Thursday, March 24, 2005

When Have You Made It? When Your Name Is A Verb

Pile On, Resident of the John Locke Chair here at the Ebb & Flow Institute, made a comment in this week's WTW about Judge Robert Bork. It made me think about the verb he helped coin, "to Bork" which means essentially to be roughly treated and then fail at a Senate confirmation hearing. Other people have had their names becomes verbs, almost always people with political significance. For example, one may "Clintonize" a word when one parses its meaning so finely as to say one thing but mean another. Or one may engage in a Lewinsky, which used to be illegal in some states before Lawrence v. Texas was decided. And of course there is the blogosphere famous version, "to Fisk" someone or their column.

So, I ask you, what other names are there that transcended into the world of verbs? What other names are there that should make this transition. Please provide a definition with your use of the name.

Discuss amongst yourselves, but do it here in the comments section so I can eavesdrop.