by Mark Israel
     [This is a fast-access FAQ excerpt.]
(None of the information here has been verified from legal
sources.  I collated it from Richard Lederer's Crazy English
and from various dictionaries.  Thanks to Anno Siegel, to Steve
Cramer, and to Jesse Sheidlower of Random House, for doing
electronic searches for me.  Question marks indicate that my
sources conflict.  The info, even if not totally mistaken, often
applies only to some countries.)
1) words that were once trademarks, but as a result of legal
decisions or otherwise lost that status
a) familiar words
aspirin, brassiere ? , cellophane, celluloid, corn flakes ? ,
corselet (undergarment, from Corselette), Cuisenaire rod,
dry ice ? , escalator, gramophone, granola, gunk, heroin, immunogen,
jungle gym (from Junglegym), kerosene, lanolin ? , launderette,
linoleum, lite (beer) ? , magnum (gun, cartridge), mah-jongg, milk
of magnesia, mimeograph, pogo (stick), raisin bran ? , saran,
shredded wheat, tabloid, tarmac ? , thermos, touch-tone ? ,
trampoline ? , vibraharp, vulcanized fibre, windbreaker (jacket) ? ,
yo-yo, zipper
b) chemical and medical terms
agene, amidol, antipyrine, duralumin, formalin, hirudin,
Janus green (from Janus), malathion, mecamylamine, ninhydrin,
parathormone, pulmotor, ronnel, toxaphene, vasopressin
c) miscellaneous more obscure words
Allen screw, Allen wrench, autogiro, barathea, beaverboard,
chainomatic, cube steak ? , corona (cigar), cyclostyle, ditto (to
copy printed matter etc. on a duplicator), excelsior (wood
shavings), georgette, graphophone, gunite, iconoscope, kinescope,
kinetoscope, klaxon ? , klystron, leatherette, moviola, moxie,
simonize (from Simoniz), speedwriting, stenotype ? , thyratron
2) words derived from trademarks
aqualunger (from Aqualung), Bundt cake, cola (from Coca-Cola),
dexamethasone (perhaps from Dexamyl), isoproterenol (from
Arterenol), kart (probably from GoKart), organza (probably from
Lorganza), payola (influenced by Victrola), Phillips head (from
Phillips Screws), pyronine (from Pyronin), secobarbital (from
Seconal), STP (hallucinogenic drug, probably from STP motor-oil
3) words that are still trademarks, although many people use them
Adrenalin (the generic words are "adrenaline" and "epinephrine"),
AstroTurf, Autoharp, BVDs, Baggies, Bakelite, Band-Aid, Beer Nuts,
Benzedrine, Biro, Boogie Board, Breathalyzer, Brillo Pads, Caplet,
Carborundum, Chap Stick, Chemical Mace, Chiclets, Cinerama,
Coca-Cola/Coke, Colorization ? (process of adding colour to
black-and-white footage), Cuisinart, Dacron, Day-Glo, Deepfreeze,
Demerol, Dianetics, Dictaphone, Dictograph, Ditto machine, Dixie
cups, Dolby, Dow Jones Average, Dry Ice ? , Dumpster, Dvorak
Keyboard, Erector Set, Eskimo Pie, Ethernet, Exercycle, Fiberglas,
Fig Newtons, Formica, Freon, Frigidaire, Frisbee, Grand Marnier,
Green Stamp, Hacky Sack, Hammond organ, Hide-a-Bed, Hi-Liter,
Hoover, Hula-Hoop, Identi-Kit, Invar, Jacuzzi, Jarlsberg, Jeep,
Jell-O, Jockey Shorts, Kewpie (doll), Kitty Litter, Kleenex,
Ko-Rec-Type, Kodak, Laundromat, Levi's, Liederkranz (cheese), Life
Savers (candy), Linotype ? , Liquid Paper, Lucite, Mace (spray),
Mack (truck), Magic Marker, Mailgram, Malathion, Mary Janes
(sprinkles, shoes), Masonite, Mellotron, Metroliner, Miltown
(tranquilizer), Minicam, Monel, Monotype (typesetting machine),
Muzak, Novocain, NutraSweet, Orlon, Pan-Cake (cosmetic), Parcheesi
(the generic word is "pachisi"), Peg-Board (perfboard), Phonevision,
Photostat, Pianola (player piano), Picturephone, Ping-Pong (table
tennis), Playbill (theatre programme), Play-Doh, Plexiglas,
Polaroid, Pop Tarts, Popsicle, Post-it Note, Pyrex, Q-Tip, Realtor,
Rollerblade, Roller Derby, Roquefort (salad dressing), SAT,
Sanforized, Sanka, Scientology, Scotch Tape, Scrabble, Seeing Eye
(dog), Sellotape, Sheetrock, Skivvies, Slim Jim, Styrofoam, Super
glue, Tarmac ? , Technicolor, Teflon, TelePrompTer, Teletype,
Thermos, Touch-Tone ? , TV Dinners, UNIX, Valium, Vaseline, Velcro,
Victrola, Vitallium, Walkman, Wedgwood (ceramic ware), Welcome
Wagon, Wiffle Ball, Windbreaker (jacket) ? , X-Acto, Xerox, Yellow
Pages ? , Zamboni
4) words erroneously believed to be trademarks
   Trademark information can be obtained from the International
Trademark Association (INTA; formerly the U.S. Trademark
Association), 1133 Avenue of the Americas, New York, NY