A path to immortality – your name in the dictionary
Amongst the thousands of words in the dictionary, do you know there are people’s names there too? Some people’s names have come to mean something more generic than their own name just like some of the products have become generic names like Xerox for photocopying.
THE WILD WEST
In the mid-nineteenth century, Texas was the wild west. Ranches, cowboys, blazing guns were part of the scene. Some people owned vast tracts of land and a huge number of cattle. With so many cattle around (a person’s wealth was measured by the number of cattle he owned), cattle stealing was not far away. The authorities began to get lots of complaints of cattle theft. But how does one identify whom the cattle belonged to? How do you settle such disputes? To us, all cattle look the same – more or less.
A WORD IS BORN
The authorities under pressure passed a rule. All cattle owners were asked to brand their cattle with their (the owner, not the cattle’s) names. This would help to identify the owner of the cattle easily. While all the owners went about branding their cattle, one man refused to do it.
Samuel Augustus Maverick, a Texas rancher, a lawyer and a politician said we would not brand his cattle and since all others had branded their cattle, he declared, “All unbranded cattle are mine” All unbranded cattle were called as ‘mavericks’
Samuel Maverick, got his name immortalized by contributing his name to the dictionary. Maverick meant, individualist, non-conformist, free-spirited, unorthodox person.
Maverick is an adjective, generally attached, to a person, an idea, a strategy etc
Usage: Trump in USA and Kejriwal in India are maverick politicians. Hyperloop is a maverick idea from Elon Musk.
Aside: When anyone found an unbranded cattle, instead of thinking that it belonged to Samuel Maverick, what prevented them from branding it with their own symbol or name? Am I the only one with that crooked idea? Would you call that doing a maverick on Maverick?