heroin

I was surprised just now to learn that the word heroin derives from the trademarked name Heroin, and that the latter name was based on the Latin for “hero,” because the drug made users feel like heroes.

I initially assumed that that was folk etymology (remember: etymology by sound is not sound etymology), but the OED confirms it.

One Response to “heroin”

  1. -Ed.

    I didn’t know that! Add that to the list of names that stuck when the trademark ran out.

    Thanks,
    -E.

    reply

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