A noder [in a writeup now deleted] has pointed out that même
means 'same' in French. I would just like to add that when Richard Dawkins
coined the word he was aware of this as an additional resonant
factor (to help his new meme spread), plus that it was constructed from the root of 'memory
' and related to Greek mnem-
. A more conventional word might have been 'mememe' (or, heaven forfend, 'mnememe') but he wanted something snappy that went in parallel with gene
. So 'meme' says: (i) like gene; (ii) carries the past
with it, like memory; (iii) stays the same (French
The fact that his meme theory has been so successful at propagating although he himself hasn't really been proselytizing for it shows that it is at the very least a moderately plausible proposal.
Daniel Dennett makes use of the meme meme in his book Consciousness Explained, saying that a human being is a symbiosis between a population of genes and a population of memes.
And Everything1 is one grand meme market.