- A dictionary of medical eponyms

Cheshire Cat syndrome

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A medical eponym taken from Alice in Wonderland. It was first described by the British physician Eric George Lapthorne Bywaters (born 1910) in 1968.

When Alice asked the Cheshire Cat which road she should take, he asked her where she wanted to go.

"I really don’t know. I suppose it doesn’t really matter," she replied.

"Well, then I suppose it doesn’t matter what road you take," he aptly remarked.


  • E. G. L. Bywaters:
    The Cheshire cat syndrome.
    Postgraduate Medical Journal, Leicester, 1968, 44: 19-22.
  • M.R. Rose, A.K. Chippindale & T.J. Nusbaum:
    Laboratory evolution: the experimental wonderland and the Cheshire Cat Syndrome.
    M.R. Rose & G.V. Lauder, Eds. Academic Press, New York, 1996.

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