Your Pain Is Our Pleasure

We proofread your Google Docs or Microsoft Word files within 24 hours. We hate grammatical errors with passion. Learn More


Coke, kleenex, xerox

HELP! I understand that coke, kleenex and xerox are examples of synecdoches, but I believe that there is a word for the specific kind of synecdoche where a brand name has come to mean the generic name for a product. This search has been driving me moderately insane. Any help you can give will be truly appreciated by myself, my family, and my pharmacist.

Submit Your Comment



Sort by  OldestLatestRating

I sent this reply 4 years ago and the link has been broken since then. Here is a new link.

jasonswolpers January 20, 2011, 5:30pm

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

They are called proprietary eponyms.
Heres the link to most of them:

Jason Wolpers May 29, 2007, 6:23am

1 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Hey, thanks Jason Wolpers, really interesting and surprising (to me) link.

AO May 29, 2007, 5:49pm

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Here, someone asks basically the same question:

ladylucy January 11, 2005, 1:57am

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Sol, the word for what is going on when a brand name becomes a standard English term seems to be "genericide," oddly enough.

The most commonly used phrase for such a term appears to be "generic word."

There is some consensus on these new words, but no hard-and-fast rule. Language is like that.

And why is your pharmacist upset? He's making a profit. Maybe there are some other issues there. (just kidding) :)

speedwell2 January 11, 2005, 3:10am

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

I knew it was only a matter of time before we'd see this happen; I just didn't think we'd see...

lastkat83 November 14, 2009, 5:58am

0 vote    Permalink    Report Abuse

Yes     No