- masc. proper name, name of Hebrew prophet and lawgiver, from Latin, from Greek Mouses, from Hebrew Mosheh, of unknown origin.
Most scholars see in it the Hebraization of Egyptian mes, mesu 'child, son,' which is often used in theophorous names. According to this derivation the words of Pharaoh's daughter in Ex. 2:10, 'For out of the water I drew him' are not the explanation of the Hebrew name Mosheh, but express the idea that the Egyptian name given by Pharaoh's daughter resembles in sound, and therefore, reminds us of, the Hebrew verb mashah 'he drew out,' which is suggestive of the words spoken by Pharaoh's daughter. [Dr. Ernest Klein, "A Comprehensive Etymological Dictionary of the English Language"]
As an expletive or oath, 1840.