We have fermions (named after Fermi) and bosons (named after Bose). Why don't we name the particle corresponding to the Higgs field a "higgson"? The superpartner particle (sparticle) of the Higgs boson is the higgsino, which makes the name "higgson" more reasonable (the sparticle of the photon is the photino).
There are a number of reasons:
- The thing that differentiates fermions and bosons from the Higgs boson specifically is that they are general classes of particles (based on spin), while the Higgs boson is a specific particle (or particle type, if you will).
- The names "fermions" and "bosons" were coined by Paul Dirac, who was no longer in prominence when the idea behind the Higgs field was proposed. In general, particles aren't named after people (the Higgs boson is an exception).
- Just ask Benjamin Lee (unfortunately deceased) who first used the term.
- The idea behind the higgsino, supersymmetry, didn't come around until the early 1970s, and didn't rise to prominence until much later; by then, the term "Higgs boson" was well established, and "higgson" wouldn't have been catchy enough.
Gordon Fraser and I proposed the name "higgson" in the July 2012 issue of "Physics World," just as the boson was being discovered. We were not aware of Gell-Mann's prior advocacy of the word, but it figures. Murray definitely had "the naming gift". The Eightfold Way, quarks, quantum chromodynamics, etc.
— Michael Riordan, author, "The Hunting of the Quark."