Proprietary eponyms/genericized trademarks

When we think of brand names that have become a generic word to describe something, we probably  think of :

  • Kleenex
  • Post It Note
  • Hoover
  • Band Aid
  • Tupperware

Did you know the following are also proprietary eponyms aka genericized trademarks? The ones marked * are no longer trademarked but started out as proprietary eponyms.

  • Alka Seltzer
  • Aspirin
  • AstroTurf
  • Band Aid
  • Beer Nuts
  • Benzedrine
  • Boogie Board
  • Botox
  • Brassiere
  • Breathalyzer
  • Brillo Pad
  • BVDs
  • Cellophane
  • Celluloid
  • Chapstick
  • Cheerios
  • Claymation
  • Coke
  • Cola
  • Corselet (Corselette)
  • Crock Pot
  • Cuisinart
  • Demerol
  • Ditto Machine
  • Dixie Cups
  • Dumpster
  • Erector Set
  • Escalator
  • FedEx
  • Fiberglass (Fiberglas)
  • Fig Newtons
  • Freon
  • Frisbee
  • Google
  • Granola
  • Green Stamp
  • Gunk
  • Hacky Sack
  • Heroin
  • Hi-lighter (Hi-Liter)
  • Hoover
  • Hula-Hoop
  • Jacuzzi
  • Jeep
  • Jello (Jell-O)
  • Jockey Shorts
  • Jungle Gym (Junglegym)
  • Kerosene
  • Kitty Litter
  • Kleenex
  • Kool Aid
  • Laundromat
  • La-Z-Boy
  • Levi’s
  • Life Savers
  • Linoleum
  • Mace
  • Magic Marker
  • Microchip
  • Mimeograph
  • Novocain
  • Oreo
  • Palm Pilot
  • Parcheesi (replacing the generic word “Pachisi”)
  • Ping Pong (replacing the generic term “Table Tennis”)
  • Play-Doh
  • Plexiglas
  • Pogo Stick (Pogo)
  • Polaroid
  • Pop Tart
  • Popsicle
  • Post-It Note
  • Q-Tip
  • Roller Derby
  • Rollerblade
  • Saltines
  • Saran Wrap
  • Scotch Tape
  • Scrabble
  • Sellotape
  • Sharpie
  • Sheetrock
  • Shredded Wheat
  • Skivvies
  • Styrofoam
  • Super Glue
  • Tabloid
  • Teflon
  • Teleprompter (TelePrompTer)
  • Teletype
  • Thermos
  • Tivo
  • TV Dinner
  • Tylenol
  • UNIX
  • Valium
  • Vaseline
  • Velcro
  • Walkman
  • Welcome Wagon
  • White Out (Wite-Out)
  • Wiffle Ball
  • Windbreaker
  • Windex
  • X-Acto Knife
  • Xerox
  • Yo-yo
  • Zipper
  • Zoom

Author: Janet Carr

Fashion, beauty and animal loving language consultant from South Africa living in Stockholm, Sweden.

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