region in northwestern Asia, the name said to come from Sibir, ancient Tatar fortress at the confluence of the Tobol and Irtysh rivers. As a typical place of miserable banishment, it is attested from 1841. Related: Siberian. Siberian tiger is by 1895.
surname, attested from late 12c., probably meaning "bald head;" see Wyclif's "Stye up, ballard," where Coverdale translates "Come vp here thou balde heade" [2 Kings ii:23-24].
city in Mississippi, U.S., incorporated 1825, named for an early settler the Rev. Newitt Vick, who was said to have come to the region c. 1812 from Virginia with his family and chosen the town site in 1819.
"gypsy," 1834, from Spanish Gitano (fem. Gitana), from Vulgar Latin *Ægyptanus "Egyptian" (see Gypsy). The fem. is gitana. The French form of the feminine, gitane, was used as the name of a brand of cigarettes (1933) and has come to be used for French cigarettes generally.
1970, proprietary name of a rocket-propelled short-range guided missile, trademarked 1970 by Société Nationale Industrielle Aerospatiale, from French exocet "flying fish" (16c.), from Latin exocoetus, from Greek exokoitos "sleeping fish, fish that sleeps upon the beach," from exō "outside" (see exo-) + koitos "bed."
fem. proper name, from Latin (Maria) Magdalena, "Mary of Magdala," the companion and supporter of Jesus, from Greek Magdalene, literally "woman of Magdala," from Aramaic (Semitic) Maghdela, place on the Sea of Galilee, literally "tower" (compare Hebrew migdal "tower," from gadal "be great or high"). The vernacular form of the name, via French, has come to English as maudlin.
9c., Sumor sæton, from Old English sumorsæta, short for *sumorton sæte "the people who live at (or depend upon) Somerton," a settlement attested from 8c. (Sumertone), literally "summer settlement." In 12c. it begins to be clearly meant as a place-name (Sumersetescir) not a collective name for a set of people.
place mentioned in Genesis xiv.18, from Hebrew Shālēm, usually said to be another name for Jerusalem and to mean "peace" (compare Hebrew shalom, Arabic salaam). A typical meetinghouse name among Baptists and Methodists, so much so that by mid-19c. it (along with Bethel and Ebenezer) had come to be used in Britain generically to mean "non-conformist chapel."
ancient city of Egypt, from Memphis, the Greek form of Egyptian Mennefer, literally "his beauty," from men "his" + nefer "beauty" (as in Queen Nefertiti, literally "Beauty has Come"). A reference to pharaoh Pepi I (24c. B.C.E.). The city in Tennessee, U.S., was so named 1826 for obscure reasons. Related: Memphian (1590s); Memphitic (mid-15c.). An inhabitant was a Memphite (from Greek Memphitēs).
mid-14c. (implied in Tartary, "the land of the Tartars"), from Medieval Latin Tartarus, from Persian Tatar, first used 13c. in reference to the hordes of Ghengis Khan (1202-1227), said to be ultimately from Tata, a name of the Mongols for themselves. Form in European languages probably influenced by Latin Tartarus "hell" (e.g. letter of St. Louis of France, 1270: "In the present danger of the Tartars either we shall push them back into the Tartarus whence they are come, or they will bring us all into heaven").
The historical word for what now are called in ethnological works Tatars. A Turkic people, their native region was east of the Caspian Sea. Ghengis' horde was a mix of Tatars, Mongols, Turks, etc. Used figuratively for "savage, rough, irascible person" (1660s). To catch a Tartar "get hold of what cannot be controlled" is recorded from 1660s; original sense not preserved, but probably from some military story similar to the old battlefield joke:
Irish soldier (shouting from within the brush): I've captured one of the enemy.
Captain: Excellent! Bring him here.
Soldier: He won't come.
Captain: Well, then, you come here.
Soldier: I would, but he won't let me.
Among the adjectival forms that have been used are Tartarian (16c.), Tartarous (Ben Jonson), Tartarean (17c.); Byron's Tartarly (1821) is a nonce-word (but a good one). Tartar sauce is attested by 1855, from French sauce tartare.