in reference to the Mercalli scale, expressing the intensity of an earthquake at a given place, 1900, named for Italian geologist Giuseppe Mercalli (1850-1914), who invented it ("I Terremoti della Liguria e del Piemonte," Naples, 1897). It was a modification of the Rossi-Forel scale (1883).
Japanese automaker, begun 1930s as a division of Toyoda Automatic Loom Works, named for the family name of the founder. There seems to be no one accepted explanation for the change from -d- to -t-.
"of or pertaining to the Greek sea-god Proteus," 1590s, from Greek Prōteus, son of Oceanus and Tethys, who could change his form at will; hence, "readily assuming different shapes, exceedingly variable." His name is literally "first," from prōtos "first" (see proto-).
name of a North American native people of upper New York and adjacent Canada, and their (Iroquoian) language, 1630s, Mohowawogs (plural), which is said to derive from a word in a southern New England Algonquian tongue meaning "they eat living things," perhaps a reference to cannibalism. Compare Unami Delaware /muhuwe:yck/ "cannibal monsters." The people's name for themselves is kanye'keha:ka.
In reference to the haircut style favored by punk rockers, c. 1975, from fancied resemblance to hair as worn by the native people in old movies and illustrations. The style of cut earlier was called a Mohican (1960). Mohoc, Mohock, a variant form of the word, was the name given 1711 to gangs of aristocratic London ruffians (compare Apache). As the name of turn in figure skating that involves a change of foot but not a change of edge, by 1880.
1871, in reference to Christian Doppler (1803-1853), Austrian scientist, who in 1842 explained the effect of relative motion on waves (originally to explain color changes in binary stars); proved by musicians performing on a moving train. Doppler shift (1955) is the change of frequency resulting from the Doppler effect (1894). The surname is literally "Gambler."
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.
city in eastern England, Old English Grontabricc (c. 745) "Bridge on the River Granta" (a Celtic river name, of obscure origin). The change to Cante- and later Cam- was due to Norman influence. The river name Cam is a back-formation in this case, but Cam also was a legitimate Celtic river name, meaning "crooked." The university dates to 1209. Cambridge in Massachusetts, U.S., originally was New Towne but was renamed 1638 after the founding there of Harvard College, John Harvard being a graduate of Cambridge in England.
an old name for a part of Burma and a word for the country in native speech, officially chosen by the military rulers of Burma in 1989. Reasons given for the change include casting off a relic of colonialism, or downplaying the connection to the Burman ethnic majority.
It should be pointed out that this renaming has virtually no impact on Burmese citizens speaking in Burmese, who continue to refer to both Myanma as well as Bama (this not unlike formal reference in the English language to 'The Netherlands' while informally using 'Holland'). [Gustaaf Houtman, "Mental Culture in Burmese Crisis Politics," 1999]
masc. proper name. Saint Boniface (c. 675-754) was an Anglo-Saxon missionary to the continental Germanic peoples.
Contrary to the common opinion, this name derives not from Latin bonifacius 'well-doer,' but from bonifatius, from bonum 'good' and fatum 'fate.' The change to Bonifacius was due to pronunciation and from this was deduced a false etymology. Bonifatius is frequent on Latin inscriptions. Bonifacius is found only twice and these late (Thesaurus) ["Dictionary of English Surnames"]
The general use of the name for "innkeeper" (by 1803) is from Will Boniface, the innkeeper character in George Farquhar's popular comedy "The Beaux' Stratagem" (1707).