ON THIS DAY IN HISTORY: September
23, 1952, Republican vice-presidential candidate Richard M. Nixon went on television to deliver what came to be known as the “Checkers” speech as he denied allegations of improper campaign financing.
You may know what a silhouette is, but do you know who Silhouette was? Silhouette is an eponym, a word derived from the name of a person, place, or thing. Étienne de Silhouette was a Frenchman. Why is his name associated with portraits cut from black paper? SMH (shaking my head).
In 1759, during the Seven Years’ War, there was a credit crisis. As minister of finance for France, Étienne de Silhouette took severe measures to save money. Frugality was his trademark. Frenchman coined the expression à la silhouette to describe doing things cheaply. Since a portrait made out of a black paper cutout on a white background wasn’t costly, appreciators of the art form named it after the cheapest man they knew.