1936, network of defensive fortifications built along the northern and eastern borders of France before World War II, in which the French placed unreasonable confidence, named for André Maginot (1877-1932), French Minister of War under several governments in the late 1920s and early 1930s. After the fall of France in 1940, for the next 40 years or so the phrase was associated with a mental attitude of obsessive reliance on defense.
by 1779, named for Charles Mason and Jeremiah Dixon, English astronomers who surveyed (1763-7) the disputed boundary between the colonial holdings of the Penns (Pennsylvania) and the Calverts (Maryland). It became the technical boundary between "free" and "slave" states after 1804, when the last slaveholding state above it (New Jersey) passed its abolition act. As the line between "the North" and "the South" in U.S. culture, it is attested by 1834.
town and railroad stop on the Main Line outside Philadelphia, named 1869 by the Pennsylvania Railroad's executives, Welsh, literally "big hill;" it was the name of the estate near Dolgellau, Merionethshire, Wales, that belonged to Rowland Ellis, one of the original Quaker settlers in the region (1686). Before the change the village was known as Humphreysville, after another early Welsh settler. The women's college there was founded in 1885.
island group of Indonesia, the Spice Islands, attested in French by 1520s as Moluques, from Malay Maluku "main (islands)," from molok "main, chief," perhaps so called for their central location in the archipelago.
originally a name for a group of native peoples among Chiwere (Siouan) tribes, from an Algonquian word recorded c. 1700, said to mean literally "people of the big canoes." Formed as a U.S. territory in 1812 (out of the whole of the Louisiana Purchase not admitted that year as the state of Louisiana); admitted as a state 1821.
In U.S. history, the Missouri Compromise (1820) in Congress admitted Missouri as a slave state, along with Maine as a free one, but set a line westward from the main southern boundary of Missouri above which no new states would be admitted with slavery. The expression I'm from Missouri, you'll have to show me is attested from at least c. 1880. Related: Missourian.
masc. proper name, from Old Norse Eirikr, literally "honored ruler," from Proto-Germanic *aiza- "honor" + *rik- "ruler" (from PIE root *reg- "move in a straight line," with derivatives meaning "to direct in a straight line," thus "to lead, rule"). The German form is Erich.