Etymology
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lamp-black (n.)
pigment or ink made with pure, fine carbon, originally from the soot produced by burning oil in lamps, 1590s, see lamp (n.) + black (n.).
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black hole (n.)
in astrophysics, 1968, probably with awareness of the notorious Black Hole of Calcutta, incident of June 19, 1756, in which 146 British POWs taken by the Nawab of Bengal after the capture of Ft. William, Calcutta, were held overnight in a punishment cell of the barracks (meant to hold 4 people) and all but 23 perished.
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Black Shirt (n.)
also blackshirt, 1922, member of Fasci di Combattimento, Italian paramilitary unit founded 1919 by Mussolini; so called for their uniforms.
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black-hearted (adj.)
"having a cruel or malicious heart," 1792, from black (adj.) + -hearted. Greek had the same image in melanokardios. Related: black-heartedly.
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black-letter (n., adj.)
name for old-style "Gothic" fonts, 1640s, from black (adj.); so called to distinguish heavy, old-style printers' types from the ones coming into use then, which are the dominant modern forms, though a style of black letter was preserved in German into 20c.
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black sheep (n.)
by 1822 in figurative sense of "member of some group guilty of offensive conduct and unlike the other members," supposedly because a real black sheep had wool that could not be dyed and thus was worth less. But one black sheep in a flock was considered good luck by shepherds in Sussex, Somerset, Kent, Derbyshire. First known publication of Baa Baa Black Sheep nursery rhyme is in "Tommy Thumb's Pretty Song Book" (c. 1744).
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black box (n.)
1947, RAF slang for "navigational instruments;" later extended to any sort of apparatus that operates in a sealed container. Especially of flight recorders from c. 1964.
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Black Hills 
South Dakota landform, translating Lakhota pahá-sapa; supposedly so called because their densely forested flanks look dark from a distance.
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Black Death (n.)

"bubonic/pneumonic plague epidemic of 1347-51 in Europe," a modern name, introduced in English 1823 by Elizabeth Penrose's history of England. The contemporary 14c. name for it in most European languages was something like "the great dying" or simply "the plague;" in English it was the pestilence (or, looking back after its return in 1361-2, the first pestilence).

The term "Black Death" first turns up in 16c. Swedish and Danish chronicles, but it is used in reference to a visitation of plague in Iceland (which had been spared in the earlier outbreaks) in 1402-3 that carried off much of the population there. The exact sense of "black" is not clear. The term appears in English translations of the Scandinavian works from 1750s. It was picked up in German c. 1770 and applied to the earlier outbreak and was taken from there into English in that sense.

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