to, almost certainly because the form of address to every Roman emperor was "Caesar", after him. But there's no indication that it is taken to be his surname. That would be ridiculous.
There is no pattern for the common English name of a Roman figure:
- Virgil: nomen
- Ovid: nomen
- Martial: cognomen
- Catullus: cognomen (of possible note: Martial and Catullus have the same nomen)
- Cicero: cognomen, but sometimes referred to by nomen as "Tully"
- Antony: nomen
- Brutus: cognomen
- Pliny the Elder: nomen
- Catiline: cognomen
It's purely convention whether they're known by surname or personal name.
Similarly, what are the surnames of, as they are known in English, Mao Tse-tung, Chiang Kai-shek, or Sun Yat-sen?
> There are modern people today with a surname of Caesar. Somehow, the name of the late celebrity Sid Caesar pops up for me. Wikipedia has more
Not really relevant when the claim was that (1) Little Caesars is named after someone's surname; and/or (2) Caesar was Julius Caesar's surname. Both of those claims are obviously false.
> yes clearly, McDonald's and Hardee's are named for surnames.
But I've been saying this whole time that "Taco Smith" is not similar to "Taco John's", because "Taco John's" is named after a notional owner, Taco John, whereas you couldn't call someone "Taco Smith". (And of course, even if you did, you wouldn't expect the restaurant to have the same name as the owner.)
McDonald's and Hardee's are not evidence that anyone ever referred to anyone as "McDonald" or "Hardee". They're names, not nicknames.
> But yes, it is common to address people by their last name as a nickname. I seem to recall it was especially common back in school, something guys did kind of informally. Plenty of reasons explained here: https://www.google.com/
This isn't common at all. What country are you thinking of?
Very very common in my childhood in the northeastern and mid Atlantic United States. I have heard it from west coaters too.
No answer to the nickname "Smitty"? It is a common one, derived from Smith. You can Google it.
"When [Knuth] taught Concrete Mathematics at Stanford for the first time, he explained the somewhat strange title by saying that it was his attempt to teach a math course that was hard instead of soft. He announced that,
contrary to the expectations of some of his colleagues, he was not going to teach the Theory of Aggregates, nor Stone's Embedding Theorem, nor even the Stone-Čech compactification. (Several students from the civil engineering department got up and quietly left the room.)"
was unexpected to me when i first learned CSS, and now is a bittersweet memory i gladly pass on.
It should be named after a slow, cumbersome, finicky and controversial leader who occasionally brought things together, but only temporarily.
Cromwell would suffice
He's also the godfather of the Big and Little Indian Brothers.
1) name-derived terms like Debian, or the French ‘poubelle’ in the comments, which have become genericized to the point where most of its users don’t know the derivation
2) a more interesting subset of (1), like PageRank, or Lake Mountain in the comments, where part or all of the name itself looks like a normal word appropriate for the situation. (a related concept is nominative determinism https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nominative_determinism)
And for #2, most of them are surely done knowing that there's a double meaning, but the origin has been left behind. There's probably a few names that are now more associated with the person than the original pun.
Of course the "offical" name is "Compiler Explorer", but everybody just refers to it as "Godbolt" (probably because of the URL), which I thought is a weird but interesting name for a programming tool until I learned much too late that a certain "Matt Godbolt" has created it :D
Eponyms can be very weird sometimes. The path from austerity-pushing minister to artistic rendering of outline in profile must have been a bit odd.
The cake made from German's chocolate was invented by a housewife in the 1950's and the recipe published in a newspaper; General Foods, by then the owner of Bakers, took notice and started to include the recipe in its packaging.
On the other hand, there are terms like eigenvector/eigenvalue, which literally mean "own"-vector/"own"-value in German. When I first learned that they still have the "eigen" prefix when translated to English, I immediately assumed that they are named after some mathematician named Eigen. To my surprise, that was not the case -- for some reason, mathematicians did indeed decide to use the German word for "own" as a prefix.
* Swedish: egenvektor
* Spanish: vector propio/autovectore
* Italian: autovettore
* Finnish: ominaisvektori
* Turkish: özvektör
I think autovector would have been a good English term.
