Etymology
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Onondaga 

a people of the Iroquois confederacy, 1680s, named for its principal settlement, from Onondaga onontake, literally "on the hill."

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Oneida 

Iroquois people of upper N.Y. state (they later moved in part to Wisconsin), 1660s, named for their principal settlement, the name of which is from Oneida onenyote', literally "erected stone," containing -neny- "stone" and -ot- "to stand."

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Venezuela 

Spanish, diminutive of Venecia "Venice" (see Venice). Supposedly the name was given by Spanish sailors in 1499 when they saw a native village built on piles on Lake Maracaibo. Related: Venezuelan.

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Cynthia 

fem. proper name, also a poetic name of the Moon, from Latin Cynthia dea "the Cynthian goddess," epithet of Artemis/Diana, who is said to have been born on Mt. Cynthus (Greek Kynthos) on the isle of Delos.

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Hobbesian (adj.)

1776, of or resembling the writings of English thinker Thomas Hobbes (1588-1679), whose works on political philosophy have a reputation for their bleak outlook on the world. The surname is from Hob. The earlier adjective was Hobbian (1680s).

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Abkhasia 

land on the northeast coast of the Black Sea, named for its people. Related: Abkhasian.

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Iowa 

organized as a U.S. territory 1838; admitted as a state 1846, named for the river, ultimately from the name of the native people, of the Chiwere branch of the Siouan family; said to be from Dakota ayuxba "sleepy ones," or from an Algonquian language (Bright cites Miami/Illinois /aayohoowia/). On a French map of 1673 it appears as Ouaouiatonon. John Quincy Adams, in his diary entries on the House of Representatives debate on the territorial bill in 1838, writes it Ioway. Related: Iowan.

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Beatles (n.)

seminal rock and pop group formed in Liverpool, England; named as such 1960 (after a succession of other names), supposedly by then-bassist Stuart Sutcliffe, from beetles (on model of Buddy Holly's band The Crickets) with a pun on the musical sense of beat. Their global popularity dates to 1963.

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Cartesian (adj.)

pertaining to the works or ideas of French philosopher and mathematician René Descartes (1596-1650), 1650s, from Cartesius, the Latinized form of his surname (regarded as Des Cartes) + -ian. In addition to his philosophy (based on the fundamental principle cogito, ergo sum), he developed a system of coordinates for determining the positions of points on a plane.

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Earth Day 

as an annual ecological awareness event on April 22, from 1970; the idea for it and the name date from 1969.

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