nickname of Argentine Marxist revolutionary Ernesto Guevara (1928-1967), given to him by Cuban exiles in Guatemala in mid-1950s, from his dialectal use of Argentine che, a slang filler word in speech.
late 14c., Sclave, from Medieval Latin Sclavus (c. 800), from Byzantine Greek Sklabos (c. 580), from Proto-Slavic *sloveninu "a Slav," probably related to *slovo "word, speech," which suggests the name originally identified a member of a speech community (compare Old Church Slavonic Nemici "Germans," related to nemu "dumb;" Greek heterophonos "foreign," literally "of different voice;" and Old English þeode, which meant both "race" and "language").
Max Vasmer, the authority for Slavic etymologies, rejects a connection to *slava "glory, fame," which, however, influenced Slav via folk etymology. This is the -slav in personal names (such as Russian Miroslav, literally "peaceful fame;" Mstislav "vengeful fame;" Jaroslav "famed for fury;" Czech Bohuslav "God's glory;" Latinized Wenceslas "having greater glory"), perhaps from PIE root *kleu- "to hear."
In English, it was spelled Slave c. 1788-1866, influenced by French and German Slave. As an adjective from 1876.
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]
as a conventional title of courtesy before a man's Christian name, mid-15c., unaccented variant of master (n.), but without its meaning. As a form of address when the man's name is unknown (often with a tinge of rudeness), from 1760.
The disappearance of master and mister, and the restricted and obsolescent use of sir, as an unaccompanied term of address, and the like facts with regard to mistress, Mrs., and madam, tend to deprive the English language of polite terms of address to strangers. Sir and madam or ma'am as direct terms of address are old-fashioned and obsolescent in ordinary speech, and mister and lady in this use are confined almost entirely to the lower classes. [Century Dictionary, 1895]
1950, with -ism + name of U.S. Sen. Joseph R. McCarthy (1908-1957) of Wisconsin, leader of U.S. anti-Communist agitation. He entered the Senate in 1947, but his rise to national attention began with a widely reported speech on Feb. 9, 1950, in which he claimed to have a list of known Communists working for the State Department. The term is said to have been coined by Washington Post political cartoonist Herbert Block ("Herblock") in an editorial cartoon from March 29, 1950. The Army-McCarthy subcommittee hearings in the U.S. Senate ran from April to June 1954.
The surname is from Irish Mac Carthaigh "son of Carthach" (Welsh Caradawc), an ancient Celtic name, also known in its Latinized form, Caractacus (last of the British leaders to resist Rome, captured 51 C.E.)
Langue d'oc was truer to Latin than Old French or Castilian Spanish were, and had fewer Germanic words. Dante considered it a separate language, and it and the northern French were not always mutually intelligible. Jonathan Sumption's "The Albigensian Crusade" [Faber and Faber, 1978] refers to a court official at Albi "who in 1228 referred to a seal as bearing an inscription in 'French or some other foreign language.'" The French authorities began to repress langue d'oc in 16c.
As a noun, "the Britons," also "the Welsh language," both from Old English. The word survives in Wales, Cornwall, Walloon, walnut, and in surnames Walsh and Wallace. Borrowed in Old Church Slavonic as vlachu, and applied to the Rumanians, hence Wallachia. Among the English, Welsh was used disparagingly of inferior or substitute things (such as Welsh cricket "louse" (1590s); Welsh comb "thumb and four fingers" (1796), and compare welch (v.)). Welsh rabbit is from 1725, also perverted by folk-etymology as Welsh rarebit (1785).