Also in Italy, the loop highway around Rome is known as GRA, which stands for "Grande Raccordo Anulare" ("Big Annular Highway"), but that is just a backronym: originally it is also the surname of Eugenio Gra, the engineer who designed it.
Known in the US as the eponym of sleeper cars: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pullman_(car_or_coach) .
Let me just note that there are other words that descend from the Latin diminutive instead of the basic form. For example, "castrum" with its diminutive "castellum" became "castello" in Italian and "castle" in English, while the base form was retained only in toponyms (the suffix "chester" in English and "castro" in Italian). As for "anellus", I see no compelling reason to use the diminutive instead of the base form. I guess it's just an artifact of time (with a funny result: since Italian has again suffixes for diminutive and augmentative, we can use the words "castellino" and "castellone", literally a "little little castrum" and "big little castrum"; confusing!).
Most think it a native name, that there was some warrior or chief named "Kicking Horse" and that we should rename the pass to give it a proper pronounciation in the native language. I've seen people protest about this (1990s, pre-wikipedia) and try to locate the historical person of which there are a few with that name. The reality is that one of the guys surveying the pass was literally kicked by his horse. No translation needed.
$5000 is worth ~$125,000 today. Not a bad reward.
There's a big sign on a somewhat run-down looking building on a main street in my city, that says "GENTILES". Turns out it's a company that makes flooring - i.e. short for "general tiles".
Also, there's a chain of restaurants in the northeastern US called "Friendly's" that was founded by people named "Blake", not "Friendly". It was originally named "Friendly" ice cream from 1935-1989, but eventually added the apostrophe-s because people insisted on calling it that. It still gives me a little Mandela-effect type dissonance because I remember when the logo didn't match what people said and now it does.
I think also remember that name change.
Edit: looked it up and it's a guy named Motos selling doors :-)
Is there another pre-existing meaning for "poubelle" that makes this naming unexpected?
I mean, it _is_ the French term for "trash can".
It might be surprising to you, for example, if you'd suddenly find out that trash cans are named after "Michael Trashcan" or something along those lines.
Oh my God! I just realized that Zeppelins were invented by Graf von Zeppelin. What are the odds of the person inventing airships also having the last name that airships are often called by?
It’s as if computers were called Jobs machines.
It's a different thing to some of the 'surprises' here, but interesting and I'm glad it was shared.
“Of course. Why do you think it’s run by a man called Hoover?”
This was a joke in the ‘80s Clue movie; albeit probably funnier to the English writer and the English actor saying the lines, as Hoover as a generecized trademark for vacuum cleaner is more popular there.
I'd always thought the comment's attributes name was because "dang, time to chastise another one" but it turns out that "Dan G" is (maybe) a person!
Man, look at all that karma fly out of the window... Oops. Wrong site!
Hamming and Hanning
These two similarly-named Hamming and Hanning (more properly referred to as Hann) window functions both have a sinusoidal shape. The difference between them is that the Hanning window touches zero at both ends, removing any discontinuity. The Hamming window stops just shy of zero, meaning that the signal will still have a slight discontinuity.
Another piece of local infrastructure named after the architect is the Holland Tunnel. It’s not named after the region in Europe and has no relation to New York originally being settled by the Dutch.
I had been leaning more towards the celestial object them due to the existence of Galaxy chocolate and Milky Way bars. On the other hand, Snickers bars  were called Marathon bars when I was growing up and this could have been a reference to the classical Greek battle (the Wikipedia page doesn’t say where this name comes from but I’d guess that it’s intended to imply that the bar will provide you with enough energy to a long distance).
Actually named after its inventor Charles Loop.
At Sun, Ian Murdock also started an OS project called “Indiana”. I have wondered if this was a happy coincidence that Ian was substring of Indiana. Of course, he also lived in that state.
docker Inc ....Not sure if its coincidence...he was working for Docker Inc. (Ian Murdock...last four letters "dock" docker inc.)... However very sad ending..another gem lost de excessive poiice harassment....like aaron.
"Its name came from John W. Kottinger, an Alameda County justice of the peace, who named it after his friend, Union army cavalry Major General Alfred Pleasonton. A typographical error by a recording clerk in Washington, D.C., apparently led to the current spelling."
