Part of speech: noun
Origin: English, 18th century
A person who accompanies another and records their life.
Examples of Boswell in a sentence
"The CEO wanted to hire a Boswell to become her assistant in writing a memoir."
"I’m a social-media Boswell; I follow my favorite rock band and record everything on Instagram."
Popularity Over Time
The eponym refers directly to biographer James Boswell, best known for his 1791 book “The Life of Samuel Johnson, LL.D,” considered by many to be the template for the modern biography.
Did you Know?
James Boswell, after whom “Boswell” is coined, was a Scot who moved to London in the 1760s. Boswell was a close friend of Samuel Johnson, author of the first Dictionary of English. In preparing his biography, Boswell was a constant companion to Johnson for many years, diligently writing down Johnson’s wisdom and witticisms in private and public conversations. Johnson described Boswell by saying “One would think the man had been hired to spy on me.”