Voices: The Top 10 things named after people who opposed them

Voices: The Top 10 things named after people who opposed them

Daniel Elton suggested this one, after he realised that “Gillick competence”, a legal term to describe at what age young people are entitled to make a decision for themselves, is named after Victoria Gillick, who fought and lost a case to deny the right of under-16s to make decisions about contraception.

1. Apart from Gillick competence and traditional favourites Orwellian, Dickensian, Hobbesian and Kafkaesque, terms used for dystopias deplored by the authors, we also have...

2. Sarah Coggles. York-based fashion retailer named after the women with whom the founder’s husband had an affair, “to remind him of the mistake he had made”. James Johns said: “Not sure if this quite fits the definition, but have always loved the story.”

3. The Mary Whitehouse Experience. BBC comedy show 1989-92, named after the campaigner against permissive values on television in the 1970s and 1980s. Nominated by Tom Joyce.

4. The Barnett formula. Way of sharing public spending between England, Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland devised by Joel Barnett, chief secretary to the Treasury, in 1978 as a temporary measure. In 2000, he said: “That formula should be scrapped frankly, although I have grown happy with the name. If they want to call it Barnett Formula Mark Two I wouldn’t mind. But it needs a review, a major review that deals with real needs in different parts of the country and it doesn’t do that.” David Boothroyd.

5. The guillotine. Named after Joseph-Ignace Guillotin, a doctor and member of the French revolutionary national assembly, who didn’t invent it and who opposed the death penalty. It was invented by Tobias Schmidt, but Guillotin advocated it as the least painful method of execution. Another from David Boothroyd.

6. Molotov cocktail. Named by the Finns in their war against the Soviet Union in 1939, after Vyacheslav Molotov, the USSR foreign minister. Their proper name in Finnish is polttopullo, “burn bottle”. Thanks to Dean Bullen.

7. The Midas Touch (in the end). Nominated by David Wilcock.

8. The Streisand Effect. Named after Barbra Streisand’s attempt in 2003 to stop the California Coastal Records Project from using a photo of her clifftop house to illustrate sea erosion, which meant everyone reproduced the photo. From Arthur Spirling and David Wilcock.

9. Christianity. Nominated by Alan Coombe and Adrian Hilton, who said: “I can’t help thinking that Christ opposed an awful lot of the theological legalism, flamboyant religiosity and organised piety of what we now call Christianity.”

10. The Leavis Lectureship Trust. “The mighty FR Leavis, a man who could start a feud in an empty room, spent much of his last decade in violent denunciations of the organisation set up to honour his life’s achievement,” said Jonathan Law.

Burn Marks 1962 suggested Mankading, in cricket. Name given to a bowler keeping the ball and stumping a non-facing batter who has left the crease, after Vinoo Mankad, the Indian bowler who did it to Bill Brown of Australia in 1947. But Mankad did not think the tactic was wrong, even if he may not have wanted to lend his name to it.

I have also done Top 10 artists begrudging the creation that made them famous, in which a nomination for Kalashnikov had already appeared.

Next week: Paragraphs in British political speeches since the war – a whole paragraph, making an argument, not just a pithy sentence.

Coming soon: Business jargon taxonomies, such as buckets, pillars, strands, rafts and planks.

Your suggestions please, and ideas for future Top 10s, to me on Twitter, or by email to top10@independent.co.uk