A fun and informative guide to the how and why of proper names and their haphazard entry into common English language by the author of the bestselling Amo, Amas, Amat and More. Mining the English language to turn up a colorful cast of characters, Eugene Ehrlich finds the historic and literary figures who have given their names to the English language in the interest of keeping it vibrant and their names alive. In What's in a Name? Ehrlich traces the history of eponymous words and their progenitors, illuminating the legacy of Louis Braille, inventor of the system of embossed printing for the blind; the verbal acrobatics of Baron Munchausen; the sadism of the Marquis de Sade; and much more. What's in a Name? will amuse and enlighten word buffs, history lovers, and trivia pursuers alike as Ehrlich, in his inimitable way, uncovers an exhaustive assemblage of characters who have left an indelible mark on the English language.
Eugene Ehrlich is the coeditor of The Oxford American Dictionary and the author of Les Bon Mots (Owl Books, 0-8050-5810-9) and You've Got Ketchup on Your Muumuu. He lives in New York.