What’s In a Name?

Just invent or make up something cool and they will name it after you.

Obviously we know how Ford, Dodge, and Gillette got their names. But, some common things we order and talk about every day had an origin, and sometimes it was a person…just like Henry Ford.

Here are a few common words you use all the time and how their name came about.

In 1943, Ignacio Anaya had a little bar and grill just across the border from Eagle Pass, Texas. Fort Duncan was there and many servicemen and their ladies crossed into Piedras Negras, Mexico to eat at Ignacio’s “Victory Club.” One night near closing time, a large group of servicemen’s wives came into the club wanting some food. Ignacio was out of everything. He didn’t want to turn the ladies out with empty stomachs so he cut up some tortillas, sprinkled them with cheese and jalapenos and baked them in the oven. They became a big hit and spread all over Texas and they were called by Ignacio’s nick-name, Nacho.

Back in 1784, a Major General designed a new bomb. He named it “spherical-case ammunition.”
He loaded a cannonball with lead shot which make the cannon a giant shotgun blast. It was a popular bomb and forms of it were used clear into World War I. So, that metal debris that flies through the air at lethal speed was named after the inventor,  Major General Shrapnel.
shrapnel shell

Ferdinand Von Mueller discovered a nut in the 19th century by accident. This native Australian nut was given by Von Mueller to a student at the Botanical Gardens in Brisbane. He asked the student to crack it open for germination and they would study it. Instead the student ate it, said he loved it. Von Mueller waited a day or so to see if the student would die. He didn’t so Von Mueller named the nut after his close friend, John Macadam. A Macadamia nut is one of the tastiest nuts in the world.
macadamia nuts

Who didn’t love Bart and Brett Maverick? Before James Garner became Maverick, there was a Sam Maverick. He was a lawyer, land baron and politician(I hate him already) from Texas in the 19th century. He had a big herd of cows and he said he didn’t want to hurt them by branding them. Other ranchers said that his herd kept growing because he would claim every cow without a brand was his. Today we call an unbranded cow a “Maverick.”

Finally my favorite dude, Luigi Galvani. Luigi was an 18th century Italian scientist who electrocuted dead frogs to watch their muscles twitch. To shock something by electricity was called “galvanizing” for some time. Then it was used as an electroplating method which today we call galvanization.

For you inquiring minds who have read this far, my research has not uncovered a gentleman named Ralph Fart.

About bakoheat

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