Bechdel Joins Goldberg in Merriam-Webster

I hate to discuss this in relation to a man but … Alison Bechdel has joined Rube Goldberg as a cartoonist whose name is now a word in the Merriam-Webster Dictionary.

“Bechdel Test” is one of over 500 new words added to the M-W dictionary in September 2019.

Hat tip to Seven Days for the notice.

Thanks to Tribeca for the comic strip.

The only other cartoonist name in a dictionary as a defined word that comes to mind is Heath Robinson – that is in British dictionaries; but my (very old) Webster’s Collegiate does not have “Heath Robinson” (it does have “Rube Goldberg”).  Racking my feeble brain, I can’t think of another.

Congratulations to Alison!


7 thoughts on “Bechdel Joins Goldberg in Merriam-Webster

  1. Some mysteries from the Thirties mentioned a “Hokinson woman,” after New Yorker cartoonist Helen Hokinson. She drew well-upholstered women “of a certain age”; Sondheim might have called them “the ladies who lunch.”

    And don’t forget the Gibson Girl. There used to be a chain of ice cream parlors called Farrell’s that featured artwork by Charles Dana Gibson. (The last location, in Brea, California, closed this year.)

  2. “If a Hokinson woman met a Gibson Girl, would they pass the Bechtel Test?”

    Well…so long as their subject of conversation was NOT the Leyendecker Arrow Collar Man.

  3. D.D., M-W gives pretty short shrift to Gibson. Wikipedia, OTOH, goes much more in depth:

    FWIW, I think they’d fail the Bechtel Test. After all, the Arrow Collar Man was the bee’s knees. (Not that any respectable Gibson Girl would _ever_ comment on anatomy. Just the collar.) 🙂

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