Theme: Eponyms (Five people, real and fictional, whose names may appear to be derived from a verb form, but aren’t.)
noun: A wise and trusted adviser or teacher.
verb tr., intr.: To serve as an adviser or teacher.
After Mentor, the name of young Telemachus’s adviser in Homer’s Odyssey.
“Just as mentors come in different shapes and sizes, they fill different roles. Ms. Brooks said the common denominator is that they are good and active listeners willing to offer constructive, but blunt, criticism and, at the same time, share stories about their own failures.”
noun: A wise old man.
From Nestor, king of Pylos, who was the oldest and wisest of the Greeks and served as a counselor in the Trojan War.
“Roland Shaw was not only an oil man; he was the Nestor of the oil business, there when the first donkey nodded.”
1. A fierce, uncontrollable person.
2. One who proves to be unexpectedly formidable. Usually used in the idiom “to catch a tartar”.
3. A hard yellowish deposit that forms on the teeth.
4. A reddish deposit on the sides of wine casks.
For 1, 2: A Tartar, more commonly called a Tatar, was a member of Mongolian and Turkish tribes who under the leadership of Genghis Khan ransacked much of Asia and Eastern Europe in the early 13th century.
For 3, 4: From Latin tartarum, from Greek tartaron.
“My mother was an amazingly gentle and cheerful person, but on racism she was a tartar and an Amazon.”
“[The racehorse Mad About You had] success a month ago, but she caught a tartar in John Hayden’s Emily Blake.”
noun: A bully or a blusterer.
verb tr., intr.: To bully or to bluster.
After Hector, a Trojan hero in Greek mythology. He was killed by Achilles. The name is derived from Greek hektor (holding fast). In the mid-1600s the term was applied to hoodlums on London streets.
“Older children pulled at my beard, Jewish children hectored me with eligibility questions.”
5. satyr (SAY-tuhr, SAT-uhr)
1. A lecherous man.
2. A man who has satyriasis: excessive and uncontrollable sexual desire. The female equivalent is nymphomania.
3. Any of several butterflies of the family Satyridae, having eyelike spots.
After Satyr, a woodland creature in Greek mythology shown as having features of a goat and a horse (pointed ears, horns, tail, etc.) and known for lasciviousness.
“Presiding like a twinkly satyr over this parade of sauciness and silicone is Antoine de Caunes, the aforementioned Frenchman.”