To Wong
Posted: 10 April 2013 08:30 PM   [ Ignore ]
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Stanford Wong has joined the likes of Luigi Galvani and Thomas Bowdler in that his name has been used in an English verb. Indeed, he is part of an even smaller group whose name, without alteration, is an English verb.

To wong in is to join a blackjack game after having spotted that the player advantage was high.

To wong out is to leave a blackjack game after having spotted that the player advantage has become low.

I am not aware that it is ever used without “in” or “out” but I could be wrong.

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Posted: 10 April 2013 10:30 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 1 ]
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The difference is that “Stanford Wong” is a pseudonym, his real name is John Ferguson.

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Posted: 11 April 2013 05:20 AM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 2 ]
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Imagine if Stanford Wong and his wife had a boy and named him Wyatt.  Then we could say two Wongs make a Wyatt.

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Posted: 11 April 2013 12:50 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 3 ]
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Verbing names is hardly unusual. It’s a common way to create slang verbs. Most have a very short life, as I suspect to wong in/out will have.

Other examples include to boycott, to hoover (although I’m not sure there was actually a Mr. Hoover), to mesmerize, to fisk, to mirandize, to pasteurize, to guillotine, to gerrymander, to bork, to silhouette. There are lots of them.

[ Edited: 11 April 2013 12:59 PM by Dave Wilton ]
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Posted: 11 April 2013 03:03 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 4 ]
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The difference is that “Stanford Wong” is a pseudonym, his real name is John Ferguson.

Hard to imagine “fergusoning in” catching on.

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Posted: 11 April 2013 03:37 PM   [ Ignore ]   [ # 5 ]
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Dave Wilton - 11 April 2013 12:50 PM

Verbing names is hardly unusual. It’s a common way to create slang verbs. Most have a very short life, as I suspect to wong in/out will have.

Other examples include to boycott, to hoover (although I’m not sure there was actually a Mr. Hoover), to mesmerize, to fisk, to mirandize, to pasteurize, to guillotine, to gerrymander, to bork, to silhouette. There are lots of them.

There was indeed a Mr Hoover, William Henry Hoover to be precise. His connection with vacuum cleaners came from having the good fortune to be married to the cousin of James Murray Spangler, the inventor of the first practical, portable vacuum cleaner.

Spangler patented his rotating-brush design 2 June 1908, and eventually sold the idea to his cousin’s husband, Hoover. He was looking for a new product to sell, as the leather goods produced by his ‘Hoover Harness and Leather Goods’ company were becoming obsolete, because of the invention of the automobile. In the United States and other countries, the Hoover Company remains one of the leading manufacturers of household goods, including vacuum cleaners; and Hoover became very wealthy from the invention. Indeed, in Britain the name Hoover became synonymous with the vacuum cleaner so much so that one “hoovers one’s carpets”. Initially called ‘The Electric Suction Sweeper Company’ – their first vacuum was the 1908 Model O, which sold for $60. Hoover is currently a unit of Hong Kong-based Techtronic Industries Company Limited.

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