masc. proper name, also a surname (from early 13c.), also Galliard, from Old French Gaillart, from Proto-Germanic *Gailhard "lofty-hard;" or from Old French gaillard "lively, brisk, gay, high-spirited," from PIE root *gal- (3) "to be able, have power."
Mexican province, briefly an independent nation and now a U.S. state, from Spanish Texas, Tejas, earlier pronounced "ta-shas," originally an ethnic name, from Caddo (eastern Texas Indian tribe) taysha "friends, allies," written by the Spanish as a plural. Related: Texan. The alternative form Texian is attested from 1835 and was the prevailing form in U.S. newspapers before 1844.
The baseball Texas-leaguer "ball popped up just over the head of the infielders and falling too close for outfielders to catch" is recorded from 1905, named for the minor league that operated in Texas from 1902 (one theory is that outfielders played unusually deep in Texas because hit balls bounced hard off the hard, sun-baked ground).
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.
King Arthur's sword, c. 1300, from Old French Escalibor, corruption of Caliburn, in Geoffrey of Monmouth (c.1140) Caliburnus, apparently from Welsh Caledvwlch probably a variant of the legendary Irish sword name Caladbolg which might mean literally "hard-belly," i.e. "voracious." For first element, see callus; for second, see belly (n.).
masc. proper name, most modern uses outside Italy ultimately are in reference to Dante Alighieri (c. 1265-1321), the great poet; the name is a shortening of Latin Durante, from durare "to harden, endure," from durus "hard," from PIE *dru-ro-, suffixed variant form of root *deru- "be firm, solid, steadfast." Related: Dantean, Dantescan, Dantesque (the last from French).
1915, proprietary name (Corning Glass Works, Corning, N.Y.) of a type of hard, heat-resistant glass, an arbitrary coinage, in which advertisement writers and eager etymologists see implications of Greek pyr "fire" and perhaps Latin rex "king;" but the prosaic inventors say it was based on pie (n.1), because pie dishes were among the first products made from it. The -r-, in that case, is purely euphonious.
U.S. presidential retreat near Thurmont, Maryland, built 1939 as Hi-Catoctin, in reference to the name of the mountains around it; it was called Shangri-La by President Franklin Roosevelt, after the mythical hard-to-get-to land in the novel "Lost Horizon;" it was renamed Camp David by President Eisenhower in 1953 for his grandson, born 1947. The Camp David Accords were signed there Sept. 17, 1978.
quasi-proper name for a fox, c. 1300, Renard, from Old French Renart, Reynard, the name of the fox in Roman de Renart, from Old High German personal name Reginhart "strong in counsel," literally "counsel-brave." The first element is related to reckon, the second to hard.
The tales were enormously popular in medieval Western Europe; in them animals take the place of humans and each has a name: the lion is Noble, the cat Tibert, the bear Bruin, etc. The name of the fox thus became the word for "fox" in Old French (displacing golpil, gulpil, from a Vulgar Latin diminutive of Latin vulpes).
Old French also had renardie "craftiness." An old variant form of the name was Renald, and thus English had for a time renaldry "intrigue" (1610s). Old English had the first element of the name as regn-, an intensive prefix (as in regn-heard "very hard," regn-þeof "arch-thief," also in personal names).
Old English Easterdæg, from Eastre (Northumbrian Eostre), from Proto-Germanic *austron-, "dawn," also the name of a goddess of fertility and spring, perhaps originally of sunrise, whose feast was celebrated at the spring equinox, from *aust- "east, toward the sunrise" (compare east), from PIE root *aus- (1) "to shine," especially of the dawn.
Bede says Anglo-Saxon Christians adopted her name and many of the celebratory practices for their Mass of Christ's resurrection. Almost all neighboring languages use a variant of Latin Pascha to name this holiday (see paschal).
Easter egg is attested by 1825, earlier pace egg (1610s). Easter bunny is attested by 1904 in children's lessons; Easter rabbit is by 1888; the paganish customs of Easter seem to have grown popular c. 1900; before that they were limited to German immigrants.
If the children have no garden, they make nests in the wood-shed, barn, or house. They gather colored flowers for the rabbit to eat, that it may lay colored eggs. If there be a garden, the eggs are hidden singly in the green grass, box-wood, or elsewhere. On Easter Sunday morning they whistle for the rabbit, and the children imagine that they see him jump the fence. After church, on Easter Sunday morning, they hunt the eggs, and in the afternoon the boys go out in the meadows and crack eggs or play with them like marbles. Or sometimes children are invited to a neighbor's to hunt eggs. [Phebe Earle Gibbons, "Pennsylvania Dutch," Philadelphia, 1882]
"division of invertebrate animals with soft, unsegmented bodies, no jointed legs, and commonly covered by hard shells," 1797, from Modern Latin mollusca, chosen by Linnaeus as the name of an invertebrate order (1758), from neuter plural of Latin molluscus "thin-shelled," from mollis "soft" (from PIE root *mel- (1) "soft"). Linnæus applied the word to a heterogeneous group of invertebrates, not originally including mollusks with shells; the modern scientific use is after a classification proposed 1790s by French naturalist Georges Léopole Chrétien Frédéric Dagobert, Baron Cuvier (1769-1832).