Subject: Re: Nylon In article +lt;1992Oct17.firstname.lastname@example.org+gt;, email@example.com (Mar
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (snopes)
Subject: Re: Nylon
In article <1992Oct17.email@example.com>,
firstname.lastname@example.org (Mark Brader) quotes the OED:
># nylon ... [Invented word, with -on suggested by rayon, cotton.
># There is no evidence to support the derivations freq. given for
># this word in popular sources. Cf. the following quot.: 1940 Women's
># Wear Daily 9 Feb. 22 The du Pont letter, written by John W. Eckelberry,
># covers the general status of nylon as follows: "The word is a generic
># word coined by the du Pont Co. It is not a registered name or trademark...
># We wish to emphasize the following additional points: First, that the
># letters n-y-l-o-n have absolutely no significance, etymological or
On the contrary, _The Origins and Development of the English Language_ contains
the following footnote:
"'Nylon' may not be quite etymologyless. According to _Context_, a Du Pont
company publication (vol. 7, no. 2, 1978), when the material was first
developed, it was called 'polyhexamethyleneadipamide'. Realizing the stuff
needed a catchier name than that, the company thought of 'duprooh', an acronym
for 'Du Pont pulls rabbit out of hat', but instead settled on 'no-run' until it
was pointed out that stockings made of the material were not really run-proof.
So the spelling of the word was reversed to 'nuron', which was modified to
'nilon' to make it sound less like a nerve tonic. Then, to prevent a
pronunciation like 'nillon', the company changed 'i' to 'y', producing 'nylon'.
Thus beneath that apparently quite arbitrary word lurks the English expression
E-Mail Fredric L. Rice / The Skeptic Tank