- The Spanish Eldorado means the "gilded man." That name was bestowed on the supposed king of the fabulous city of Manoa, believed to be somewhere on the Amazon. In the sixteenth century, many explorers tried to find Manoa, or Eldorado (the names were used interchangeably by the explorers) and one expedition after another set out with high hopes, just to return with nothing but frustration. The rumor that took hold during that time was that Manoa was so rich that the king, after his bath and rubdown with oil, was dusted with gold, and this had been done so often that his skin had become permanently gold.In 1530, a Spanish conquistador reported that he had visited Eldorado himself in a city called Omagua. Expeditions from Germany, Spain, and England explored the Bogota highlands, but no trace of him was found. The renowned Sir Walter Raleigh searched for Manoa in the Orinoco lowlands, while Spaniards sought Omagua nearby. In this quest, Pizarro crossed the Andes from Quito, de Oreliana sailed clown the Napo and the Amazon, and de Questa explored from Bogota. Clearly, no one was certain of the whereabouts of "The Gilded One." None of the explorations was successful.Because of the greedy persistence of man this name of an imaginary king has been stamped, metaphorically, on any place of great wealth or one affording an opportunity of acquiring wealth easily. The story of Eldorado is often mentioned in literature, as in Milton's Paradise Lost and Voltaire's Candide.
Dictionary of eponyms. Morton S. Freeman. 2013.