- Dr. Fell
- , FELL TYPESA loose translation that sounds more like a jingle has immortalized a noted Oxford scholar, Dr. John Fell, who gave his name to the Fell type faces, which he collected for the University Press. The story that set him apart began in a classroom at Christ Church, Oxford, where Dr. Fell was teaching. Fell was an easy teacher to get along with, for he instigated reforms and tolerated debates in his classroom. However, in one instance a wit named Thomas Brown (1663-1704) had a falling out with this likable teacher. Dr. Fell threatened to expel the student unless he translated a Latin epigram from the satiric Latin poet Martial: "Non amo te, Sabidi, nec possum dicere quare/Hoc tantum possum dicere non amo te," which means, roughly, "I do not love thee, Sabidius, nor can I say why; this much I can say: I do not love you." Tom was up to the task. He improvised with the following paraphrase:I do not love thee, Dr. Fell;The reason why I cannot tell;But this I know, and know full well— I do not love thee, Dr. Fell.Dr. Fell good-naturedly received the paraphrase and remitted the punishment. The jingle has thrived, and so has the name of Dr. Fell, but Tom Brown has been completely forgotten, perhaps because the satirical verse on Dr. Fell was the only one he ever wrote that captured the public's imagination.
Dictionary of eponyms. Morton S. Freeman. 2013.