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Newsgroups: alt.folklore.urban From: mikkelson%rwtms2.decnet@consrt.rockwell.com (snopes) Subject: Re: Nylon In article <1992Oct17.201418.22632@sq.sq.com>, msb@sq.sq.com (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 ># otherwise... 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 'no-run'". - snopes

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