ArgusRelated entries & more
hundred-eyed giant of Greek mythology, late 14c., from Latin, from Greek Argos, literally "the bright one," from argos "shining, bright" (from PIE root *arg- "to shine; white"). His epithet was Panoptes "all-eyes." After his death, Hera transferred his eyes to the peacock's tail. Used in figurative sense of "very vigilant person."
reliability (n.)Related entries & more
[Coleridge] evades the only charge brought against [Southey], by repelling one not brought against him, except by his Antijacobin patrons—and answers for his friend, as if he was playing at cross-purposes. Some people say, that Mr Southey has deserted the cause of liberty : Mr Coleridge tells us, that he has not separated from his wife. They say, that he has changed his opinions : Mr Coleridge says, that he keeps his appointments ; and has even invented a new word, reliability, to express his exemplariness in this particular. [from a review of "Biographia Literaria" in Edinburgh Review, August 1817]
Sunni (n.)Related entries & more
1620s, from Arabic, "adherent of the Sunnah; Muslim who accepts the orthodox tradition as well as the Quran," from Sunna "traditional teachings of Muhammad" (not, like the Quran, committed to writing, but preserved from his lips by his disciples or founded on his actions), literally "way, custom, course, tradition, usage." Related: Sunnite.
Hussite (n.)Related entries & more
1530s, follower of John Huss, Bohemian religious reformer burnt in 1415. His name is said to be an abbreviation of the name of his native village, Husinec, literally "goose-pen."
behalf (n.)Related entries & more
c. 1300, behalve (with dative suffix), "for the sake or benefit, advantage, interest" (of someone), from Old English (him) be healfe "by (his) side," and, incorrectly, from on (his) healfe "on (his) side," from healfe "side" (see half). The word was confused with Middle English behalve, behalves (adv. and prep.) "by the side of, near."
LorraineRelated entries & more
region of eastern France, from Medieval Latin Lotharingia (German Lothringen), literally "Lothar's Realm." The name is given to what originally was a part of the lands assigned to Lothair I in the first division of the Carolingian empire at the Treaty of Verdun (843 C.E.). Before his death (855 C.E.), Lothair subdivided his lands among his three sons. His son Lothair II (835-869) was given the middle region, subsequently known as Lotharingia. For the name, see Lothario. Related: Lotharingian.
rantallion (n.)Related entries & more
"One whose scrotum is so relaxed as to be longer than his penis, i. e. whose shot pouch is longer than the barrel of his piece." ["Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue," Grose, 1785]
Faustian (adj.)Related entries & more
1870, in reference to Johann Faust (c. 1485-1541), German wandering astrologer and wizard, who was reputed to have sold his soul to the Devil. Fantastic tales of his life were told as early as the late 16c., and he was the hero of dramas by Marlowe and Goethe. The Latinized form of his name, faustus, means "of favorable omen."
AesopRelated entries & more
Latinized form of Greek Aisopos, semi-legendary 6c. B.C.E. fablist. He was reputedly a slave, and very ugly; his stories were known to Herodotus and Aristophanes, but no direct writing of his survives.
Titian (n.)Related entries & more
1824, "a painting by Venetian painter Tiziano Vecellio" (c. 1490-1576), from Englished form of his name. Often also in reference to the tint of bright auburn hair favored by him in his work.