Etymology
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Star Wars (n.)

name of a popular science fiction film released in 1977; also the informal name for a space-based missile defense system proposed in 1983 by U.S. president Ronald Reagan.

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Medicare (n.)

name for a state-run health insurance system for the elderly, 1962, originally in a Canadian context, from medical (adj.) + care (n.). U.S. use is from 1965; the U.S. program was set up by Title XVIII of the Social Security Act of 1965.

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Muzak (n.)

1935, proprietary name for piped music, supposedly a blend of music and Kodak, said to have been coined by Gen. George Squier (1865-1934), who, among his other important inventions, developed the system of background music for workplaces c. 1922.

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Stakhanovite (n.)

1935, from name of hard-working Soviet coal miner Aleksei Grigorevich Stakhanov (1906-1977), in reference to an efficiency system in which workers increase their piecework production and are rewarded with bonuses and privileges. Soviet authorities publicized his prodigious output as part of a campaign to increase productivity.

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Douglas 

family name (late 12c.), later masc. personal name, from Gaelic Dubh ghlais "the dark water," name of a place in Lanarkshire. As a given name, in the top 40 for boys born in U.S. from 1942 to 1971. The name of the city that is the capital of the Isle of Man is the same Celtic compound.

The large, coniferous Douglas fir tree was named for David Douglas (1798-1834), Scottish botanist who first recorded it in Pacific Northwest, 1825. Douglas scheme, Douglas plan, Douglassite, etc. refer to "social credit" economic model put forth by British engineer Maj. Clifford Hugh Douglas (1879-1952).

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Cartesian (adj.)

pertaining to the works or ideas of French philosopher and mathematician René Descartes (1596-1650), 1650s, from Cartesius, the Latinized form of his surname (regarded as Des Cartes) + -ian. In addition to his philosophy (based on the fundamental principle cogito, ergo sum), he developed a system of coordinates for determining the positions of points on a plane.

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Permian 

1841, "pertaining to the uppermost strata of the Paleozoic era," named by British geologist Sir Roderick Impey Murchison (1792-1871) for the region of Perm in northwestern Russia, where Murchison had studied rocks from this epoch. His original definition of the rock system was somewhat broader in each direction, chronologically, than the current one.

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Owen 

Celtic masc. proper name, ultimately from Greek eugenes "well-born" (see eugenics) via Gaelic Eòghann, Old Irish Eogán, Old Welsh Eugein, Ougein. In Medieval records, frequently Latinized as Eugenius; the form Eugene emerged in Scotland by late 12c. The Breton form Even led to modern French Ivain. Owenite in reference to the communistic system of social reformer Robert Owen (1771-1858) is attested from 1829.

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Canton 

18c., the former English transliteration of the name of the major port city in southern China and the region around it, properly the name of the region, now known in English as Guangdong (formerly also transliterated as Quang-tung, Kwangtung), from guang "wide, large, vast" + dong "east." The city name itself is now transliterated as Guangzhou (guang, from the province name, + zhou "region"). One of the first Chinese cities open to Westerners; the older form of the name is from the British-run, Hong Kong-based Chinese postal system.

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Y 

a late-developing letter in English. Called ipsilon in German, upsilon in Greek, the English name is of obscure origin. The sound at the beginning of yard, yes, yield, etc. is from Old English words with initial g- as in got and y- as in yet, which were considered the same sound and often transcribed as Ȝ, known as yogh. The system was altered by French scribes, who brought over the continental use of -g- and from the early 1200s used -y- and sometimes -gh- to replace Ȝ. The French also tended to substitute -y- for -i-, especially before -u-, -n-, or -m-, or at the end of words, to avoid confusion in reading (see U), might also partly explain this tendency in Middle English. As short for YMCA, etc., by 1915.

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