NPR logo

When Names Live on as Common Nouns

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4773098/4773045" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">
When Names Live on as Common Nouns

When Names Live on as Common Nouns

When Names Live on as Common Nouns

  • <iframe src="https://www.npr.org/player/embed/4773098/4773045" width="100%" height="290" frameborder="0" scrolling="no" title="NPR embedded audio player">

Linguist Geoff Nunberg examines how surnames live on as nouns. From boycott to luddite — many words started out as someone's name, though the owner is long forgotten.