Etymology
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Alsatian 

from the Latin form of Alsace. Alsatian was adopted 1917 by the Kennel Club for "German Shepherd dog" to avoid the wartime associations of German; the breed has no connection with Alsace. Alsatia was an old popular name for the White Friars district of London (1680s), which drew disreputable inhabitants owing to the privilege of sanctuary from a 13c. church and convent there; the image was of "debatable ground" (as Alsatia was between France and Germany). Hence Alsatian "London criminal," 1690s.

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Jones 

surname, literally "John's (child);" see John. Phrase keep up with the Joneses (1917, American English) is from Keeping Up with the Joneses, the title of a popular newspaper comic strip by Arthur R. "Pop" Momand (1886-1987) which debuted in 1913 and chronicled the doings of the McGinnis family in its bid to match the living style of the Joneses. The slang sense "intense desire, addiction" (1968) probably arose from earlier use of Jones as a synonym for "heroin," presumably from the proper name, but the connection, if any, is obscure. Related: Jonesing.

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Agnes 

fem. proper name, mid-12c., from Old French Agnes, from Greek Hagnē "pure, chaste," fem. of hagnos "holy, sacred" (of places); "chaste, pure; guiltless, morally upright" (of persons), from PIE *yag-no-, suffixed form of root *yag- "to worship, reverence" (see hagiology).

St. Agnes, martyred 303 C.E., is patron saint of young girls, hence the folk connection of St. Agnes' Eve (Jan. 20-21) with love divinations. In Middle English, the name was frequently written phonetically as Annis, Annys. In U.S., among the top 50 names for girls born between 1887 and 1919.

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Myanmar 

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]
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Charlotte 

fem. proper name, from the French fem. of Charlot, a diminutive of Charles. The meaning "apple marmalade covered with bread-crumbs" is attested from 1796, presumably from French (where, however, the dessert name is attested only from 1804), possibly from the fem. proper name, but the connection is obscure. Perhaps it is from some French dialect word. Compare Middle English charlette (mid-14c.) "dish containing meat, eggs, milk, etc.," said to be probably from Old French char laité "meat with milk."

The city in North Carolina was settled c. 1750 and named for Princess Charlotte Sophia (1744-1818), who married George III of England in 1761; Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, Canada, also was named for her (1763).

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Prince Albert 

"piercing that consists of a ring which goes through the urethra and out behind the glans," mid-20c., supposedly so-called from the modern legend that Albert of Saxe-Coburg-Gotha (1819-1861), prince consort of Queen Victoria, had one.

But the term seems to be not older than bodyart maven Doug Malloy and his circle, and the stories about the prince may be fantastical inventions, perhaps to explain the term. Perhaps, too, there is some connection with Albert underworld/pawnshop slang for "gold watch-chain" (1861), which probably is from the common portraits of the prince in which he is shown with a conspicuous gold watch chain. Many fashions in male dress made popular by him bore his name late 19c.

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Veronica 

fem. proper name, French Veronique, a variant of Greek Berenike (see Berenice). The popular "Saint Veronica" (not in the Roman Martyrology) traditionally was a pious woman who wiped the face of Christ when he fell carrying the cross to Calvary. The image of his face remained on the cloth, and the "veil of Veronica" has been preserved in Rome from the 8c. Her popularity rose with the propagation of the Stations of the Cross, and this connection led to the folk-etymology derivation of the name from Latin vera "true" + Greek eikon "image." Some also identified her with the woman with the issue of blood, cured by Christ, as in the East this woman was identified from an early date by the name Berenike. Hence vernicle (mid-14c.) "picture of the face of Christ," from Old French veronicle, variant of veronique "St. Veronica's cloth."

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Vanessa 

fem. proper name, also the name of a butterfly genus. As a name, not much used in U.S. before 1950. It appears to have been coined by Swift c. 1711 as a pseudonym for Esther Vanhomrigh, who was romantically attached to him, and composed of elements of her name. He used it in private correspondence and published it in the poem "Cadenus and Vanessa" (1713).

The name Cadenus is an anagram of Decanus; that of Vanessa is formed much in the same way, by placing the first syllable of her sir-name before her christian-name, Hessy. [William Monck Mason, "History and Antiquities of the Collegiate and Cathedral Church of St. Patrick, Near Dublin," 1820]

As the name of a genus of butterflies that includes the Red Admiral and the Painted Lady, it dates to 1808, chosen by Danish entomologist Johan Christian Fabricius (1745-1808) for unknown reasons. He has no obvious connection to Swift, and the theory that it was intended for *Phanessa, from Greek phanes "a mystical divinity in the Orphic system" does no honor to his classical learning.

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Slav (n.)

"one of the people who inhabit most of Eastern Europe," late 14c., Sclave, from Medieval Latin Sclavus (c. 800), from Byzantine Greek Sklabos (c. 580), from a shortening of Proto-Slavic *sloveninu "a Slav," which is 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 word 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"), and is perhaps from PIE root *kleu- "to hear."

The reduction of scl- to sl- is regular in English (compare slate). In late 18c. and early 19c. The spelling Slav is by 1866. English it was spelled Slave, influenced by French and German Slave. As an adjective, belonging to or characteristics of Slavs, from 1876.

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Jew (n.)

late 12c., Giw, Jeu, "a Jew (ancient or modern), one of the Jewish race or religion," from Anglo-French iuw, Old French giu (Modern French Juif), from Latin Iudaeum (nominative Iudaeus), from Greek Ioudaios, from Aramaic (Semitic) jehudhai (Hebrew y'hudi) "a Jew," from Y'hudah "Judah," literally "celebrated," name of Jacob's fourth son and of the tribe descended from him.

Spelling with J- predominated from 16c. Replaced Old English Iudeas "the Jews," which is from Latin. As an offensive and opprobrious term, "person who seeks gain by sordid means," c. 1600. Jews' harp "simple mouth harp" is from 1580s, earlier Jews' trump (1540s); the connection with Jewishness is obscure, unless it is somehow biblical.

In uneducated times, inexplicable ancient artifacts were credited to Jews, based on the biblical chronology of history: such as Jews' money (1570s) "Roman coins found in England." In Greece, after Christianity had erased the memory of classical glory, ruins of pagan temples were called "Jews' castles," and in Cornwall, Jews' houses was the name for the remains of ancient tin-smelting works.

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