Imagine having such an impressive coiffure that a hairstyle is named after you! That's exactly what happened with the word pompadour, which was borrowed in the mid-eighteenth century from the name of French king Louis XV's mistress, the Marquise de Pompadour, who was well known for having her hair swept over her forehead. The Marquise also famously wore a lot of accessories and a particular shade of the color pink, and at various points her name was also used to refer to those things, although those usages died out. The name Pompadour is from an estate in central France, and there's no further research into where that comes from. According to Google Ngram Viewer, literary usages of pompadour spiked in the 1770s, 1900s, 1940s, and 2010s. After some searching, I found that the style was very popular for a brief time under Louis XVI, that it was revived as part of the "Gibson Girl" fashion in the late 1800s and remained popular until WWI, and that it got popular again during WWII, which checks out.
Hello! I'm Adam Aleksic, a senior studying government and linguistics at Harvard University, where I co-founded the Harvard Undergraduate Linguistics Society. In addition to etymology, I also really enjoy trivia, politics, vexillology, geography, board games, conlanging, art history, and law.