Rewind·Posted on Apr 4, 2022I Guarantee You've Been Using Proprietary Eponyms Unknowingly, And Here Are 19 Examples Of ThemTIL that "Onesie" is a trademarked word.by Audrey EngvalsonBuzzFeed StaffFacebookPinterestTwitterMailLink Hello! I just learned a new term called a "proprietary eponym." It's a brand name that is so synonymous with a generic item that it basically becomes the defining word for that product. Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF Warner Bros For example, nearly everyone calls "hook and loop fasteners" Velcro, even if the fasteners aren't the Velcro brand. Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF Comedy Central And I can't think of someone asking me to go play "novelty flying disc" in the park. Instead, they'd probably just say Frisbee, even though that's a brand name. Tap to play GIF Tap to play GIF Nickelodeon So, I got curious...what other proprietary eponyms do we use? Here are 19 I legitimately had no idea about. 1. Dumpster (Generic name: Trash bin) Valentyn Semenov / Getty Images/EyeEm The word "dumpster" was trademarked from 1936–2008. In 1936, it was used by the Dempster Brothers and regarded as a "Dempster Dumpster." They were floored by the success of their convenient waste disposal system, and the name "dumpster" soon became the eponym we know of today. 2. Ping Pong (Generic name: Table tennis) Westend61 / Getty Images/Westend61 Escalade Sports acquired the trademark to the name Ping Pong and licenses it to anyone who wants to refer to the sport of table tennis as the brand name. 3. Styrofoam (Generic name: Polystyrene foam) Douglas Sacha / Getty Images Dow Chemical Company's Styrofoam is a trademarked term used to reference the polystyrene foam insulation used in construction. The "styrofoam" containers you use to carry home takeout are not actually Styrofoam at all. 4. Trampoline (Generic name: Rebound tumbler) D3sign / Getty Images A young gymnast named George Nissen came up with the idea of a "tumbling device" that he later trademarked as a Trampoline. He came up with the term from the Spanish word "trampolín," which means "diving board." 5. Thermos (Generic name: Vacuum flask) Heath Korvola / Getty Images While King-seeley Thermos Co. tried to be protective of their trademarked vacuum flask, "Thermos," the court ruled in 1963 that "by 1923 the word 'thermos' had acquired firm roots as a descriptive or generic word." 6. Tupperware (Generic name: Food storage container) Os Tartarouchos / Getty Images The trademark for the word "Tupperware" was filed in 1955 by Dart Industries. 7. Laundromat (Generic name: Self-service laundry) David Zaitz / Getty Images "Laundromat" was originally a trademark for Westinghouse Electric. The first public clothes-washing facility was called a Washateria. 8. Vaseline (Generic name: Petroleum jelly) Towfiqu Barbhuiya / Getty Images/EyeEm The name was trademarked by Robert Chesebrough, the founder of the brand. It's named after the German word for water (vasser) and the Greek word for oil (oleon). 9. Jacuzzi (Generic name: Hot tub) Rick Neves / Getty Images The trademarked Jacuzzi brand of hot tubs was invented by the Jacuzzi brothers, who came up with the first underwater jet. 10. Jet Ski (Generic name: Personal watercraft) Richard Hamilton Smith / Getty Images Jet Ski is a trademark of Kawasaki, and if you thought the generic name was "wave runner," you're wrong! Wave Runner is a trademark of Yamaha. 11. Bubble Wrap (Generic name: Bubble cushioning) Douglas Sacha / Getty Images It's a trademarked name of the Sealed Air Corporation. 12. Onesie (Generic name: Infant bodysuit) Iris Images / Getty Images Gerber owns the trademark for the name, and they have specific name usage terms on their website. 13. Escalator (Generic name: Moving staircase) Nongnuch Leelaphasuk / Getty Images/EyeEm The Otis Elevator Company used its trademarked term "escalator" so generically that the court determined that now any moving staircase can be called an "escalator." 14. Taser (Generic name: Electric shock device) Adventtr / Getty Images/iStockphoto Not all shock devices or stun guns are Tasers, and the company has been trying to combat people using the term "tased" as a verb, especially when the "tasing" device in question is not Taser brand. 15. Crock-Pot (Generic name: Slow cooker) Julnichols / Getty Images It's a trademarked term by Sunbeam Products. Not all slow cookers are Crock-Pots! 16. Fiberglass (Generic name: Glass wool) Jasmin Merdan / Getty Images It's a trademarked name owned by Owens Corning, which came up with the product in the early 1900s. 17. Granola (Generic name: Whole grain cereal) Olivka888 / Getty Images/iStockphoto "Granola" was trademarked by John Kellogg, who was commissioned to replicate a healthy breakfast named "granula" that was developed by Dr. Caleb Jackson, a vegetarian who opposed traditional breakfasts and created the product in 1863. 18. TelePrompTer (Generic name: Cueing device) Tdhster / Getty Images/iStockphoto The name with capitals is a trade name from the TelePrompTer Corporation. The term "teleprompter" has become a genericized trademark. In the UK, the company that makes "teleprompters" calls them autocues. 19. Hacky Sack (Generic name: Footbag) Cornelius M. Braun / Getty Images/EyeEm John Stalberger and Mike Marshall, credited with the invention of the game, called it "hacking the sack," which later led to the trademarked product, Hacky Sack. Wham-O toys has held the trademark since 1983. Want to see how many people use the generic name versus the brand name? Take this poll!