Greek and Roman Eponyms: Cupid’s Modern-Day Naming Trend
With February upon us, nobody is safe from Cupid’s arrow. Cupid is an important symbol of Valentine’s Day and in Roman mythology, his name stands for the god of love and beauty. Cupid has remained apparent as a representation of love for many people throughout the world, with online dating services and wedding chapels now named after him. An eponym is a name derived from a real person or fictional character. In some cases, the person’s name and the word are exactly the same and the word simply takes on a new meaning. In other cases the person’s name is slightly changed. Many modern-day products and companies have utilized eponyms and are now successfully positioned in the marketplace as highly recognized brands. Several have also incorporated these ideas into their logos.
The Nike brand is such a highly distinguished shoe company that many would be surprised to know that the word Nike is based on Greek mythology. Nike was the winged goddess of victory who could run and fly at great speeds, a very relevant name for athletic gear.
The increasingly popular online store, Amazon, borrowed its name from Greek mythology as well. The Amazons were a race of powerful women warriors trained in archery and combat.
The Arm and Hammer logo dates back to the 1860s and represents Vulcan, the Roman god of fire and metalworking. The FTD flower delivery company incorporates Hermes and his winged heels and the classic figure or Mercury as their official logo. With worldwide visibility, the gold “Mercury Man” is one of the most recognized logos in the world.
Mercury and Saturn automobiles borrowed their names from Roman gods Hermes (the messenger God) and Cronus (father of Zeus), respectively. The automotive repair company, Midas is named after Greek god King Midas, who is remembered for his ability to turn everything he touched into gold.
Greek and Roman mythology have shaped the English language on many levels. How would you feel if a language adopted your name as a word?
Contributed by: Ashley Popham