Etymology
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mentalist (n.)

1782, "one devoted to mental pleasures," from mental + -ist. Originally in reference to artistic taste; philosophical sense "one who believes matter in ultimate analysis is a mode of mind or consciousness" (from mentalism) is from 1900. Related: Mentalistic.

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double talk (n.)

"deliberately unintelligible speech," by 1938, from double (adj.) + talk (n.). Old English had a similar formation in twispræc "double speech, deceit, detraction." An analysis of Chinook jargon from 1913 lists mox wawa "a lie," literally "double talk."

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ideation (n.)

"process or act of forming ideas," 1829; see idea + -ation. Related: Ideational.

As we say Sensation, we might say also, Ideation; it would be a very useful word; and there is no objection to it, except the pedantic habit of decrying a new term. [James Mill, "Analysis of the Phenomena of the Human Mind," London, 1829]

Related: Ideational.

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deconstruction (n.)

1973 as a strategy of critical analysis, in translations from French of the works of philosopher Jacques Derrida (1930-2004). The word was used in English in a literal sense from 1865 of building and architecture, "a taking to pieces," and in late 1860s sometimes as an ironic variant of Reconstruction in the U.S. political sense. Related: Deconstructionism; deconstructionist.

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breakdown (n.)

also break-down, 1832, "a collapse, a falling apart," from the verbal phrase (attested by late 14c. in the sense "take down by breaking" (trans.); 1831 in the intransitive sense "come down by breaking; 1856 as "to fail through incapacity, excess emotion, etc."); see break (v.) + down (adv.). The noun, specifically of machinery, is from 1838; meaning "an analysis in detail" is from 1936 (from the verbal phrase in the sense "analyze, classify," 1934). Also in 19c. American English "a noisy, lively dance sometimes accompanied by singing" (1864). Nervous breakdown is from 1866.

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resolve (v.)

late 14c., resolven, "melt, dissolve, reduce to liquid; separate into component parts; alter, alter in form or nature by application of physical process," " intransitive sense from c. 1400; from Old French resolver or directly from Latin resolvere "to loosen, loose, unyoke, undo; explain; relax; set free; make void, dispel."

This is from re-, here perhaps intensive or meaning "back" (see re-), + solvere "to loosen, untie, release, explain," from PIE *se-lu-, from reflexive pronoun *s(w)e- (see idiom) + root *leu- "to loosen, divide, cut apart."

From the notion of "separate into components" comes the sense in optics (1785; see resolution). From the notion of "reduce by mental analysis into its basic forms" (late 14c.) comes the meaning "determine, decide upon" after analysis (1520s), hence "pass a resolution" (1580s); "decide, settle" a dispute, etc. (1610s). For sense evolution, compare resolute (adj.).

In Middle English also "vaporize a solid, condense a vapor into a liquid, etc.;" a mid-15c. document has Sche was resoluyd in-to terys where a later writer might have she dissolved in tears. Related: Resolved; resolving.

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isomorphism (n.)

"similarity of form," 1822, in John George Children's translation from French of Berzelius's "The Use of the Blow-pipe in Chemical Analysis," from French l'isomorphisme, from German Isomorphismus (1819), coined by German chemist Eilhard Mitscherlich (1794-1863) from Greek isos "equal, identical" (see iso-) + morphe "form, appearance," a word of uncertain etymology.

Mr. Children has, very properly in our estimation, wholly omitted the formulae, translating them into plain English in notes at the bottom of the page; we wish he had exerted the same discretionary judgment with respect to the isomorphisms and left them out likewise. [from a review of Children's book in The Quarterly Review of Science, Literature, and the Arts, vol. xiii, 1822]
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dianetics (n.)

1950, coined by U.S. writer L. Ron Hubbard (1911-1986). In "Dianetics: The Modern Science of Mental Health" (1950), the glossary connects the word to Greek dianoua "thought." "Self Analysis" by Hubbard (1951) quotes an etymology said to have been added to the Funk & Wagnalls New Standard Dictionary: "Gr. dianoetikos--dia, through plus noos, mind."

There was an earlier dianoetic (1670s) "of or pertaining to thought," from Greek dianoetikos "of or for thinking; intellectual," from dianoetos, verbal adjective from dianoe-esthai "to think," from dia- "through" (see dia-) + noe-ein "to think, suppose," from noos "mind," which is of uncertain origin.

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nitrogen (n.)

colorless, odorless gaseous element, 1794, from French nitrogène, coined 1790 by French chemist Jean Antoine Chaptal (1756-1832), from Greek nitron "sodium carbonate" (see nitro-) + French gène "producing," from Greek -gen "giving birth to" (see -gen). The gas was identified in part by analysis of nitre. An earlier name for it was mephitic air (1772), and Lavoisier called it azote (see azo-). It forms about 78% of the weight of the Earth's atmosphere. Related: Nitrogenic; nitrogenous.

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Neanderthal (adj.)

1861, in reference to a type of extinct hominid, from German Neanderthal "Neander Valley," name of a gorge near Düsseldorf where humanoid fossils were identified in 1856.

The place name is from the Graecized form of Joachim Neumann (literally "new man," Greek *neo-ander), 1650-1680, German pastor, poet and hymn-writer, who made this a favorite spot in the 1670s. Adopting a classical form of one's surname was a common practice among educated Germans in this era. As a noun, by 1915; as a type of a big, brutish, stupid person from 1926. They were extinct by about 35,000 years ago. That they interbred with modern humans was long debated and denied, but DNA analysis settled the question in 2013: They did.

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