Welcome to the Wordlady blog!

This blog is about the fascinating, fun, and challenging things about the English language. I hope to entertain you and to help you with problems or just questions you might have with spelling and usage. I go beyond just stating what is right and what is wrong, and provide some history or some tips to help you remember. Is something puzzling you? Feel free to email me at wordlady.barber@gmail.com.
You can also order my best-selling books, Six Words You Never Knew Had Something to do With Pigs and Only in Canada You Say. Fun and informative!


Subscribe! Fun facts about English delivered weekly right to your inbox. IT'S FREE! Fill in your email address below.
Privacy policy: we will not sell, rent, or give your name or address to anyone. You can unsubscribe at any point.

Follow by email

Search This Blog

Friday, July 23, 2010


The Toronto Star website has this puzzling summary of my article (next post) about canapés:
Canapés: a summer treat, a summer scourge

The eponymous finger food snack comes from the greek word for mosquito netting.

I hope the lack of a capital on "Greek" was just an oversight. But what on earth do they think "eponymous" means? "Boycott" is an eponymous word, originating in the name of a Mr. Boycott. If I were to release a CD of me singing (not a hot seller, I'm thinking!) called simply "Katherine", you could call that an eponymous CD. Or if I were to dance the lead role in the ballet Manon (that would be a dream come true for me, if not for the ballet audience, and certainly not for whatever unfortunate guy got to partner me), you could call me the eponymous heroine. But I can't see by any stretch how "eponymous" works in the context above.

No comments:

Post a Comment

About Me

My photo
Canada's Word Lady, Katherine Barber is an expert on the English language and a frequent guest on radio and television. She was Editor-in-Chief of the Canadian Oxford Dictionary. Her witty and informative talks on the stories behind our words are very popular. Contact her at wordlady.barber@gmail.com to book her for speaking engagements; she can tailor her talks to almost any subject. She is also available as an expert witness for lawsuits.