Shouldn't this article be merged with Semantic Change? I see no significant differences.
While a colorful story, I suspect Guy Fawkes being the eponym of the informal term for an individual is apocryphal. Rather than Semantic progression, I think this explanation is more likely just good old Fake etymology: someone in the past guessing at the origins and their conjecture spreading as an urban legend. Can anyone cite a scholarly reference for the assertion that Fawkes is the model? I couldn't find one, so I'm thinking the story belongs elsewhere or nowhere. Color me skeptical.--StanZegel 04:04, 6 Nov 2004 (UTC)
- The etymology of "guy" is definitively sourced that way in my copy of Webster's Ninth New Collegiate Dictionary, 1985, p 544. Rossami (talk) 23:19, 11 Nov 2004 (UTC)
- I'm inclined to believe that further research on "Guy" as usage for a general reference to another person arising "from American popular culture", would show that usage really comes from the Yiddish "Goy", a term easily heard on the sidewalks of New York that refers to any non-Jewish person. Americans do not know who Guy Fawkes was; many would be surprised to learn that England is on an island and certainly would not know the name of a would-be assassin there from 350 years ago. Most probably couldn't even name the American assassin John Wilkes Booth, and of those who can, I suspect a disturbing percentage would say he shot Kennedy (and if asked further, they would be unsure whether it was Jack or Bobby). To say we have incorporated the obscure foreigner's name instead of borrowed the Yiddish term so often heard around us here is, I believe, improbable.
- Thus I believe that the Guy Fawkes example should be removed from this article. --StanZegel 04:54, 25 Jun 2005 (UTC)