There was a local manufacturing company in Indianapolis that seemingly couldn’t keep its own name consistent: a buggy maker founded by two brothers named Parry also used the name “Perry” at times.
Named after British general John French.
Amusingly, erroneously translated into Hebrew as giv'at tzarfatit - the word for the French nationality.
* Full disclosure: Wikipedia claims it's not true. But it's disputed and I have heard this story from local historians.
Who drove me crazy in an audiobook I listened to recently on WWI, whose author, one can only assume intentionally, kept deploying phrases like (very roughly paraphrased from memory) "As a British officer, French hated and distrusted the French, who resented being commanded by a Briton."
Tarmac is an abbreviation of tarmacadam, which is named for John Loudon McAdam. It’s also where the verb “macadamisation” comes from, which is a great word.
EDIT: Nope, different one. John McAdam was Scottish, while John Macadam was Australian.
MySQL is named after the one of co-founder's daughter, My?
I knew the Debian. but this is mind boggling.
>The basis of Google's search technology is called PageRank™, and assigns an "importance" value to each page on the web and gives it a rank to determine how useful it is. However, that's not why it's called PageRank. It's actually named after Google co-founder Larry Page.
Interesting to me, as I thought it was Brin's idea, and 3 people worked on the paper.
Bluetooth: tenth-century king Harald Bluetooth united dissonant Danish tribes into a single kingdom. (re: uniting communication protocols)
I guess it's not so surprising bc why the heck is it named after a tooth (had been thinking... the shape of a Bluetooth dongle? Lol) but still, this is a pretty obscure ref.
Scientific names are frequently eponymous, but very few common foods were discovered by Europeans after Linnaeus invented modern taxonomy. New World food names are usually derived from native words (avocado, potato, etc).
"Rio Grande River" means "Big River River" (rio being river and grande big).
"Kill" is Dutch for creek (e.g., Fishkill).
"Avon" is Celtic (Gaelic, Irish, Welch) for river (River Avon).
"Hatchie" is Choctaw for river (Loosahatchie River)
"Mississippi" is Anishinaabe for "big river".
Similarly Mekong, Cuyahoga, Wadi (or the Hispanified "guada"), Molopo, Ouse, Reka, Upė, Walla, "ci-" perfix (Java), Owen, and otheers in different refions.
Bothmia, Chad, Laguna, Lagunita, "-kal", Loch, bach, Michigan are all other terms for bodies of water (lakes, bays, etc.).
Gibralteer, knock (cnoc), Montana, Morro, Killimanjaro (killi), pen or pendell, pic ("peak), mesa.
Etc., etc., etc: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_tautological_place_nam...
- Eas Fors Waterfall
- Deschutes Falls, Tumwater, Washington
- Lochmere Lake, Cary, North Carolina
- Bredon Hill, Pendle Hill, (hill hill hill)
- Nesoddtangen (cape cape cape)
- Wookey Hole Caves (cave cave cave)
Lake Semerwater is a near-quad: lake lake lake water.
Then there are double doubles: The La Brea Tar Pits (the the tar tar pits).
From Wikipedia: "Duns Scotus wrote treatises on theology, grammar, logic and metaphysics, which were widely influential throughout Western Europe... The followers of Duns Scotus were called the Dunses, Dunsmen, or Scotists. When in the sixteenth century the Scotists argued against Renaissance humanism, the term duns or dunce became, in the mouths of the Protestants, a term of abuse and a synonym for one incapable of scholarship."
This is similar to how people call others "Einstein" when they do something stupid.
S7E11A - Brands Are People, Too - Products Named After Inventors
This week, we explore famous Products Named After Their Inventors. Some products are so cemented in our minds we forget their names once belonged to people. Shrapnel was invented by Henry Shrapnel, nachos were invented by Nachos Anaya and the leotard was invented by a Jules Leotard. We’ll even look at some inventors who wish their names had been forgotten...
But it's actually named after Edward M. House, a political figure who donated the land.
There's also a Slaughter Lane. This being Texas, one might guess it is a road to a slaughterhouse, but it's named after the Slaughter family who were early settlers in the region.
See also https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_countries_named_after_...
Edit: oh it's in the article too.