Etymology
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Sabian (n.)

an adherent of a religious sect mentioned thrice in the Qu'ran (in which they are classified with Christians and Jews as monotheistic "true believers" tolerated by Muslims), 1610s, from Arabic, but a word of uncertain origin. As an adjective from 1748.

Perhaps the reference in the word is to a Gnostic sect akin to the later Mandæans (if the word derives, as some linguists think it does, from Arabic ch'bae "to baptize," Aramaic tzebha "he dipped, dyed"); but it has the appearance of derivation from the Semitic root of Hebrew tzabha "host, army" (see Sabaoth), and as the Sabians were thought to have been star-worshippers, the word was interpreted as referring to the "host of heaven." Related: Sabaism "star-worship" (Century Dictionary says Sabeanism is incorrect).

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ethnocentric (adj.)

"believing that one's own nation is the center of civilization," 1891, from ethno- + -centric; a technical term in social sciences until it began to be more widely used in the second half of the 20th century. Related: Ethnocentricity; ethnocentrism (1902).

Dr. Gumplowicz, professor of sociology at the University of Gratz, says that there are illusions which have been most baneful in the wider life of the world. He mentions two of them which, with real German facility for coining new names, he calls "acrochronism" and "ethnocentrism." ["Address of Professor J.C. Bracq," in "The Eighth Lake Mohonk Arbitration Conference," May 28, 1902; he adds, "Acrochronism is the illusion which leads us to think that what we are doing is the culminating point of some great process."]
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mentor (n.)

"wise adviser, intimate friend who also is a sage counselor," especially of one who is young or inexperienced, 1750, from Greek Mentor, friend of Odysseus and adviser of Telemachus (but often actually Athene in disguise) in the "Odyssey." The name perhaps ultimately means "adviser," because in form it is an agent noun of mentos "intent, purpose, spirit, passion" from PIE *mon-eyo- (source also of Sanskrit man-tar- "one who thinks," Latin mon-i-tor "one who admonishes"), causative form of root *men- (1) "to think." Compare monitor (n.). Often capitalized, even in the general sense, into mid-19c. The general use of the word probably is via later popular romances, in which Mentor played a larger part than he does in Homer. Related: Mentorship.

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Minerva 

in ancient Roman mythology, one of the three chief divinities (with Jupiter and Juno), a virgin goddess of arts, crafts, and sciences; wisdom, sense, and reflection (later identified with Greek Athene), late 14c., Mynerfe, minerve, from Latin Minerva, from Old Latin Menerva, from Proto-Italic *menes-wo- "intelligent, understanding," from PIE root *men- (1) "to think, remember," with derivatives referring to qualities of mind or states of thought (see mind (n.)). Compare Sanskrit Manasvini, name of the mother of the Moon, manasvin "full of mind or sense." Related: Minerval.

Minerva Press, a printing-press formerly in Leadenhall Street, London; also a class of ultra-sentimental novels, remarkable for their intricate plots, published from about 1790 to 1810 at this press, and other productions of similar character. [Century Dictionary]
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spaz (n.)

also spazz, by 1959, U.S. teen slang phrase, typically in later use a put-down, apparently a derogatory shortening of spastic (n.). Also used as a verb, by 1972, often with out (adv.). Related: Spazzed; spazzing.

My Daddy is a regular spaz. You don't know what a spaz is? Let me tell you. A spaz is a guy who's completely out of this world—but I mean, completely. [Parade Magazine, March 1, 1959]
[Y]our teen-aged daughter asks what you think of her "shades," which you are canny enough to know are her sunglasses, and you say, "cool," and she says, "oh dad, what a spaz!" [Russell Baker column, April 13, 1965]
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judge (v.)
c. 1200, iugen, "examine, appraise, make a diagnosis;" c. 1300, "to form an opinion about; inflict penalty upon, punish; try (someone) and pronounce sentence," also intransitive, "make a decision, decide, think, suppose;" from Anglo-French juger, Old French jugier "to judge, pronounce judgment; pass an opinion on" (10c., Modern French juger), from Latin iudicare "to judge, to examine officially; form an opinion upon; pronounce judgment," from iudicem (nominative iudex) "a judge," a compound of ius "right, law" (see just (adj.)) + root of dicere "to say" (from PIE root *deik- "to show," also "pronounce solemnly").

Related: Judged; judging. Spelling with -dg- emerged mid-15c. The Old English word was deman (see doom (n.)). The Latin word also is the source of Spanish juzgar, Italian giudicare.
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learn (v.)

Old English leornian "to get knowledge, be cultivated; study, read, think about," from Proto-Germanic *lisnojanan (cognates: Old Frisian lernia, Middle Dutch leeren, Dutch leren, Old High German lernen, German lernen "to learn," Gothic lais "I know"), with a base sense of "to follow or find the track," from PIE root *lois- "furrow, track." It is related to German Gleis "track," and to Old English læst "sole of the foot" (see last (n.1)).

From c. 1200 as "to hear of, ascertain." Transitive use (He learned me (how) to read), now considered vulgar (except in reflexive expressions, I learn English), was acceptable from c. 1200 until early 19c. It is preserved in past-participle adjective learned "having knowledge gained by study." Old English also had læran "to teach" (see lere). Related: Learning.

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dolmen (n.)

"structure consisting of one large, unhewn stone slab resting on two or more stones placed erect in the earth," such that a person may walk under it, 1859, from French dolmin applied 1796 by French general and antiquarian Théophile Malo Corret de La Tour d'Auvergne (1743-1800), perhaps from Cornish tolmen, literally "hole of stone," from Celtic men "stone."

Some suggest the first element may be Breton taol "table," a loan-word from Latin tabula "board, plank," but OED says the Breton form of this compound would be taolvean. "There is reason to think that this [tolmen] is the word inexactly reproduced by Latour d'Auvergne as dolmin, and misapplied by him and succeeding French archaeologists to the cromlech" [OED]. See cromlech, which is the same idea but arranged as one of a circle. Related: Dolmenic.

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Topsy 

slave-girl character in "Uncle Tom's Cabin" (1852), immortal in cliche for her response to a question about her origin put to her by the pious Northern abolitionist Miss Ophelia:

"Have you ever heard anything about God, Topsy?"
The child looked bewildered, but grinned, as usual.
"Do you know who made you?"
"Nobody as I knows on," said the child, with a short laugh.
The idea appeared to amuse her considerably; for her eyes twinkled, and she added--
"I spect I grow'd. Don't think nobody never made me."

In addition to being often misquoted by the addition of a "just" (or "jes'"), the line is sometimes used inappropriately in 20c. writing to indicate something that got large without anyone intending it to.

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grow (v.)

Old English growan (of plants) "to flourish, increase, develop, get bigger" (class VII strong verb; past tense greow, past participle growen), from Proto-Germanic *gro- (source also of Old Norse groa "to grow" (of vegetation), Old Frisian groia, Dutch groeien, Old High German gruoen), from PIE root *ghre- "to grow, become green" (see grass). Applied in Middle English to human beings (c. 1300) and animals (early 15c.) and their parts, supplanting Old English weaxan (see wax (v.)) in the general sense of "to increase." Transitive sense "cause to grow" is from 1774. To grow on "gain in the estimation of" is from 1712.

Have you ever heard anything about God, Topsy? ... Do you know who made you?" "Nobody, as I knows on," said the child. ... "I spect I grow'd. Don't think nobody never made me." [Harriet B. Stowe, "Uncle Tom's Cabin," 1851]
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