Etymology
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Atlas 
1580s, in Greek mythology a member of the older family of Gods, later regarded as a Titan, son of Iapetus and Clymene; in either case supposed to uphold the pillars of heaven (or earth), which according to one version was his punishment for being the war leader of the Titans in the struggle with the Olympian gods. "Originally the name of an Arcadian mountain god; the name was transferred to the mountain chain in Western Africa" [Beekes].

The Greek name traditionally is interpreted as "The Bearer (of the Heavens)," from a-, copulative prefix (see a- (3)), + stem of tlenai "to bear," from PIE root *tele- "to lift, support, weigh." But Beekes compares Berber adrar "mountain" and finds it plausible that the Greek name is a "folk-etymological reshaping" of this. Mount Atlas, in Mauritania, was important in Greek cosmology as a support of the heavens.
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atlas (n.)

"collection of maps in a volume," 1636, first in the title of the English translation of "Atlas, sive cosmographicae meditationes de fabrica mundi" (1585) by Flemish geographer Gerhardus Mercator, who might have been the first to use this word in this way. A picture of the Titan Atlas holding up the world appeared on the frontispiece of this and other early map collections.

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Atlantean (adj.)
1660s, "resembling or pertaining to Atlas" (q.v.). From 1852 as "pertaining to Atlantis" (q.v.).
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Atlantis 
mythical island-nation, by 1730, from Greek Atlantis, literally "daughter of Atlas," noun use of fem. adjective from Atlas (stem Atlant-; see Atlas). All references trace to Plato's dialogues "Timaeus" and "Critias," both written c. 360 B.C.E.
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Atlantic (adj.)
"of or pertaining to the sea off the west coast of Africa," early 15c., Atlantyke, from Latin Atlanticus, from Greek Atlantikos "of Atlas," adjectival form of Atlas (genitive Atlantos), in reference to Mount Atlas in Mauritania (see Atlas). Applied since c. 1600 to the ocean between Europe and Africa, on one side, and the Americas on the other. As a noun late 14c., Athlant, from Old French Atlante.
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caryatid (n.)

"carved, robed female figure used as a column," 1560s, from French cariatide, from Latin caryatides, from Greek Karyatides (singular Karyatis) "priestesses of Artemis at Caryae" (Greek Karyai), a town in Laconia where dance festivals were held in Artemis' temple. Male figures in a like situation are Atlantes, plural of Atlas. Related: Caryatic.

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Tangier 
port city of Morocco, Latin Tinge, said to be named for Tingis, daughter of Atlas, but probably from Semitic tigisis "harbor." In English often Tangiers, by influence of Algiers.
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Electra 

also called Laodice, a daughter of Agamemnon and Clytaemnestra, the accomplice of her brother Orestes in the murder of their mother, from Greek Ēlektra, literally "shining, bright," related to ēlektōr "the beaming sun" and perhaps to ēlektron "amber." Especially in psychological Electra complex (1913, Jung) in reference to a daughter who feels attraction toward her father and hostility to her mother. Also the name of a daughter of Atlas, and as such a name of one of the Pleiades.

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Maia 

Roman goddess of fertility, Latin Maia, literally "she who brings increase," from PIE *mag-ya- "she who is great" (suffixed form of root *meg- "great"). Maia, one of the Pleiades, is from Greek Maia, daughter of Atlas, mother of Hermes, literally "mother, good mother, dame; foster-mother, nurse, midwife," said by Watkins to be from infant babbling (see mamma). The maiasaura dinosaur is so called from 1979, in reference to the fossil preservation of its nesting colonies.

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alpha (n.)

c. 1300, from Latin alpha, from Greek alpha, from Hebrew or Phoenician aleph (see aleph). The Greeks added -a because Greek words cannot end in most consonants.

The sense of "beginning" of anything is from late 14c., and in this it is often paired with omega (the last letter in the Greek alphabet, representing "the end"). The sense of "first in a sequence" is from 1620s. In astronomy, the designation of the brightest star of each constellation (the use of Greek letters in star names began with Bayer's atlas in 1603). Alpha male was in use by c. 1960 among scientists studying animals; applied to humans in society from c. 1992.

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